Webb gets bulk of reps at left tackle

August, 1, 2012
8/01/12
6:28
PM ET

BOURBONNAIS, Ill. -- The Chicago Bears changed the rotation at the left tackle on Wednesday, giving J’Marcus Webb the majority of the repetitions with the starters, but coach Lovie Smith cautioned against reading too soon into the situation.

[+] EnlargeJ'Marcus Webb
AP Photo/Nam Y. HuhBoth Lovie Smith and J'Marcus Webb seem to agree that the Bears' position battle at left tackle is yet to be decided.

“We are what, six days into camp?” Smith asked. Give us time. "You’re going to see a lot of different combinations at a lot of different positions. This is just one you saw today.”

Throughout training camp, the Bears have utilized a rotation consisting of Webb taking most repetitions with the starters one day and Chris Williams doing the same the next as the two continue to compete for the starting job at left tackle. So after Webb took most of the practice snaps with the starters on Tuesday, it was expected that on Wednesday, Williams would assume his typical role in the rotation.

Instead, the Bears informed Williams just before practice he would work at right tackle, which is normally manned by second-year pro Gabe Carimi, instead of on the left side. So Webb took most of his repetitions with the starters for the second consecutive day. Carimi, meanwhile, took a few snaps with the starters at right tackle, but most of those repetitions went to Williams.

“We have a system and a rotation that we are looking at,” Smith said. “We want to get a good look at everyone, and that’s what we’re doing right now. Guys, six practices in, don’t look into too much right now, (but I) expect it’s safe to say Jay (Cutler) is going to start at quarterback.”

Carimi, who is coming off a knee surgery, said the club wanted to spell him. Undrafted rookie James Brown worked for the second straight day with the second-team offense at left tackle.

Webb insists the competition at left tackle hasn’t yet been decided.

“It’s definitely not over. It’s Day 4 in pads, and it’s definitely not over,” Webb said. “Coach (Mike) Tice just wants to see improvement every single day. I’m not sure (whether Williams will work with the starters again at left tackle). That’s up to Tice and how he feels about it. I’ve just got to take it for what it is and keep grinding.”

Williams said the club didn’t give an explanation for the change, and he’s not reading too much into the situation because it’s still early in training camp, and neither he or Webb have competed in any preseason games.

“My hope as a player is just to get a fair shot at starting; don’t care where, never have cared where,” Williams said. “What they do personnel wise is out of my control. The only thing I can control is how I play. I can’t really worry about much else. That stuff is out of my control. I just do what I’m told.”

Michael C. Wright

ESPN Chicago Bears reporter

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