By: Tom Krasniqi
He was the 29th overall pick by the Chicago Bears in the 2011 NFL Draft. Now, Gabe Carimi finds himself in Tampa Bay as he tries to rejuvenate his career. Carimi was traded to the Bucs over the weekend for a 6th round pick in 2014.
Carimi comes to town with some baggage. According to Pro Football Focus, he was the 73rd rated tackle out of 80 qualifying tackles last season. He was 78th in pass protection. During his rookie season, Carimi dislocated his kneecap which required multiple surgeries.
There is one man that believes in Carimi and his name is Bob Bostad, the offensive line coach of the Buccaneers. Bostad was the O-line coach in Wisconsin when Carimi was a rising star—Outland Trophy, All-American and Big Ten Offensive Lineman of the Year. And Bostad believes Carimi still has talent. “He’s a physical, tough, smart football player. Those are great things to build off of”, said Bostad of Carimi.
Bostad wouldn’t elaborate as to why Carimi struggled in Chicago. The right knee injury was a concern and so are his struggles in pass protection. The Bucs view Carimi as competition for Demar Dotson at right tackle. Carimi also started a few games at right guard last season with the Bears.
The Bucs had Carimi rated as a late first round pick on their draft board back in 2011 so they liked him. The team views Carimi as a low-risk, high reward type of acquisition. Bostad says he’s “really excited” to work with Carimi again.