What Can the Green Bay Packers Expect When Facing Gabe Carimi?

If you think the NFL lockout is morally wrong, think again.

It was a fairly successful draft campaign for the Green Bay Packers this past weekend. General manager Ted Thompson flicked the switch, landed offensive tackle Derek Sherrod, and also found himself with a smiling Randall Cobb -- adding some southern flavor to the Packers receiving game.

But as the first round passed by, one of America's biggest rivalries wrote a new chapter on Thursday night:

Wisconsin's Gabe Carimi is now playing for the Chicago Bears.

There's been few and far travesties in the Packers-Bears rivalry in recent years. Quarterback Jim McMahon was the shining light for Chicago in 1982, before straying to San Diego, and later winding up with rivals Green Bay during the 1995 season.

McMahon's stay in Titletown was rather brief. Although Bears fans will never forget losing their quarterback in such monumental fashion.

However, Carimi's selection this past Thursday night christens him into Chicago folklore from the very beginning. And in reality, it's a thorn in Wisconsin's paw that Packer fans, and Badger fans, won't soon forget.

But perhaps the one positive side of this story is the long history that awaits us. The Bears (as usual) take on the Packers twice this upcoming season, the first game occurring at Soldier Field on September 25, followed by a trip to Lambeau Field on December 25.

So what can Green Bay expect when they face Carimi in 2011?

Well, he is still a rough and unbridled stud, so it's nothing the Super Bowl champions can't handle. Then again, Carimi is favored to start for the Bears early next season, given Chicago's horrendous offensive line problem that saw quarterback Jay Cutler sacked 52 times last season.

That's only the beginning, though.

What Carimi brings to the yard is typical of a 314 pound offensive lineman. The Bears believe he can fit in nicely on the right hand side of the offensive line, a move which is likely to leave Chris Williams empty handed next year.

The Bears will also look to expand Cutler's role immensely in 2011. Last season he spent much of his time within the pocket, displaying that of a young 2009 Aaron Rodgers plagued by a disobedient offensive line. Now, with a trip to the NFC Championship game on his resume, the acquisition of Carimi widens the possibilities for Lovie Smith.

Yet aside from what Carimi can do on the field, his demeanor is something else.

Is he arrogant? Sort of. Is he full of himself? Definitely.

Right now, you'll be hard stretched to find a guy who is a polished verbal assassin like Clay Matthews. Keeping this in mind, though, Carimi is a pain in the neck for any fan who enjoys the luxury of surround sound -- yep, expect to hear his voice a lot in the next ten years.

But back to what Carimi can do on the field.

First of all, every cliche under the sun can be used as an adjective here. He is tough, strong, large and immovable when blocking for a running back in the lanes. Still, all of this only begins to scratch the surface.

The best part of Carimi, and perhaps the scariest, is his multiple uses. He can play on either side of the offensive line on any given Sunday, and if the Bears feel he is underpeforming on the right hand side, don't be surprised to see him shift over toward the left.

Yet that isn't to say he is the next Bob Brown.

Carimi does have issues, don't get me wrong. Scouts say he has footwork problems, and if Lovie Smith is to one day place him on the left hand side of the offensive line, he will need to be monitored closely. Luckily for the Bears, though, Chicago has one of the best offensive line coaches in Mike Tice, while offensive coordinator Mike Martz can also lend a helping hand.

Lastly, Carimi is nowhere near experienced enough to undo the work of Ryan Pickett or Cullen Jenkins on the Packers defense. Given, Jenkins is a few pitches short of a full nine innings, experience wins nine times out of ten.

In the end, perhaps the Chicago has the right to feel upset. Carimi was born in Lake Forest, Illinois afterall. He then proceeded to play for Wisconsin, and now he is back in Chicago.

When Tony Romo returns to Titletown, not much of a fuss is made.

When Brett Favre returns to Lambeau Field, Packer fans misspell his first name.

But when Gabe Carimi returns to Wisconsin, things may get interesting.

 

Follow Ryan Cook and Acme Packing Company on Twitter.

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