LINK to the article Early signs point to Webb for left tackle job
By Brad Biggs, Tribune reporter 5:57 p.m. CDT, August 1, 2012
BOURBONNAIS -- If the Chicago Bears are ready to call an end to the competition for the starting left tackle job, they’re not yet ready to announce it.
Chris Williams was scheduled to practice with the starters at left tackle Wednesday but he was shifted to right tackle, where he split reps with Gabe Carimi. That left last year’s starting left tackle J’Marcus Webb to work exclusively on that side with the first unit for the second consecutive day.
Coach Lovie Smith cautioned not to read too much into it, and it was just the fourth practice in full pads during training camp at Olivet Nazarene University. If a decision has been made, the players are yet to learn of it.
Williams, the club’s first-round pick in 2008, was asked if he is concerned about whether the battle for the starting job is over.
“No,” he said. “I don’t know what is going. I just do what they tell me to do.
“I just came out and (offensive coordinator Mike Tice) said he wanted to work me on the right so I worked some on the right.”
It could be the Bears wanted to give Carimi a bit of a break. Last year’s first-round pick was not cleared to return from his right knee surgery until late May. He’s been working with the first team throughout nearly all of camp and is not believed to be in danger of losing his spot.
Tice said Tuesday that Williams would work at left tackle Wednesday, but apparently there was a change of plan. Williams reported to camp in fine shape but there are signs that the job will belong to Webb. First, Williams was the starting left tackle for Tice’s first two games as offensive line coach in 2010 before suffering a hamstring injury. He never returned to the position after getting healthy until this offseason. Second, Tice and Smith have both professed faith in Webb during the offseason. Williams is entering the final year of his contract and Webb is more of a prototypical left tackle but he was way too inconsistent in 2011 to enter camp as the unquestioned starter.
The Bears have maintained the competition is on the up and up and that is the way Williams is operating.
“I feel I have been practicing pretty good,” he said. “Just out here working, working on stuff every day. Every day is an adventure. Got something else to work on, so that is football.
“I come out to compete. I came to win the job. Whatever they decide to do is on them. No point in being pissed off about things you can’t control.”