Webb ready to compete for job at left tackle

Bears offensive lineman J'Marcus Webb will be battling with Chris Williams for the starting spot at left tackle throughout this offseason, a challenge for which he says he's ready.

The Chicago Bears' offensive line is in a state of flux, and no position is more uncertain than left tackle, where J'Marcus Webb struggled through 16 starts last season.

Chris Williams took the first snap with the first team at left tackle in Wednesday's OTA practice, but Webb also worked with the ones. Webb said he still considers himself the starter, but he knows he will have to fight for the job.

"Whatever they decide, I'm going to go full on with it," he said. "At the same time, when it's time to kick some ass, I'm going to."


OT J'Marcus Webb
Scott Boehm/Getty

Williams was drafted in the first round (14th overall) in 2008 as the left tackle of the future. But he missed the first half of his rookie season after suffering a back injury early in training camp and played sparingly the second half of the season without making any starts.

He started all 16 games in 2009, 11 at right tackle and five at left tackle. After two starts at left tackle in 2010, he was moved to left guard, where he started 11 games, and where he opened the season last year. After nine starts, he suffered a dislocated left wrist.

Now Williams is back where he began and eventually failed.

The competition between him and Webb may not be decided until late in training camp.

"I feel good about it," said Webb, a seventh-round pick who started 12 games at right tackle in 2010 as a rookie. "I'm working hard on my footwork and my hands (placement), and I definitely feel that a competitive side of it will come in training camp, and I'm happy to be back out here."

Quarterback Jay Cutler has more than a casual interest in what could be just one of multiple position battles, considering the winner will be protecting his blind side.

"Chris is going to be in position to compete," Cutler said. "I think all those guys except for (entrenched center Roberto) Garza has a chance to compete, and at the end of the day we'll see who are the best five we have."


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