Kudos to the Bears coaching staff for not letting the J’Marcus Webb situation linger. While the previous coaching staff looked for any reason it could find to keep faith in the former seventh-round draft pick, it took head coach Marc Trestman and offensive coordinator/offensive line coach Aaron Kromer less than three weeks and just one preseason game to figure out that no matter what Webb’s potential might be, the Bears can do better. Though it can’t be ignored that the current staff has better options.
Now, it’s Webb who is hanging by a thread on the Bears roster. His experience at left and right tackle makes him a serviceable swing tackle in a pinch — maybe better than Frank Omiyale, maybe not. But if the Bears think Eben Britton or Cory Brandon might be better, Webb could get cut at any price. And this coaching staff looks like it can tell pretty quickly whether Eben Britton or Cory Brandon will be better than J’Marcus Webb.
But Webb’s demise does bring into question another judgment the Bears made this summer — the decision to give up on former first-round draft pick Gabe Carimi, who was traded to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for a sixth-round draft pick. Carimi looks like a better option than Webb right now, given that he spent last year still recovering from a devastating knee injury he suffered in Week 2 at New Orleans as a rookie starter in 2011 and might eventually work out if he ever gets 100 percent healthy.
Maybe Carimi didn’t have the work ethic the Bears were looking for. But his injury — a dislocated knee — was worse than anticipated when he originally suffered it. And now Carimi is acknowledging that he did not go all out last season because he was being cautious about his knee.
‘‘I guarded myself a lot last year,’’ Carimi told the Tampa Tribune. ‘‘I just have to let it go and be me again. I’m not there yet, because I was sort of having to re-teach myself everything and I still have a lot of work to do to get there, mostly with technique stuff.’’
Carimi indicated, as he did last season, that he still is recuperating from the injury. The comparison to former Bears first-round draft pick Marc Colombo — who was useless to the Bears after a devastating dislocated knee cap as a rookie, but ended up starting for six seasons with the Cowboys and Dolphins — might turn out to be no so far-fetched.
‘‘I’m trying to relearn a lot of my body mechanics,’’ Carimi said. ‘‘I’m doing pretty good, I think. I just have to keep working my trade and keep on going. I’ll know when I get there. I’m just not quite there yet.’’
Carimi played 53 snaps to starter Demar Dotson’s 11 in the Buccaneers’ loss to the New England Patriots on Friday night. Bucs coach Greg Schiano has insisted Dotson is the starter and Carimi still is getting acclimated to the Tampa Bay offense.