Monthly Archives: April 2011

Bears address defense on Day 2 of NFL Draft

After addressing an offensive concern with the selection of offensive tackle Gabe Carimi with the 29th overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, the Chicago Bears’ focus shifted to defense in rounds two and three.

The Bears selected defensive tackle Stephen Paea in the second round.

The Bears selected defensuve tackle Stephen Paea in the second round with the 53rd overall selection.

Jerry Angelo pulled off an uncharacteristic move to get the defensive tackle out of Oregon State. He traded up.

Unlike the non-trade gone wrong with Baltimore on day one, there was confusion with the trade with Washington.

Chicago moved up nine spots in the draft, dealing their second and fourth round picks to the Redskins in exchange.

“We’re real excited about selecting him with this pick,” said Bears director of player personnel Tim Ruskell. “We had an opportunity to work with the Redskins to get up. We thought there were a couple chances for him to go in the next few picks and we did not want to risk that, so we got him.”

Ruskell said that Bears coaches and scouts all preferred Paea to other defensive tackles on the board.

Paea is the real deal, according to the Bears. They admire his technique, his versatility and his quickness off the ball.

Paea is excited to join a storied franchise, and defense, in the Bears.

“I want to say I am blessed to be in this process,” Paea said. “All I know is it takes one team to love me and I feel like the Chicago Bears were the right team for me.

“I see the Chicago Bears playing the same type of defense that I love. It’s the attacking defense and that is what I have been playing at Oregon State. We have a similar type of defense and I was just blessed to get picked by a 4-3 scheme defense and of course Rod Marinelli in there. I am just blessed to be in that organization.”

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NFL players get the OK to return to work

The lockout was lifted--as temporary as it might be--and players were allowed to return to team facilities.

There has been significant progress over the last few days in regards to the NFL lockout.

U.S. District Judge Susan Nelson essentially ended the lockout Monday and also denied the NFL’s request for a temporary stay Wednesday.

Now, the league has told teams to open their facilities to players starting today.

With this also comes news of the impending period of free agency, trades and other roster moves to begin shortly.

All in all, things are slowly but surely starting to get back to normal.

Many Bears players are expected to head over to Halas Hall today to use the weight room and to work out, with more players expected by Monday. Players will also be able to talk with coaches and sit in on film sessions, after two months of not being able to even acknowledge one another.

How far we have come.

Even more exciting, the Bears will begin their offseason conditioning program on May 9.

I am so ready for some football. Even if it’s just offseason workouts.

Carimi to “work his buns off” in blocking for Cutler

Jay Cutler was one of the first people to reach out to Gabe Carimi after the Bears drafted him.

There was a sense of relief that washed through the Chicago Bears fandom when the Bears selected offensive tackle Gabe Carimi with the 29th overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft on Thursday night.

There may have also been a sigh of relief from one Jay Cutler.

“He was one of the first people to text me and congratulate me,” Carimi told reporters, “and I sent him a text back, ‘I am so happy to block for you. I am going to give you all the time you ask for. I am going to work my buns off for you.”

It’s no secret that for about two years the Bears have been in dire need of solidity on the offensive line. After a 2010 campaign where Cutler was sacked a league-high 56 times, offensive tackle had been Chicago’s main focus heading into the draft.

But the question is where will Carimi line up?

The Lake Forest-born Carimi played at left tackle at Wisconsin but there has been some doubt by NFL scouts if he has the physical skills to play at left tackle in the NFL.

Sean Jensen of the Sun-Times suggested that Carimi would line up at right tackle with J’Marcus Webb in the role of left tackle, noting Webb’s physicality advantage over Carimi.

“It obviously doesn’t matter to me,” Carimi said about where he will line up. “Wherever Mike Tice is going to want me, I am going to play. I am just going to be excited to play for the Bears. Really, I am so pumped about the entire situation. I am hoping to bring a physical presence to the offensive line which they already have.”

With that physical presence comes an attitude characteristic of Olin Kretuz. It’s an attitude that Bears offensive line could really use to bolster their morale.

Even though he was born in Lake Forest, Carimi moved to Wisconsin when he was three years old. Wisconsin and Bears are two words that just do not mesh well. Should we be concerned?

“I thought this would be the best situation for me to have a great career with a great organization,” he said. “This is where I wanted to be. I wanted to be a Bear.

“I grew up a Packer fan. How wrong I was. I see the errors of my way.”

All is forgiven.

Chicago Bears draft tackle Gabe Carimi with 29th overall pick

The Bears selected Gabe Carimi with the 69th overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft.

The Chicago Bears got their man.

After a bit of confusion and perhaps a little desperation, the Bears drafted offensive tackle Gabe Carimi, out of Wisconsin, with the 29th overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft on Thursday night.

“I had a great feeling I would end up with the Bears,” Carimi told reporters in a conference call. “I can’t be happier.”

General manager Jerry Angelo did something uncharacteristic when the Bears were attempting to trade up three spots to take the Wisconsin native. There was talk that the Kansas City Chiefs, who had a pick at No. 27, had interest.

But there was some confusion.

The Bears indeed agreed to the trade with the Baltimore Ravens but failed to complete the paperwork necessary. But luckily it panned out and Chicago got their man.

It was actually a surprise that Carimi slipped as far as he did, with most expecting him to be taken by the middle of the first round.

“It really honestly doesn’t matter to me,” he said. “The Bears picked me. I converted about 100 Packers fans to Bears fans. I cannot wait to play for (line coach) Mike Tice.”

Carimi will be one of the guys on the line in charge of making sure quarterback Jay Cutler stays upright, after he was sacked a league-high 56 times in 2010.

I like the pick of Carimi. I like it a lot.

I like his confidence. I like his cockiness. I like his skills. I like that he flat-out called himself the best tackle in the draft. That’s the attitude you want a player to have.

I admit that there was a part of me that believed that either Angelo would trade out of the first round, as exhibited in years past, or that he would draft another defensive player when the clear and obvious need of this team is on the offensive line.

But he made the right choice-for once.

I think he deserves one round of applause. Just this one time.

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