If the Bears’ coaching staff is seriously considering leaving long-time right guard Roberto Garza at center, it would make the decision not re-sign center Olin Kreutz even worse.
As it stands now, the Bears’ opening day lineup will have different players at three positions from the group that started the NFC championship game on Jan. 23.
Rookie Gabe Carimi is the odds-on favorite to start at right tackle, which means last year’s right tackle, J’Marcus Webb, will move to left tackle, where Frank Omiyale was the starter at the end of last season.
Recently signed unrestricted free agent Chris Spencer should be inserted at center with the first team as soon as he steps on the field Thursday night. If Spencer isn’t capable of being the no-doubt-about-it starting center from Day One, why was Kreutz dismissed so cavalierly?
With Spencer at center, at least Garza would stay put at his customary right guard spot, instead of being forced into the center spot, where he hasn’t snapped a ball in an NFL game since 2005.
If Garza has to play center, where he isn’t comfortable, then the right guard position will also have a different starter, making it four out of five positions with new starters. And that’s only if Chris Williams manages to hold on to his starting spot at left guard, which is no guarantee.
Considering the lack of an off-season, this is not time to be shuffling the deck up front. We all saw how well that worked last season when the Bears allowed more sacks than any team in the NFL.
Unless of course the plan is to see how fast QB Jay Cutler can run.