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BOURBONNAIS, Ill. -- Frank Omiyale is used to waiting. After all, he had to wait four years and play in two different cities (Atlanta and Carolina) before he became a full-time NFL starter. Entering his third year with the Bears, Omiyale finds himself in unfamiliar territory, running with the second team as the Bears attempt to figure out if J'Marcus Webb can be a long-term fixture at left tackle.
|Frank Omiyale is figuring he'll get a chance to play with the first-team line at some point this season.|
However, it might be premature to assume Omiyale won't see the field in 2011.
Although Omiyale dealt with his share of pass protection issues -- he allowed the most sacks of any NFL left tackle in 2010 -- Bears offensive line coach Mike Tice's reluctance to move rookie first round draft pick Gabe Carimi out of the right tackle spot, leaves Omiyale as the next best option currently on the roster on the left side, in the event Webb fails to nail down the job.
Granted, the organization's preference is for Webb to be the left tackle, but it's difficult to completely rule out the Bears eventually making a few changes on the offensive line simply based on all the inexperience up front. Plus, Tice didn't settle on a permanent starting five last year until early November.
"The first thing I think about it last year...a couple of guys went down early and we had to do a rotation," Omiyale said. "Right now, I just got to use this time to better myself and [work on] my skills, get the plays down, because I'm sure my number will be called at some point this year.'
"At first, it was a little weird [being on the second team], but it's part of the game. A decision was made and I feel like I got to get on board. I'm on board and it's all about the team. My first goal is to just make the team this year and go from there."
Omiyale signed a four-year deal prior the 2009 season and made 28 regular season starts at left tackle (14), right tackle (2) and left guard (12).
"I don't know what the coaches think or how they feel," Omiyale said. "I just know how to be what I told. I'll be here when they need me.'
"I've had a good camp and the mistakes have been kept to a minimum. But that's what they expect from a veteran and hopefully that gives them the confidence that when they do need me, I'll be ready."