Can you name the Bears last Pro Bowl offensive tackle?* It's been a while, and with two 1st round draft picks spent on the position in the last four years you'd have thought, at the very least, that the position would have been stabilized by now.
In this ongoing series we'll take a position by position look at the Chicago Bears roster and speculate on who stays, who goes, and some potential moves. With the help of Pro Football Focus we'll be able to bring you their unique perspective by utilizing their Premium Content. We've already looked at the centers and guards, so this post will finish off the offensive line.
Since I believe the future of Lance Louis is at guard, even though most of his 2011 reps were at right tackle, I put him in with the guards. For a look at Louis click the link above.
J'Marcus Webb - Signed through 2013 - I really hope that with a full off season to work at left tackle that Webb can become the player Mike Tice believes he can. I've seen nothing but inconsistency from Webb at LT in 2011 and when he was a RT in 2010. There's been flashes of brilliance, but also sloppy technique. I'm sure he'll be around next season, but I hope he'll have some competition for the left side. Either via a draft pick, free agency, or someone on the roster.
Pro Football Focus had Webb graded right behind former Pro Bowler Ryan Clady at #67. His -24.7 was helped by his o-line leading 14 penalties. His 12 sacks given up were 2nd worst among all linemen, but his 29 QB pressures wasn't as bad, considering there were 19 tackles that had more.
Gabe Carimi - Signed through 2014 - If Carimi can play like a first round talent it will go a long way in solidifying the line. I'd be OK if they let him work on the left side, but that's unlikely. In Carimi's brief time, 100 offensive snaps, he had a neutral grade of -0.3 (PFF considers grades that close to zero neutral). They had him with a rough start in week 1 at -1.9, but a good bounce back game in week 2 with a +1.6. Hopefully that was a trend that continues.
Frank Omiyale - Signed through 2012 - Omiyale is due $1.6 million this season and a quarter million dollar workout bonus. I don't think he'll see any of that cash. I think we unfairly bash him sometimes, as much of the pressure he gave up was due to the stubbornness of Mike Martz, leaving Omiyale on an island is dumb. In week 16 against the Packers he played 50 snaps at right tackle and he had a +1.3 grade. But with that being said, I think he may be a cap casualty. PFF had him at an overall -11.8 for his time at tackle.
Levi Horn - Terms undisclosed - Horn spent some time on the active roster last year, but he's never had any in game reps. He may be around next year, but his roster spot is by no means safe.
Perry Dorrestein - Terms undisclosed - The rookie from Michigan ended the season on the practice squad, and he may be around this off season to try and do it again.
2012 OUTLOOK - As I previously said, I think Webb needs some competition, and I'd be fine if the Bears drafted a tackle in the first few rounds. Looking at the potential free agents, Buffalo's Demetrius Bell, who only played 7 games due to injury was graded at #17 with a +6.8. Also at #17 was Jared Gaither who only played 5 games (he was a free agent most of the year) for the Chargers. I've seen Jeff Backus brought up in our threads and he was graded at -2.0 good for #32.
* The last Pro Bowl offensive tackle for the Bears was James "Big Cat" Williams in 2001.