Gabe Carimi wasn't in Chicago when the Bears opened up OTAs on Monday, but the offensive lineman is working out on his own in Arizona. Instead of attending team workouts, Carimi is working out at the O-Line Performance Academy in Arizona with former Pro-Bowl center LeCharles Bentley.
Carimi, a 2011 first-round pick, has been labeled as a bust by some and is reportedly on the roster bubble heading into 2013. While some would say skipping voluntary team workouts isn't the best way to improve your chances to make the team, Bentley said Carimi is taking the situation into his own hands and working to eliminate talk of being a bust.
"Gabe is, I think, exactly where he needs to be in terms of the mental state," Bentley said, via NFL.com. "There are so many different layers to this thing. He is that point, 'I want to fight. I want to play and I want to show people that I can be a first-round talent that I was drafted as. I'm not going to leave my career as a bust.'"
Bentley said by choosing to workout on his own rather than attend team activities, Carimi is actually putting more pressure on himself.
"Now, where it gets a little sketchy, you can't go back and be OK. You can't go back and be good. You've got to go back and be damn good. That's where the pressure falls back onto the player and, to be quite frank, that is where it belongs. Let these guys stand up and man up for themselves. These are their careers. If Gabe Carimi is going to be labeled as a bust, let this man do it on his own terms."
Bentley said Carimi is "light years" ahead of where he was. While that may be true, there is still some question as to whether skipping OTAs is the best idea. Carimi was the only eligible player to not attend voluntary workouts earlier this month. Lester A. Wiltfrong Jr. of Windy City Gridiron examined whether Carimi was making a mistake in skipping OTAs.
The Bears may only keep 2 of the following players on the 53 man roster; Briton, Mills, James Brown, whom ever loses the starting RT battle between Webb or Jonathan Scott, and Carimi. Gabe Carimi will have to find a way to stand out from all those players listed above, and being the only Bear not around Halas Hall isn't the best way to do that.