Second year offensive tackle Gabe Carimi was benched a little over a quarter of the way through the season, in favor of free agent pickup Jonathan Scott. Scott was cut after a few years unsuccessful years with the Pittsburgh Steelers and then signed by the Bears when it became apparent that Chris Williams was going to be cut.
Scott came in and was the starter for the final five games of the season at the right tackle spot and now heads to free agency. The question with Scott now becomes, is he worth retaining or should the Bears do something to upgrade the position?
According to ProFootballFocus in 175 pass block snaps, Scott allowed one sack five hits and 14 QB pressures on the season. The 175 pass snaps equate to around 31-percent of the total pass snaps the Bears had on the season. If you were to project that total over the course of the season, Scott would have allowed three sacks, 15 hits and 42 QB pressures on the season. That estimated total is two sacks less than J'Marcus Webb allowed; but it is also 10 more QB hits and 13 more pressures than Webb allowed on the season. These season total estimates show even worse protection from Scott than he had with Pittsburgh.
Now digging into the film we find out just how bad Scott was in protection. At no point during the season did Scott's play provide more confidence than any of the other right tackles the Bears have had over the last three seasons. Scott gets beaten inside, outside or by the bull rush. He doesn't have good feet to deal with speed rushers, and doesn't really anchor well at the point of attack.
In the week 12 game against the Minnesota Vikings Scott allowed three hurries and one hit to Jay Cutler. On this play the rest of the Bears' pass protection holds up but Scott gives up a key pressure to the outside. He's on an island and is simply beaten cleanly to the outside, a simple sign of how bad Scott was this season.
In the Week 14 critical match up with the Vikings, the most important game of the season Scott was at his absolute worst. He allowed one sack two hits and six hurries in the game in Minnesota.
In these next two images you can see just how bad Scott was. On this critical third and 13, he even gets help from Kellen Davis on a chip block but promptly gets beat and gives up a QB hit on Cutler. This proves how bad in his outside pass blocking set Scott was as a player.
Next image the hit on Cutler after getting the chip from Davis. Scott is beaten so bad he's on the ground.
You can simply see just how bad Scott was, especially with dealing with speed rushers to the outside. He has now feet or athleticism to the outside. He's easily beaten around the corner by the most average of defensive ends.
Now with this knowledge in hand at just how bad Scott was on the season, you have to honestly question why Phil Emery is planning to bring him back next season. Why precisely does Emery want to re-sign such a bad player, a player who projected so poorly over the long haul. The only thing Scott did well was only allow one sack on the season, but that is negated by how much pressure he allowed otherwise.
The Bears somehow have to find a way to upgrade the right tackle spot by asking themselves a few questions. Have they given up on Gabe Carimi as an option at RT after his first full season as a starter? Do they risk drafting a player who is questionable in pass protection like DJ Fluker seems to be as a pure RT in the NFL draft?
The only sure thing, RT is just as much of a weakness at the LG spot and the Bears must find someway to stabilize it.