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Bears' Offensive Line Could See Four New Starters

There's a chance the Bears' offensive line could see four new starters in 2013, underscoring the severe turnover on the unit this offseason.

David Banks

J'Marcus Webb. James Brown. Roberto Garza. Chris Spencer. And Jonathan Scott.

Those are the five guys that started the final game of the 2012 season at offensive line, from left to right.

Only one of those guys is a "near lock" to start in that exact same position. That's the kind of offensive line turnover the Bears have undertaken in 2013.

New to the team this year? Matt Slauson, Jermon Bushrod, Kyle Long, Ebon Britton. Jordan Mills.

The last five offensive linemen added in the draft and non-UDFA free agency before that? Jonathan Scott, Gabe Carimi, Lance Louis, J'Marcus Webb, Chris Williams. Scott's a journeyman and a backup, Carimi's pillaging the open seas as a member of the Buccaneers, Louis is in Miami, and Williams was cut and sits in St. Louis. Two of those are first round picks.

Oh, and a new offensive line coach. The cherry on top of the cement mixer that is spinning the Bears' offensive linemen.

"We don't care if they were first-round picks or college free agents or we got them off the street and they were cut by eight teams like guys I've coached and started in the past," [New Offensive Line coach Aaron] Kromer said.

Identify the players and make it work. Sounds good, but said before. Hence why, this year, not only are there five new linemen, there's a chance there could be four fresh starters on the line.

Jermon Bushrod got a big four-year contract to play the left side. He's pretty well ensconced at left tackle. The Bears spent a first-round pick on Kyle Long, so there's a chance he'll slot in immediately at one guard spot, with Matt Slauson potentially taking the other (and James Brown is probably still in that mix as well). So far, Roberto Garza isn't going anywhere at center unless P.J. Lonergan comes in awesome (I'm not getting my hopes up). And Mills has quietly put up a good offseason - is he in the competition for the starting right tackle spot?

"Jordan Mills [has] looked good," Emery said. "We're pleased with how he's looked. And obviously, there's a lot of combinations of players out there in terms of offensive line. Eben Britton, who we've brought in from Jacksonville, has also played tackle. ... So there's a lot of ways to look at it to find the best five and finding the next best three or four after that."

It's the offseason, so everyone outside of Tim Tebow looks good in minicamps and offseason, but this training camp (in a couple weeks!) will be an extremely interesting one.