Gotta admit, Bears fans...
... I'm still shocked that Cutler and the Bears offense actually got "better" with Frank Omiyale at LT. Omiyale, who Jerry Angelo projected as a left guard when he was brought in last year, was a bust as a left guard last season and hasn't exactly proved himself at right tackle this year.
But, this past Sunday, Omiyale stepped in "in a pinch" when Williams went down with injury and actually outperformed Williams at the position. With that being said, If Frank Omiyale is able to show a solid performance against Clay Matthews and the dangerous front 7 of the Green Bay Packers...
... Would it be an awful precedence to keep Omiyale at LT and move Chris Williams to RT?The Eagles spent an offseason selling us on Kevin Kolb as their starting quarterback only to pull the plug on him after two quarters and one concussion. Kolb received a big extension and room was created by Reid trading Donovan McNabb for two pieces of Bazooka Joe bubble gum and a kazoo to their division rivals (Washington Redskins). If I was McNabb, I would think that it really wasn't about his "supposed" decline in potential or his "inability to win the big games"-- it really was that Reid didn't want anyone behind Center named "McNabb".
But for once in Reid's tenure, he actually played to the popular opinion.
To many, the decision may have seemed to be an easy one. Kolb has one victory in his short tenure as QB in the NFL. Vick has countless victories and some of them in "big game" situations. Kolb came out in week 1 and looked timid, ill-prepared, and often confused by the Packers front 7. Besides the first series that VIck had in the second half, he looked in control and made pretty good decisions. In fact, the Packers whole defensive philosophy changed once VIck seemed comfortable with the blitz and put what I like to call a "counter blitz" ("That's mine, ESPN!") when he started taking off and using his legs-- nearly bringing the Eagles back into the game.
In week 2, Vick looked exceptionally well against the Lions making crisp throws and using his legs when pressured by the Lions solid front 4. One play that sticks out for me, was the play when Suh was coming around the corner from the right side and had what looked like a sure sack, but Vick did a quick spin move that shook his arm off of hi, escaped the pocket, and got into the end zone! It looked vintage Michael Vick in Atlanta.
Behind those 6 quarters of play, Vick made a tough decision for Reid: Do I go with the hot hand or do I go to the unknown variable?
Now, Kolb is not an unknown variable in that he has not played. He has played in some cleanup roles while McNabb was in Philly. He has started 3 games with 1 win against the 2009 Chiefs and a 2009 loss against the defending champs where he threw 3 INTs. While he has shown some signs of "capability", he still is not a "sure thing" as in terms of a franchise QB.
Enter Chris Williams at LT in Chicago...
... Chris Williams was slaughtered by most opposing DEs in the preseason-- including Kameron Wimbley who went for 4 sacks on Cutler in the Oakland vs Chicago matchup. Wimbley has 2 sacks this season, so there might have been some "truth" to his tremendous game against the Bears in the preseason. WIlliams though has shown signs of being a competent franchise LT for the Chicago Bears with solid games against Jared Allen and the Vikings and a good game against the Lions to close the 2009 season, but he has struggled as well (i.e.- 2009 GB and Baltimore). Thus far in 2010, Chris Williams play can be considered "par" at best. He had problems against KVB and the Lions front 4 and he was exploited by DeMarcus Ware and the Cowboys for 11 plays in week 2. Some might say that these are elite DEs and everyone has their turn getting "Sportcenter highlighted" by them, but your LT is supposed to your "Island" player who can matchup with some of the best DEs in the game and win 3 out of 4 plays more times than not.
I have yet to get that feeling from Williams.
And, in a division that showcases some of the better DEs in the league (OLB Matthews, DE Jared Allen, DE Kyle Vanden Bosche), I have a problem with seeing his slow progression.
Williams- apologists will say that the 2008 1st round draft pick just needs more time and experience, but I would argue at "what expense?" An injury to your 50 million dollar investment in Jay Cutler that we mortgaged two drafts on to acquire?
Frank Omiyale has not proved anything at this point, but I hope that he has a solid game against Matthews and the Packers front 7. Jay Cutler and the offense will need it!
However, if Omiyale has a good game on Monday night and is able to neutralize their rush off of the left side of the line-- would it be wise to leave Omiyale on the left side and allow Williams to go back to an area where he has had "more" consistency at on the right? I understand that the Bears are paying Williams to start for them on the left side of the line, but if it makes your team better...
... Shouldn't we do what creates more consistency and stabilizes your offense?
I think Andy Reid did the right thing by starting Michael Vick on Sunday (although I think he did the wrong thing in releasing McNabb; to a division rival nonetheless) and I think it was in the interest of "winning" and not holding a principle of "who has the contract/draft pick". I hope that Lovie and Martz do the same if Omiyale succeeds on Monday night.