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Bears Versus Rams May Be the Final Test for Offensive Line

It's no secret to all of us fans, or the rest of the league, that our offensive line has been absolutely terrible this year. Orlando Pace has shown absolutely nothing left in the tank, getting dominated by even mediocre speed rushers, and not looking incredibly consistent against a power game or in run blocking.

Frank Omiyale was picked up ostensibly to be a left guard, or maybe as back up at tackle, but he has looked horrible no matter where he was placed on the line this year. Kevin Shaffer's first stint at right tackle lasted all of a single practice before he hit the pine with enough force to cause Orlando Pace to fall over offsides again. Chris Williams, also known as CDub, has looked passable at right tackle, but his finesse game is obviously better suited for the left tackle position.

Well it has finally become time to see who needs to go from the offensive line to the unemployment line next season, because there is apparently going to be a massive shift on the line for the game against the Rams.

First up we have the illustrious Chris Williams flipping it up and going to his natural position at left tackle. This is going to be a real test for the big man to see where he is at in his progression at left tackle. He should have a great idea of the game speed having receieved a large amount of playing time at right tackle this year. Chris Williams, while a very large man, has always been known as a finesse player and is entirely more suited to the blind side. We should get to see an immediate upgrade over the aging pace against the average Rams defense.

Next up, we've got Kevin Shaffer. You might remember him before he joined the league and grew a goatee from the Mr. Clean commercials. He came to our team in the beleaguered tackle "trade" that sent our John St.Claire to the Browns, and then we took Shaffer from them after he was cut. He's been lackluster the last few seasons, but has a history of being a very good run blocker. Well, Shaffer is going to get his chance to prove it this week against a bad Rams run D that is allowing over 140 yards on the ground every game. If he can't cut at right tackle against St. Louis it won't be surprising to see him off the team before next training camp.

Now for the part of this story that all good Bears fans dread, the mention of Frank "Ole" Omiyale. Apparently Omiyale is going to reprise his role as human turnstile at left guard against the Rams. Omiyale was a decent left tackle in relief last year for the Carolina Panthers, but has been a dark abyss on an already terrible offensive line this season. Frankly, and yes this is a terrible pun, Frank's only around because of the size of the contract he signed. His only two options of continuing to see the field on a regular basis are to really step his game up at left guard, or hope that Shaffer is still as bad as he looked in training camp and hope he looks better at RT than he did at LG.

So there we have it folks, we're going to get a really good look at what our line is likely to look like entering training camp next season, the only difference being Beekman probably lining up at center. Is anyone else excited to see exactly what happens against the Rams? It's like a teetering balance beam between stellar fishtail slide around a corner, and a huge explosive car accident at the line of scrimmage. Which will we see next week? For our sake I hope we keep the explosions for touchdown celebrations, or to destroy Ron Turner's office overlooking the field.

And hey, if nothing else we'll hopefully get a really good idea at what position we really need to target on the line with that coveted third round pick.