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“I just think he’s going to bring toughness to our offensive line,” Smith said.

The Bears felt they had a good handle on Carimi’s confidence because offensive line coach Mike Tice’s son, Nate, plays for Wisconsin.

“I cannot wait to play for Mike Tice,” Carimi said. “I think he’s a great coach and one of the best coaches in the National Football League and I’m just excited to play for him.”

Carimi and the rest of the Wisconsin line paved the way for a rushing attack that came up 4 yards short of producing three 1,000-yard rushers last season. Switching sides, so to speak, and playing for the Packers‘ rival doesn’t bother Carimi, whose family is from Cottage Grove, Wis.

“It’s not enemy lines over here if you look at my house,” Carimi said. “I’d say we converted about 100 Packer fans to Bears fans _ where they should be now.”

The Bears will go into Saturday’s second round still needing help at defensive tackle and possibly offensive guard, as well as wide receiver and cornerback.