No one should be shocked with the thought that Frank Omiyale would move over to RT with John St. Clair signing with the Cleveland Browns. That’s precisely what came to fruition on the second day of mini-camp today as Omiyale lined up at his more comfortable OT position. There is really no concern with making this move it’s the smart thing to do. While publicly stating and showing for the time being that Omiyale was brought in to compete at LG the fact of the matter is he’s an OT first and foremost and Josh Beekman did nothing to hurt the notion that he is the true starter at LG.
Bears fans can be upset that Angelo blew a smoke screen up their butts, but the fact of the matter is Omiyale was likely to end up at RT the entire time. Joh St. Clair’s value was as a backup, Omiyale’s value is as a starter, look at the contract numbers that Omiyale got and what the Bears offered St. Clair if you have any doubts. The position that Omiyale was brought in at guard was only a negotiating ploy to make St. Clair feel better about the likelihood he would be replaced.
I predicted as much in my mini-camp preview that the starting five on the O-Line come September would be Williams, Beekman, Kreutz, Garza and Omiyale. Having Omilyale as the starter at RT for the duration of the contract also ensures that the Bears could easily take an OT project type of player who could develop for two to three years as a back up before being asked to start. St. Clair maybe had one or two years left, and they certainly would not have been good years at that. Omiyale looked comfortable and more natural at RT anyway. It’s where he fits in and the position he knows the best.
Elsewhere the question would be are the Bears likely to keep four running backs on the roster this year like they did in 2008? Or will that fourth RB be replaced by a sixth WR on the roster? The next question who is likely the odd man out if the Bears stick with only two RBs? The guess is Adrian Peterson given the Bears just signed Kevin Jones to a shiny new two-year contract and since Garrett Wolfe is younger than Peterson and offers more versatility with his speed. Kevin Jones for his part looks a lot more in shape having spent a year rehabbing from his knee problems and now working out with the club. With less weight and more muscle Jones will be faster and hopefully should take carries away from Matt Forte.
The likelihood he can take carries away from Forte seem even less likely given how Forte has looked so far in camp. Forte gets it he doesn’t have to be brought along or mentored he realizes that the only way he can be successful and get better in this league is to work on everything that makes a great back a complete back. Forte’s versatility is evident by his 60-plus receptions he had as a rookie. Look for him to get more involved in the offense as a pass receiver as well. Causing that much more of a head ache for defensive coordinators throughout the league.
While Lovie Smith often times is accused of being disinterested or not enthusiastic, there is one thing Smith takes personally and that’s the performance of his defense. Smith has been quite hands on with the defense thus far realizing that the drop off in defensive production and success will likely be what could cost him his job. Given that Smith is a defensive minded guy it should make Bears fans sleep easier that Bob Babich has for all intents and purposes been demoted. Combine Smith with new hires Rod Marinelli and secondary coach John Hoke and the expectations of a Monsters of Midway level defense return.
Speaking of the secondary thus far Craig Steltz has been cutting his teeth at the strong safety position with Kevin Payne out due to a minor injury recovery process. Josh Bullocks is the “starting” free safety for the time being and so far has taken to the ease of transition in the Cover-2. Bullocks’ responsibilities in coverage will be lessened by the more safety oriented zone packages the Bears run. He’ll have less ground to cover and he’ll be able to read and react more which should give him an easier task of making more plays.
Tags: Adrian Peterson, Bob Babich, Chicago Bears, Chicago Sports, Chris Williams, football, Frank Omiyale, Garrett Wolfe, John Hoke, John St. Clair, Kevin Jones, Lovie Smith, Matt Forte, NFL, NFL free agency, Rod Marinelli, Sports