Bears pull switcheroo on offensive line at practice
BY SEAN JENSEN Sun-Times Media August 1, 2012 11:30PM
Chris Williams lined up at right tackle Wednesday in place of Gabe Carimi. Lovie Smith said the team is trying different combinations. | Nam Y. Huh~AP
Updated: September 3, 2012 1:29PM
BOURBONNAIS, Ill. — In the first six practices, J’Marcus Webb and Chris Williams took turns starting at left tackle.
Based on that pattern, Wednesday was Williams’ turn. Except it wasn’t.
Instead, Webb lined up with the starters at left tackle, and Williams filled in for right tackle Gabe Carimi, who got a lot of rest throughout practice.
After practice, coach Lovie Smith downplayed the move, saying that his staff is trying different combinations at multiple positions.
Williams, Carimi and undrafted rookie James Brown — who lined up as the second-string left tackle — found out just before practice.
“Coach told me to get some work at right tackle,” Williams said. “I just do what I’m told.”
Asked if he’s not reading too much into it, Williams said, “It’s like Day 3 of training camp, man.”
Williams said he believes he’s performing “pretty good.” But ultimately he wants to start — anywhere.
“My hope as a player is just to get a fair shot at starting. Don’t care where,” he said. “But what they do personnel-wise is out of my control. Only thing I can control is how I play.”
Williams is set to make $1 million in 2012, but he said he’s not thinking about the proverbial numbers game.
“Not really. I feel like I’m a pretty good football player, so the numbers game or what they want to do personnel-wise is their decision,” he said.
“I just come out here to work hard and control what I can control and get in shape and get ready to play football.”
Brown, who played at Troy, has shown athleticism and has a nice build for his position. Naturally, he was excited when he heard about the chance to get more reps with the second-string offense.
“That was a very big surprise,” he said excitedly after practice.
Overall, neither Webb nor Williams has shined or struggled. Webb has fared well against Julius Peppers in one-on-one drills.
Carimi has looked solid after missing the final 14 games of his rookie season with a knee injury.
“It’s part of the plan,” Carimi said. “Just giving us a break.
“[The knee is] feeling fine. It’s pretty steady the whole time.”