Sep 13, 2012; Green Bay, WI, USA; Chicago Bears offensive tackle Gabe Carimi (72) during the game against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field. The Packers defeated the Bears 23-10. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Countdown to Kickoff... 72 Days Until Chicago Bears Season Opener

I decided to do a countdown to the Chicago Bears season opener on September 8th versus the Cincinnati Bengals.  Thanks to one of my Twitter followers, I decided to combine the countdown with a roster preview of sorts.

We’re Gabe Carimi days away from kickoff.  Or we’re a 2014 6th round draft pick from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers days away from kickoff if you’d prefer.  While Carimi is no longer on the roster, I figured the wounds were still fresh enough to explore what happened to the most recent Bear to wear #72.  

Jerry Angelo selected Carimi with the 29th selection of the 2011 draft out of Wisconsin, where Carimi was an Outland Trophy winning left tackle.   I’ll admit, I was really excited about the pick with the information that I had.  But I’m certainly not an NFL scout.  So what factors led to Carimi’s demise?  Here’s what we know:

  • Carimi came to the Bears pre-injured.  He had a history of knee problems so when he injured his knee in his second career start, no one should have been surprised.
  • Carimi had a setback recovering from the original injury and required surgery.  Even though he was injured in Week 2, he didn’t end up having surgery until very late in 2011.  That cost him his entire 2012 offseason, where he spent his time rehabbing instead of working on technique and improving.
  • Carimi was never fully healthy in 2012.  Carimi admitted that he wasn’t healthy in 2012 and basically played on one leg.
  • Carimi dropped a bunch of weight to take the stress off his recovering knee, but that loss of weight cost him the power needed to be effective.
  • Carimi decided to work out privately instead of working with the new coaching staff and his teammates.  Regardless of what he thought was best for his rehab, Carimi should have been with his team and working with the new coaches.

I think Carimi still has a chance to succeed with Tampa and become Marc Columbo 2.0, but what do I know.

The most notable Bear to sport the #72 was WIlliam “The Refrigerator” Perry who became a folk hero as a rookie on the ’85 Bears mostly for what the defensive tackle was able to do on the offensive side of the ball.

We’re 72 days away from kickoff.  Are you ready?

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