John Abraham must be licking his chops
The Bears offensive line coach Mike Tice announced the starting five for the Chicago Bears today. From right to left, the Bears will start rookie first round pick Gabe Carimi at right tackle, first-time starter Lance Louis at right guard, ex-Falcon Roberto Garza at center, former first round pick Chris Williams at left guard, and most importantly last year’s right tackle J’Marcus Webb mans the left tackle position.
John Abraham should be pretty fired up to face Webb. Webb was rated as the worst pass protecting right tackle in the league last year. Ray Edwards had two of his best games last year against Webb and the Bears, so I’m sure that he can give him some helpful tips. But Edwards himself gets to give Carimi his first real NFL test.
But not to be overlooked is the fact that if Jonathan Babineaux remains at left defensive tackle, he’ll be facing Lance Louis. Louis started the first four games of last year at right guard, before his poor play got him benched. Louis didn’t qualify to be ranked by PFF for their rankings of guards pass protection efficiency, but he would have ranked 3rd worst in the league.
Garza has a been a steady guard for them ever since they left Atlanta, but filling in the shoes of potential Hall of Famer Olin Kreutz (now with the Saints) will be a tall order, and the Falcons could potentially take advantage of many communications breakdowns.
While there might be questions on how much improvement the Falcons pass rush will have in 2011, they certainly should have ample opportunity to get off to a fast start against the Bears in Week 1.