NFL

Dolphins sign former Bears OL Lance Louis

3/28/13 in NFL   |   IvanRogers   |   1352 respect

The Chicago Bears have been rolling out contracts for their own free agents over the past few days but they lost one of their interior offensive linesmen on Wednesday after Lance Louis signed with the Miami Dolphins.
 
Selected in the seventh round of the 2009 NFL draft by the Chicago Bears, Lance Louis came out to be one of the better selections near the end of former Chicago Bears general manager Jerry Angelo’s tenure. Developed under former Chicago Bears offensive line coach/ coordinator Mike Tice, Lance Louis became a regular starter over the past two seasons.
 
Lance Louis started 11 games for the Chicago Bears last season before he went down with a torn ACL in Week 12 against the Minnesota Vikings. The 27-year-old Lance Louis is still rehabbing from the season ending knee injury. However, Lance Louis indicated the rehabilitation process is progressing well and he hoped to be ready by training camp.
 
"Last time I went to the doctor, he told me I was ahead of schedule," said Lance Louis. "I definitely want to be there for training camp and competing with those guys."
 
Although the Chicago Bears have multiple options at the guard, they could still address the position through next month’s draft.
 
Chicago Bears general manager Phil Emery said last week that 2011 first round draft pick Gabe Carimi will not only compete at tackle but also guard, after he started three games at the position late in last season. However, Gabe Carimi’s size could be an issue during the process. Meanwhile, offensive linesmen Edwin Williams and James Brown who started the season’s final three games at left guard, are also being considered as options at the interior line.
 
Lance Louis started 29 of 41 games for the Chicago Bears over the past four seasons.
 
The 6-foot-3, 320-pound Lance Louis visited the Miami Dolphins two weeks ago looking for a “fresh start”, and believed that the team was on its way to improving after four straight losing seasons.
 
"It's a nice city, and a great team on the rise,” said Lance Louis. “"I went up there and met with those guys, and they really wanted me, and I clicked with the coaches.”
 
“I feel like Miami is going to be one of the teams to be reckoned with this year."
 
The former San Diego State standout Lance Louis joins the Miami Dolphins offensive line that has both returning starting guards from 2012, Richie Incognito and John Jerry. However, Lance Louis could replace John Jerry as the Miami Dolphins have considered moving the two-year starting right guard John Jerry over to right tackle. In turn they’ve contemplated over moving Jonathan Martin to left tackle as a replacement for Jake Long, who left for the St. Louis Rams this offseason. So far, Miami Dolphins coach Joe Philbin has given no clear indication to the teams’ approach regarding John Jerry’s future on the offensive line.
 
The Miami Dolphins also re-signed offensive tackle Nate Garner last week, and he’s reportedly in the mix to start at right guard or right tackle. Nate Garner started at right tackle the final games of the 2012 season and he’s previously started as an interior guard for Miami in the 2009 season.
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