Thursday, May 3, 2012
Bears: One big question
By Kevin Seifert
Are the Chicago Bears really set at offensive line?
After two consecutive seasons of patchwork along their offensive line, the Bears have declined to address their personnel in a meaningful way this offseason. They have signed one veteran free agent, little-known guard Chilo Rachal, and did not select a lineman among their six picks in last week's NFL draft.
That suggests the Bears truly do plan to begin training camp with some combination of the players they used last season, a group that will be bolstered by the return of 2011 first-round pick Gabe Carimi. Coach Lovie Smith consistently expressed confidence in the group and after the draft said, "Believe me, we want to do everything we can to open up holes for our running backs and of course to protect Jay Cutler, and we feel like we'll be able to do that."
No team allowed more sacks per dropback than the Bears over the past two seasons (one for every 10.5 dropbacks). The Bears believe their scheme under Mike Martz over that span was more to blame than the skill level of their talent. The success of the Bears' 2012 season might well ride on whether the Bears accurately attributed those problems.