Chicago Bears Offensive Line coach Mike Tice has committed to a starting offensive line for the Bears season opener. Not the preseason opener, the regular season opener. Kind of. This info coming from Zach Zaidman’s Twitter feed.
Mike Tice says the first unit OL right now will start regular season as is unless they falter in preseason
So they’re committed to the following five unless they screw up in the preseason unless they scew up. That’s a firm commitment, right? Here are your starters:
LT – J’Marcus Webb
LG – Chris Williams
C – Roberto Garza
RG – Lance Louis
RT – Gabe Carimi
Interesting choices as center and right guard in particular. I thought for sure that the Bears would slide Chris Spencer, the guy for whom they issued a deadline to Olin Kreutz and an experienced center, into the starting lineup. Mike Tice indicated that there is a chemistry between Garza and Cutler right now.
Also interesting that Lance Louis has been put in at right guard. The right side could be interesting and challenged, especially in pass protection, where rookie Gabe Carimi will start at right tackle. On the flipside, the right side could be the strong side for running the ball where Louis and Carimi are both considered road graders.
Offensive Line coach Mike Tice poured on the praise for Lance Louis, probably the biggest surprise among the starters.
“He’s such an elite pass protector. He was an elite pass protector last year. Last year, I anointed him the right guard,” said Mike Tice of Lance Louis. “Then he got a couple of nicks and bruises and didn’t play through it because of maturity.”
So if Louis was such an elite pass protector, why exactly wasn’t he given a chance to play while the Bears were giving up a record-setting number of sacks? I’m good to give him a shot and I like that Tice has confidence in the group and wants to give them a chance to gel together, but I think it’s premature to name your starters for the regular season before even one preseason game. What’s wrong with a little competition before just handing out jobs? Name your starters after one or two preseason games to see how these guys hold up in “real” game action.