- Michael C. Wright, ESPN Staff Writer
- 0 Shares
With the Chicago Bears set to host Webb’s new team, the Minnesota Vikings, on Sunday at Soldier Field, Cutler hopes to see the former Bears offensive tackle put things together physically and mentally so he can experience some longevity over the course of his career.
“I wish him the best of luck,” Cutler said. “He’s got a lot of talent. He’s a good guy, good kid. Hopefully, he can get it figured out and stick around for a while. It would be a waste of his ability if he didn’t.”
The Bears released Webb on Aug. 30, with the Vikings claiming him off waivers to back up starters Matt Kalil and Phil Loadholt. Webb had started in 44 games over three seasons, including 32 in a row, but was often criticized for what was perceived to be a lack of effort, despite his immense physical talent.
Cutler brought some of the criticism of Webb to the forefront last September at Green Bay, when he bumped the offensive tackle in an effort to motivate him during a 23-10 loss to the Packers at Lambeau Field.
A source with knowledge of Webb’s abilities and work ethic called him “an underachiever” who is “not motivated to be great.” The source added that Webb possesses “good ability,” sufficient enough to “be a solid starter in this league,” but the former Bears offensive tackle “lacks passion.”
Bears general manager Phil Emery recently outlined some of the team’s reasoning behind parting ways with Webb.
“Really, for J’Marcus, he had played, I will say that 14 out of the 16 games last year he was sufficient or better. He had a lot of good games in that we grade sufficient, good, very good. Fourteen out of those 16, they were at least at the sufficient level, which you can win with that player and his performance on that particular day. Two of them were below that line. The obvious games were the first Green Bay game and the San Francisco game,” Emery explained. “Coming into this fall, we were very optimistic that he was going to be our starting right tackle and would continue to improve as a player. He never gained the consistency, that sufficient level of consistency that we want out of our players. So at the end, his performance wasn’t to our expectation level that we felt we needed to move forward with it.”