I agree and my issue with him is his attitude as well. The potential is there but we get frustrated with that attitude because we want improvement and don't want our QB to be running for his life all the time.
Originally Posted by Chi66
I have been extremely critical of our o-line, not just Webb, but I can honestly say, as I have before, average would be enough right now. Things look frickin rosy/peachy/keen at 4-1. Some of that has been inferior opponents too- we will know better at the end of the year. If he continues and develops into a solid player, GREAT!! That is good for everyone. I would like that for all Bears players, at least average, some great.
I continue to worry, however, that after the season, especially if it ends somewhere in the playoffs, that management will say the line is "good enough" and not feel the urgency to address it. Chipping and scheming will get you by, but to paraphrase the president "it's not optimal." If the season ends with a SB ring, then who the hell cares, then it is actually "good enough" lol. I don't think anyone will be complaining too much if that is the end result, because in the end, that is what we are all after.
In Webb's defense it is fair to acknowledge that he's only in his 3rd year (2nd at LT full time) and he did come from a minor college program where the competition he faced was far, far from NFL quality. He undoubtedly would have been drafted much higher than the 7th round if he had been at a major collegiate program with the academic abilities to match. The knock on Webb, a legitimate one, has always been far more about his (lack of) focus, coachability, and determination rather than a deficit in physical or athletic ability. Maybe, just maybe, he is finally "growing up" a bit mentally/emotionally and elevating that part of his game to match his raw physical talent. A few good games in a row is an encouraging start but we won't really know the answer to that until the regular season is ending. This offseason a decision one way or the other about Webb will have to be made by the FO.
Originally Posted by JustAnotherBearsFan99
It would be nice (and a total steal) if Webb became an elite, rock solid LT. I don't think any of us realistically expect that or that he has a ceiling that high. There is really only a handful of truly elite LTs in the NFL--players who can consistently win one-on-one even against the best passrushers--and they are almost always very high (top 5 or at least top 10) picks. Most LTs in the league require and receive "help" of some sort frequently when facing elite competition like Ware, Allen, Peppers, Matthews, etc. There's no shame in that and hopefully Tice has finally got that through his own thick head with his Webb-blinders now off as to what he can and cannot do flying solo. All I'm looking for is for Webb to:
Consistently win one-on-one vs. average to mediocre passrushers
Hold his own (with "help" provided) vs. elite ones
Be a decent run blocker and
Keep foolish penalties and mental mistakes (forgetting the snap count) to a minimum
I'm encouraged by what I have seen lately, both in terms of his actual performance and by what seems to be a new, invigorated attitude toward improving his craft. Here's hoping it continues to move in that positive direction. Because, if Webb can become just a solid, reliable, mid-quality starting LT for us going forward then that's a helluva find for a 7th round draft pick, especially one like him who's still very young and durable and could be expected to start for years to come.
It also removes a huge anchor from around Emery's neck when it comes to personnel moves next offseason. We have our own player extensions to come up with, we aren't carrying big "extra cap space" going forward like last year, and we are missing our 3rd and 7th round picks (for trade-up possibilities) already. Signing a FA LT like Long, Bushrod, Clady, etc. would be very pricey (esp. Long) and there's no guarantee any of them will even make the open market. We aren't (I sure hope not!) going to have a high enough pick to draft a Webb-replacement. And boy I'd sure like to use the picks we do have elsewhere.
Like finding a LB for the future
Like finding a C for the future
Like finding a speedster smallish receiver (not counting on Knox coming back)
Like even finding a promising young CB who might take over for Peanut in several years
Originally Posted by omc1969
LOL, funny how things like that have a way or reminding guys that they could be next.
I hold no grudges against him. If he does his job consistently I'm a happy camper. If he ever turns out to be elite I'll take him to Taco Bell myself.
That's the same boat I'm in. My criticism of him has been harsh for quite awhile (not on this board obviously since I rarely post here). But nothing would make me happier than to see him turn into a solid and consistent NFL starting quality left tackle. I would gladly eat a shit ton of crow on that one if he pulls that off. Nothing would make me happier.
Originally Posted by ZifanQ
There goes my idea of Webb being a NT.
Originally Posted by soulman
He is better now than he was last year or in the peckers game, but he still stinks. Until he becomes a solid lineman, my opinion stands. If he does become solid, I would not take him to Taco Hell, but I might buy his stupid-ass T-Shirt.
You know, that's the thing that irritates me most. He's not good, he's getting our QB roughed up, and he's joking around and doing his Webb Nation thing. Put the work in on being a lineman. When you get good THEN do your stupid T-shirt stuff.
Originally Posted by short faced bear
I heard they were thinking about it when he was a rookie but for some reason it seems he was taking the term "eat running backs for lunch" too literally and another rookie lost and arm and part of his leg. :liplick:
I tend to be of the mind that Webb will not be a proven commodity until we see how he does against the two best pass rushers in the NFC, namely Jared Allen and Clay Matthews. Well, we've seen him up against one of those pass rushers (Matthews), and he didn't fare too well against him. He's done fine in every other game this season, giving just one sack in the other four games outside the Packers game. I don't think he will ever be a good pass rush blocker without a lot of help. I think the fact that his intelligence seems to be somewhat lacking tells a lot about him. He's more concerned about promoting his fetish for Taco Bell and producing t-shirts for Webb Nation than he is about becoming a consistently serviceable LT.
I still believe that the Bears need to go after either Jake Long, Ryan Clady, or Jermon Bushrod. Of these players, I think that Clady and Bushrod will be more likely to be doable for us than will be Long because Clady and Bushrod won't likely cost us as much as Long will. Then again, with how aggressive Emery is at obtaining solid talent, I wouldn't put it past him to go for the home run. Webb would make an ideal swing tackle, so there would still be use for him. The thing about Webb is this: he is coming up on the last year of his contract next season. Do we really want to have to fork out several million dollars to retain him when we aren't certain he's going to be a consistently high level of play coming out of him? It's something to think about.
Webb may end up being a bust. I preface this post with that.
Originally Posted by Shark86x
When we signed Webb, he was emotionally an immature kid. Not even college level emotionally (that's why he couldn't handle being a student at Texas). He was extremely immature. Consequently he was totally unprepared for stepping into the limelight as a starting NFL offensive lineman. Worse, he was quickly the starting LT charged with protecting the Chicago Bears first decent QB in over a quarter-century.
It was a situation infinitely beyond what he could handle at that point - as a player or as a person, emotionally. He looked like a big goofy idiot. And as we've seen with Cutler, the fans want to crucify any player who doesn't "look good" all the time. Heaven help you if your body language isn't politically correct or if you say or do dumb things.....(Cutler is the poster boy for this).
Tice saw something in this raw, goofy kid. Tice knows offensive linemen have to be some of the most intelligent players on your team, so he must have believed there was no lack of intelligence in Webb. Just a lack of maturity. That can be fixed.
Another thing to consider. Just because Webb struggled, doesn't automatically equate to a lack of effort. Fans want to get down on players for not playing well. But that doesn't always mean they haven't given 100% effort. Sometimes their 100% effort simply isn't good enough. I know that is a difficult concept for many fans to understand. But players don't purposely want to go out and suck in front of hundreds of thousands of fans watching on TV or at the stadium. Think about that. Don't you think these guys have feelings too? They want to be great at what they do. The problem is that often players can't be great.
Fans are fickle. Many (especially the clueless ones) can only see players as great or as bums. It's all a "black and white world" and no shades of gray. But the NFL isn't like that. Players' are at an infinite array in the talent spectrum. We don't know yet where Webb falls in that spectrum. But he may not be either a bum or a star. Just a guy who can help us win this year. Maybe even for many years to come.
I keep coming back to the simple fact that Mike Tice sees something in this player that is so good, he stuck his neck out to play him, and stand by him for these last two years - and at LT, which to me sounds like madness. Except for the fact Tice is not a crazy person. So, something good is there to coach up in this kid. Something worth pushing all your poker chips into the pot. We'll see if he goes bust, or wins with a good player here.
I think intelligent fans go beyond the emotional quick judgement, and see more deeply into the complexity of this NFL game. As Mike Ditka says "It ain't tiddly winks" :smile: