Is Bad Coaching To Blame For The Bears' Offensive Line Struggles?

LAKE FOREST, IL - APRIL 26: Defensive tackle J'Marcus Webb of the Chicago Bears speaks to media during the 2010 Brian Piccolo Award ceremony at Halas Hall on April 26, 2011 in Lake Forest, Illinois. Players participated in the ceremony one day after a federal judge temporarily lifted the 45-day lockout, the NFL has already asked for a stay on the judges order. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)


Following Saturday's game against the Giants, head coach Lovie Smith had this to say when he was asked about the offensive line and J'Marcus Webb in particular:

"Sometimes I wonder if you're watching any other part of the game except for J'Marcus. He's got a lot of fans, but it's more than just him out there. I think overall the line did a decent job pass protecting."

It's been somewhat of a witch-hunt when it's come to J'Marcus Webb and his team mate Chris Williams has been getting his fair share of criticism too. If it's true and Webb really is no good, why is he constantly on the field, and why do the coaches seem to always be telling us how talented he is? Read on to find out.

According to Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times, Webb's performance against New York might have been enough to see him secure the starting job at the left tackle position. Webb said:

"I got a good nap in, and I'm feeling pretty good now,'' Webb said. "I have to look at the film, and in addition to the chicken, the shrimp and the pasta [I ate], it really made it a good night. Man, that pasta was ... nah, I'm kidding. I would like some resolution, but you know, that's not up to me. I feel like I keep working hard and playing the way I'm playing, and everything will work out on its own.''

Again, we have some jovial remarks that people seem to begrudge him, based on the fact he's not playing well enough to have a sense of humour, apparently.

I'd like to know where all this hate for J'Marcus Webb came from? Who started it? Is it just universally accepted that he sucks as an offensive lineman? And I am sure many of the people criticising him are just jumping on the bandwagon of hate because it seems to be the fashionable thing to do.

If Webb is really that bad, and I am not convinced he is, then everyone one who holds this belief must think the Chicago Bears coaching staff are either crazy, misguided or have no idea when it comes to coaching. They keep putting him out there, showing faith in him and singing his praises. Why? If Webb does not belong, why don't they just drop him or confirm that the job belongs to someone else?

I just went back an watched nearly every play of the Bears game against the Giant, focusing purely on J'Marcus Webb and Chris Williams at the left tackle position. What I do notice is that Webb might not be the most nimble of offensive linemen. He doesn't have quick feet, and perhaps his worst trait is that he seems scared stiff of speed rushers. Mush the same could be said for Williams. For me, they are almost carbon copies of each other. Does this make them awful football players?

I think it boils down to this: Throughout his time at Chicago, Webb has had a couple of bad moments, where he has been well and truly beaten and this has led to a sack that led to a huge 3rd and 55, and a few people began to think he was the devil and then everyone followed suit. I surely don't have to point out that every NFL player turns in some bad performances.

Look at the running performance against New York this past Friday. The entire offensive line got no penetration, and Forte showed us exactly why he deserved so much money. Oh wait, no he didn't. You see, football is a team game. No one player should ever be singled out as being more responsible than another.

But if blame must be dished out here, who really is at fault? Is Webb just a bad football player that has not managed to learn the position and really shouldn't be playing for Chicago? If he is, then why don't the coaches see it? Or why haven't they been able to take his potential and make him into a competent player? Why would they continue to let a sub-par football player take to the field and protect the franchise quarterback?

Someone is wrong. And I'd like to think it's probably not the coaches who, with their years of experience, almost definitely understand things a little bit better than those who think Webb should be cut.

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