Bears line coach Mike Tice expects Gabe Carimi to rise to top
By MARK POTASH Sun-Times Media August 16, 2011 11:22PM
Chicago Bears' Gabe Carimi(72) looks around during the first day of the team's training camp for the upcoming NFL football season at Olivet Nazarene University in Bourbonnais, Ill., Saturday, July 30, 2011. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
Updated: November 3, 2011 9:39AM
BOURBONNAIS, Ill. — As disappointed as Bears offensive line coach Mike Tice was that a couple of players weren’t as good in the Bears’ preseason opener as they were in practice, Tice was encouraged that rookie right tackle Gabe Carimi was just the opposite.
‘‘He’s a warrior and a player,’’ Tice said. ‘‘Gabe had some bad sets (in practice). He went out, and his best sets of camp were in the game. The lights came on, and he stepped up to the occasion.
‘‘He had a couple of dumb mental errors, but he’s a rookie. Play (calls) sound the same sometimes in the heat of battle. But I thought he played well for his first time out there. If he can continue to improve, we’re really going to have a good one there.’’
Tice also said he has no intention of flipping Carimi with left tackle J’Marcus Webb, allowing Carimi to play the position he played in college at Wisconsin and Webb to play the position where he established himself as a starter at last season.
‘‘If Gabe is going to be the player he can ultimately can be, I think he can be a great right tackle,’’ Tice said.
Wootton scoped: Defensive tackle Corey Wootton, who suffered a meniscus injury on the opening kickoff against the Buffalo Bills, had arthroscopic surgery on his right knee. He is expected to miss four weeks.
Rookie Mario Addison, a 6-3, 252-pound undrafted free agent from Troy, received most of Wootton’s reps in practice Monday.
Last chance: Only three more opportunities remain to watch the Bears at Olivet Nazarene University. The team will practice at 2:30 p.m. today, 7 p.m. Thursday and 1:30 p.m. Friday. They will hold a closed practice Saturday before playing the New York Giants on the road Monday. Practice resumes next Wednesday at Halas Hall.
The Halas Hall practices are closed to the public.