Maybe there will be a change of plans along the ways, but barring something unexpected the Chicago Bears have selected the starting offensive line for the Sept. 11 opener against the Atlanta Falcons.
It’s not as dramatic as naming a starting quarterback, but the Bears allowed 56 sacks last season, more than any other team in the league, and the line has been a focus the entire offseason leading into training camp.
Mike Tice says he has his starting five right now, choosing longtime right guard Roberto Garza to be the man to replace departed captain and center Olin Kreutz. J’Marcus Webb, who started 12 games at right tackle as a rookie in 2010, slides to left tackle. Former first-round draft pick Chris Williams will play left guard with emerging young talent Lance Louis at right guard and rookie first-round draft pick Gabe Carimi set at right tackle.
“I’ve got, I think right now, the five best guys on the field and we’re going to stay that way until something proves me I’m wrong,” Tice said.
Tice then repeated himself when questions persisted.
“I have five guys in there starting,” he said. “Unless they falter, that's who's opening the season against Atlanta."
That means center Chris Spencer, signed to a $6 million, two-year contract after Kreutz told the Bears no when he was given a one-hour ultimatum, will be a reserve. Spencer is learning the offense and Tice has praised him, but he’s not ready to move into the lineup at this point and apparently the team is ready to make a decision.
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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune