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Chicago Bears Position Battles: OL

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The Bears had their offensive line set before last night's game.  The guys playing the line can play themselves out of a job through some penalties or missed assignments, but it's so hard to make a big final impression and come on strong to make a team when playing in the offensive trenches.  Last night they didn't learn anything about their group that they didn't already know.

The starting five will be the same starting five.  They'll try and sneak the same guys through to the practice squad, and they'll cut the guys they were planning on cutting.

Chris Williams, Roberto Garza, Olin Kreutz, Lance Louis, and Frank Omiyale are your 2010 starting offensive line.  And they looked bad as a group this preseason.  It's a new system with a plethora of protection schemes, and who really knows what schemes they unveiled in these four practice games.  All we know is they gave up too many sacks.  The Bears will only go as far as their offensive line allows them to go.

For sure backups are Josh Beekman, Kevin Shaffer, and Johan Asiata.  Although Beekman must have felt a little uneasy when the Bears signed G/C Edwin Williams a couple days ago.  And Asiata hasn't had the same kind of buzz surrounding him since his earlier camp work.  Shaffer is a good swing tackle and is capable of stepping in at RT if Omiyale falters.

I think they like James Martens ability to play guard and tackle and I think they love the upside of rookie J'Marcus Webb and fear losing him if they try and sneak him through waivers.  That makes 10 on the O-Line.  Will they keep 10?  I don't think they can.  Last year they only kept eight.  Martens might be the odd man out unless Webb strains his hammy getting off the team bus.  I can see them going with nine on the O-Line, then again, with how shaky the group has looked, Jerry Angelo might bring a late veteran cut in from another team to fill out the line.  If they do go with only eight, who's next on the chopping block?

The aforementioned Williams is a prime candidate for the P.S. as referenced here.  As are rookies Tim Walter (C) and Levi Horn (T).

This will be the last in my series looking at the position groups.  I'm skipping QB, my best guess is Jay Cutler, Todd Collins, and Caleb Hanie all stick, with Dan LeFevour making it to the P.S., and I'll pass on the special teams with Robbie Gould, Brad Maynard, and the great Patrick Mannelly who are all money.