Most of us watched the preseason game and if not then you have surely read up on the game throughout today from this blog and the articles featured in this morning's den. Last night's game was not good, at all. Very little was done well last night. Of course there were some highlights and bright spots but a lot of it was bad. The Bears were outscored 24-0 through three quarters. But the thing that stuck out to most people was J'Marcus Webb's performance at left tackle. It's been the position that the Bears have had bad play at for a while now and fans were hoping to see improvement but there was none last night and I am beginning to wonder if there ever will be.
Well, as far as the competition for the LT position goes, it ended a lot quicker than many expected with Webb quickly snatching up all the first team reps about a week into camp. As fans we thought "all right, the line can start gelling, everything can start getting settled, perhaps Webb can start improving." But it's been anything but.
From the tweets and stories, it sounds more like Chris Williams lost not only because he isn't even as good as Webb, but also he was needed to help spell Gabe Carimi as he returns from his knee injury.
So Webb it is. And then last night happened.
To say he was horrible is being somewhat generous. He had penalties, he got pushed around, he got blown by, overall just bad.
Now, I have a lot of thoughts about last night's game but I won't get into all of them, but I will say 1) it's one preseason game so we shouldn't jump any huge conclusions yet. I think criticism of Tice's playcalling is a little premature. However, his handling of J'Marcus Webb is something I want to focus on.
Tice seems to be nearly at the end of his rope with Webb. Tice has called out Webb so many times publicly in the media. He's continually called on him to "mature" "show he wants to be here" and used words like "tougher," etc.
This speaks volumes to me about the psyche of Webb. At this point, Webb has been a starting left tackle for a full season and has ben contributing since he was a rookie. Why does Tice still need to motivate him?
He shouldn't have to! He is a grown man and a full-time football player. We hear about guys having chips on their shoulder for where they were drafted and being hungry and blah blah blah. Why doesn't Webb have any of that?
I'm not saying he has to, but what does Tice have to do to get this guy to play? Tice shouldn't even have to get him to play, he should want to play.
Webb has been criticized for a lot of things; his "Nation" on Twitter, his attempts to be voted to the Pro Bowl, etc. He does seem to be more interested in selling Webb Nation tee shirts than perfecting his craft. Jay Cutler, during an off-season radio interview suggested that perhaps his teammate should get off Twitter.
Seriously, just look at his Twitter page. Most responses to fans, a lot about his t-shirts and a lot about his birthday.
Anyway, last night Tice kept Webb in the game well into the fourth quarter. I mean, could he make it more obvious than that? Webb should be embarrassed his coach would do that to him. Staying out there with undrafted guys who have no chance of making the team? That would motivate a lot of us to prove ourselves. But will it for Webb?
I hope it does, but if the past is any indication it won't. I fear we are in for another long season of watching Webb protect Cutler's blindside. Tice doesn't have many other options and there aren't many better options any where else either.
I hope Webb proves us all wrong, but I don't think he will. I don't think he can. He's bad and it's going to come back and hit the Bears at some point this season. The Bears can't go very far in the playoffs with their current OL that's for sure.