Last year the Chicago Bears tackle tandem of J'Marcus Webb and Gabe Carimi made my list at #2. This year I'm sticking with just the projected starting left tackle for my list in Webb. That's not to say I don't think Carimi needs to come through, it's just that I feel he'll be OK on the right side. He'll be a definite upgrade over the Bears RTs from last year, and that's a good start, as long as he can stay healthy.
But with J'Marcus, he needs to elevate his play, and there will be no excuses for the leader of JWebb Nation. He has a full off season to get ready for the left side, and he's entering his 3rd year as a professional. It's put up or shut up time for Webb.
Another reason why Webb isn't as high on the list as last year, is a guy I'm listing even higher. I won't ruin the suspense, but there's a certain offensive coordinator that isn't returning, and with him a lot of the 7 step drops are gone as well. Better play calling, and an understanding of what the tackles can and can't do should lead to a decrease in sacks. That's the theory anyway...
I've gone on record as saying I believe Webb can be a good left tackle, and I still feel that way. I like the fact that he has some competition for the starting spot in Chris Williams. Former first rounder Williams has been splitting reps with Webb in the OTAs and the mini camps, and competition usually brings out the best in athletes.
I expect Webb to win the starting job, with Williams relegated to the swing tackle role. In my opinion Webb is a more physical run blocker, and their pass blocking is a push. Both have shown flashes of competence at the position, and both have looked absolutely lost. They each need to clean up some sloppy technique, but I think Webb has the higher ceiling. It should be a fun battle to watch in camp.
The List so far;
The 10 Most Important Bears for 2012 - #10 Shea McClellin
The 10 Most Important Bears for 2012 - #9 Stephen Paea
The 10 Most Important Bears for 2012 - #8 Matt Forte
The 10 Most Important Bears for 2012 - #7 Chris Conte
The 10 Most Important Bears for 2012 - #6 Julius Peppers