Bears shift Williams back to left tackle
By Brad Biggs, Tribune reporter2:13 p.m. CDT, August 11, 2012
BOURBONNAIS -- The Chicago Bears put all the pressure they could on J’Marcus Webb when he played nearly the entire game at left tackle in Thursday's preseason opener against Denver. Now, they are turning the heat up on himback at training camp.
After not playing at left tackle for two weeks, former first-round draft pick Chris Williams was back at the positionduring Saturday’s practice at Olivet Nazarene, signaling Webb could be in jeopardy of losing the job.
This was the first practice Williams has spent at left tackle in 14 days after he was switched to right tackle to take reps from Gabe Carimi so last year’s first-round pick could rest his sore knee. The move ostensibly put an end to the competition for the left tackle position as Williams was given only two days in full pads to show what he could do with the team alternating practice days.
Now, 29 days from the start of the regular season Sept. 9 against the Indianapolis Colts, it appears to be back on.
Coach Lovie Smith said the Bears were just working combinations on the line but when Williams went two weeks without practice at left tackle, he wasn’t exactly being allowed to compete for the position. Offensive coordinator Mike Tice said earlier this week that Webb had not taken the job and run with it, meaning practice had not been what he was seeking from the third-year starter. So, Webb was on the field for 41 of the 49 offensive snaps in the 31-3 loss to the Broncos.
Now, Webb will have to fight off a challenge from Williams, who got considerable playing time at right tackle against the Broncos and looked good. Webb was called for a false start and was responsible for one sack.
“I did OK,” Williams said Saturday morning before practice. “There is stuff to work on. It was the first preseason game and it was good to get out there. It was fun. After getting hurt last year and going on I.R., it was just fun to get back on the field at Soldier Field and play in front of the fans.”
Williams, who last started a regular-season game at left tackle in Week 2 of the 2010 season, said he didn’t realize how much he missed playing when recovering from wrist surgery until he got back into game action, even if it was a preseason game.
“It’s tough,” he said. “They shut you down on I.R. and you get to OTA’s and minicamp, all of that stuff is whatever. When you get back in front of the fans, it’s on. Now, I am just working.”
And Williams is working back at left tackle meaning the Bears still are not convinced of their combination on the offensive line.
Check back after practice for a complete update.
Didn't see the game, but did Webb really do that bad of an job? Thought that Webb actually won the battle at LT "unoffical" but I guess I was wrong.
What do you guys think? Is it better to have CWill on LT, or have him as swing tackle and take reps from Carimi and hope that Webb will improve?