Of the 23 sacks Cutler suffered in 10 outings, 18 of them occurred in the first five games. What happened after game 5? The Bears reigned in Martz and changed the blocking protection. Yet Bears fans continue to rail on Webb and down play how hard it is for tackle to block in a Martz scheme. I'm very bothered how hard fans are on Webb given the environment he was playing in last season. So much went wrong but Webb is a good young player. If he wasn't he wouldn't even have made it this far.
People make it sound like the Bears can grab any Tom, Dick or Harry off the street and have him play better than Webb. If that was the case it would have happened already. Webb is a project player much like James "Big cat" Williams was. I just think a lot of fans are holding Webb to different standards than other young players on the roster. And I don't think that's fair at all. Besides, we have a new offensive scheme in place this year and people should just reserve judgement on the guy until this season is over. I don't know I just see our young players differently than most. Some times the Bears fans I hear on these boards sound just like the ignorant Giants/Jets fans I hear on the radio here slamming every player that doesn't develop rapidly. I remember the way things used to be in CHI. They neglected that line for years and rarely developed players in house. Everyone was pretty much brought in through Free Agency. Well now we actually have a coach that knows how to develop young players ont he roster and I just wished people would back off of Webb a little.
Chris Williams is not a guy that's inspired much confidence at all. And its not surprising the way his career has gone. But now everyone wants to ride his nutz because he's being moved back to T. Williams was so uninspiring as a lineman in general that they moved him to Guard just hoping to salvage something from him. That's not very impressive in my book and how many years has he been in CHI with everyone coming up with every excuse for his sorry ass?
Note that I was am more concerned with Webb's mental mistakes like penalties and such than I am his lack of technique. I will admit that I don't know for sure whether he will ever develop as a solid OT or not, but he reminds me a lot of Flozell Adams in how he commits stupid penalties. That can't happen and him be the complete package at any position on the offensive line.
Now, admittedly, I thought the offensive line did remarkably well in the first 10 games of the regular season last year before Mike Martz fucked around and decided to go crazy with the seven step drops again with quarterbacks who weren't mobile like Cutler nor were anywhere near as talented. I agree with you and others that Tice's schemes will help out tremendously with the offensive line's pass protection, but that still doesn't totally fix the problem. Rather, it puts a bandage on it. The offensive line needs more consistency at LT, and I just don't know whether Webb is the guy to give us that consistency.
One last thing: where in the blue hell did you come up with the notion that Chris Williams didn't inspire much confidence in his abilities to play LT? In eight games at the position, he gave up a grand total of three sacks. Since then, he's honed his craft at left guard and has learned to run block. Combine that along with his abilities as a solid pass protector, and you have the potential of having one very good left tackle. The biggest mistake Tice has made thus far in his tenure with the Bears was moving Chris Williams away from LT. Williams has only had the opportunity to learn the LG position and not hone his skills at the position for which he was drafted to play! He is a more talented lineman than Webb ever dreamt of being simply because he is a far more intelligent player and probably just as good of an athlete.