Rookie J'Marcus Webb had his first professional start at right tackle in week five. Not bad for a kid that was taken in the 7th round out of little Division II West Texas A&M and was considered by some to be a long shot to make the roster. He started his college career at Texas in 2006 and saw action in 12 games as a true freshman. Think about that for a second. Many o-linemen get the red-shirt treatment as freshmen, especially at a big time program like Texas. The 18 year old body just isn't ready for that kind of punishment in the trenches, but Texas thought enough of his skills that they wanted him available every game.
He had some academic issues at Texas that led him to Navarro Junior College in 2007, then he spent his junior and senior year at West Texas A&M playing left tackle. The 6'8" 335 pound prospect was an all American in High School and again in Junior College. Ans as a Senior he was selected 3rd team Little All American (Division II, III & NAIA).
When watching the game, I thought he did an OK job. But I wanted to delve deeper and see how he did, so I went back to the tape. Gotta love that DVR. Now only if I had a hook up to get my hands on some NFL coaches film... Dane, Kev, Adam???
Last December after former #1 draft pick Chris Williams finally made his debut as a left tackle, I looked at his game (link will pop) and graded him out. I used a basic grading system that I used when I played and it's one I ask my kids to use now that I coach. If you do your job you get a plus, if you don't you get a minus. It's simple but it's effective. I have no idea his exact job on each play, but I used my best guess based on my years playing, coaching, and watching football.
My initial thought on his play was confirmed, he had an OK game. His effort was mostly there, but on occasion he looked confused. His pass blocking could use some work, specifically, he lunges too much and he forgets to move his feet. But, he's a rookie right tackle. He didn't give up any sacks, and he should improve under Mike Tice. I graded him on 57 total plays (my cable was acting up so I may have missed a few plays) and he ended up a +40. Oddly enough when I graded Williams last season he also had 57 snaps, he was a +46.
Webb had no mauling blocks, but his athleticism showed on a few plays. On the 2nd play from scrimmage, Webb pulled to the right and kicked out defensive back Jordan Pugh. He wasn't able to sustain the block on the quicker Pugh, but he did his job and Matt Forte was able to bounce it out for a 14 yard gain.
On a 2nd and 1 from the Carolina 1, Webb allowed DT Nick Hayden to penetrate and make the tackle. Hayden just got lower and drove Webb back. He has to do a better job in that situation. As does the entire Bears goal line offense.
I gave him a minus on his last 3 plays of the game. Maybe he was a little winded or maybe since the game was decided he was going through the motions. The last play he tried to execute a backside cut block and to put it in coach speak, it was a piss poor effort. He had some plays where his youthfulness was evident, and some other plays where you can see his promise shining through. Not a bad start, but there is plenty of room for improvement.