CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 16: Offense Line of the Chicago Bears during play against the Minnesota Vikings at Soldier Field on October 16, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Tasos Katopodis /Getty Images)
The Bears' offensive line has been one of the weakest spots on the team, we know this. The fact of the matter is, though, that they have gotten exponentially better since the right side has been solidified with Spencer/Louis. We spent a first round pick on Gabe Carimi and when he played, he played very well and was getting the job done but there is no reason to insert him back into the line up next week.One of the biggest advantages the Bears have coming off the bye is that they have gotten much healthier than they were two weeks ago. After the bye the Bears should have Earl Bennett, Major Wright and Gabe Carimi back. A lot of people will probably say that we should get Carimi back in there as he is one of our better offensive linemen, but I ask why? What's the rush?
At this point I would argue the best thing for our offensive line would be two things; 1) consistency and 2) depth. We have finally gotten some consistency after the first four games of the season when injuries and bad play forced shuffling around, specifically on that right side. Jay Cutler has been sacked only three times during our two-game mini-streak and I think it's important to have some consistency and let the line be.
Carimi being healthy is more of a bonus than a saving grace. When he was injured we were one injury away from Frank "Gate 68" Omialye. Now we have the luxury of having options; if Spencer goes down you can slide Louis back over and Carimi step in at RT. If Louis goes down then Carimi can step in. If someone starts playing badly on the right side, it'll be pretty easy to get Carimi back in.
Carimi is a rookie and a good one at that, but he can benefit from watching and learning. He'll soak up everything that Mike Tice has to say and he can step in late in games when the Bears are ahead or maybe even on max-protection plays.
So, I say, for now, leave the line the way it is. It will be better in the long run if we can get depth and consistency going more than just throwing out our opening day line because that's the way it was and that's how it should be. Carimi will be fine, if the team hadn't been riding a mini-streak into next Monday's game my tune would probably be different but if it ain't broke, don't fix it and for once Cutler's jersey has been relatively clean for more than one game at a time.