Inconsistent is one word I will describe the Bears O-line with after reviewing last Saturday's game against the Raiders. The good news is that the line looked much improved in their running blocking; the bad news is that they failed to capitalize on their pass blocking performance from preseason game #1. Fans got an idea what the Martz offense looks like if you block well and what it looks like when you don’t block well. The hope is that last Saturday's putrid performance by the pass protection had a lot to do with the Bears not scheming rather than the fear that it has a lot to do with lack of talent.
Grades and Reviews
Left Tackle Chris Williams: Grade F
Kamerion Wimbley simply was too fast for Williams, but looking back at that match up you can chalk Williams' struggles on not being the aggressor. It seems like every time Wimbley went to the speed rush outside, after getting into his stance Williams would go into a retreat mode instead of initiating contact. Too many times Williams had his arms low or was to late on the hand punch and it allowed Wimbley to blow past him and destroy Cutler.
Hopefully this was just one of those bad games that most good tackles have during their playing career. The LT spot is critical in this offense, and Williams needs to establish that he can be left on an island against the Kamerion Wimbleys of the world (not saying he's a scrub, but he's not one of the elite pass rushers of the league). We need a far better effort from Chris in this 3rd pivotal preseason game.
Left Guard Roberto Garza: Grade C
The grade speaks for itself. Garza wasn't bad, but at the same time he didn't stand out either. He was at the fault of one of Wimbley's 4 sacks when he missed on a Wimbley stunt on the inside. At times it looked like Garza was still trying to get comfortable at the LG position, but judging from these past two preseason games I can only draw up the conclusion that he will soon reach that state of comfort at LG.
Center Olin Kreutz: Grade B
Kreutz did a great job in both the run and pass blocking department and was the key guy pulling on that 89-yard run by Forte. In pass protection, Kreutz spent most of the second half doubling Garza's guy on the left side and looking out for stunts and blitzes up the middle of the line. Kreutz was the best lineman on the field that night for the Bears which is encouraging to Bears fans moving forward.
Right Guard Lance Louis: Grade C-
Louis was good at run blocking last Saturday, but struggled against Tommy Kelly in pass protection. Looking back at the game, it looks like Louis' troubles at pass protection had a lot to do with his positioning and stance. The play where he got beat by Tommy Kelly had more to do with him being too stiff at the point of attack, making it easy for Kelly to shed the block and sack Cutler. We can't have plays like that from Louis this season because that play in particular could have been an 80-yard touchdown to Hester if Cutler had a few more seconds in the pocket. At run blocking, he was tremendous at pulling, often taking out a guy, but at the line of scrimmage he struggled a bit which comes back to his positioning. He needs to clean up on these things going forward to the next game.
Right Tackle Frank Omiyale: Grade A-
Frankie O slipped a little bit last week. He wasn't as impressive last Saturday against the Raiders in pass protection as he was in the Chargers game two weeks ago. I contribute his two mistakes to lack of concentration, as it looked on a couple plays that he didn't quickly recognize what his man was going to do. Other than that, Omiyale has been our best lineman through two games of the preseason so far and if he can consistently handle his guy one on one, it only helps this offense as it gives Martz more targets to put downfield (i.e. Greg Olsen, Clark, and Kellen Davis).