The Bears' had major problems on the offensive line over the previous few years. Jay Cutler was sacked 113 times in the last three seasons. Between free agency and the draft, there will be tons of competition to create what will make a very different looking line this season.
"We're terribly excited about what we've done to our offensive line room," said coach Marc Trestman. "We've added talent. We've added competition. We've created a great group in there.
The last depth chart of the season of the line was:
-- J'Marcus Webb at left tackle
-- James Brown at left guard
-- Roberto Garza at center
-- Gabe Carimi at right guard
-- Jonathan Scott at right tackle
Carimi was demoted from the starting job at right tackle because of poor performance, but he did an admirable job at right guard after Lance Louis' season ending injury. This season, expect the line to have a remarkably different look.
Left tackle is one of the only positions that appears to be set. Jermon Bushrod was signed by the Bears because he is a Pro Bowl left tackle who excelled at keeping Drew Brees upright in New Orleans. His presence is pushing J'Marcus Webb over to the other side of the line.
Lance Louis leaving for Miami opened up the competition at guards. Carimi filled in for Louis after Louis tore his ACL. Carimi did a good job, but questions about his height and health linger. The Bears used their first round draft pick on Kyle Long, and he lined up at right guard during rookie mini-camp. Matt Slauson was brought in as a free agent, and James Brown is still around to try to hold onto his starting spot.
At center, Roberto Garza is a converted guard. He's done an OK job, but the Bears still brought in other candidates at center. Taylor Boggs and P.J. Longergan are also competing for the center starting spot.
Right tackle is where things get really interesting. Webb and Carimi will both hope for the starting spot, though Carimi isn't helping himself with missing voluntary workouts. He's missing the chance to show what he can do to his new coach and learn the Bears' new offense. Jonathan Scott is also competing, as is draftee Jordan Mills.
With 15 offensive linemen on the roster, the Bears have enough competition to make the line very different than last year. Let's hope for Cutler's sake that they perform differently, as well.