- Michael C. Wright, ESPN Staff Writer
- 0 Shares
Former Chicago Bears offensive coordinator Mike Martz believes confidence, or lack thereof, to be the most pressing issue for left tackle J'Marcus Webb to overcome in his quest to become a consistent starter in the NFL.
Working now as an analyst for Fox, Martz -- who worked with Webb over the last two seasons -- was asked Friday to evaluate the third-year left tackle.
"It just remains to be seen," Martz told "The Waddle & Silvy Show" on ESPN 1000. "I think at times, he was outstanding. He's just on that rollercoaster as young players over there can be. As soon as you line up a young tackle over there, they're gonna test him out, and he'll have his successes. Then, he'll have some times where he struggles a little bit."
That certainly seemed to be the case for Webb last season, as he led the NFL with 15 offensive penalties, resulting in eight drives stalling.
The struggles continued into the 2012 preseason opener against the Denver Broncos. After Webb's performance in that outing, new offensive coordinator Mike Tice referred to the tackle as "the other player" and revealed plans to give Chris Williams -- who is also competing for the starting job at left tackle -- more repetitions Saturday against the Washington Redskins.
Tice mentioned that Webb's performance in the exhibition opener wasn't "up to par as far as the standards we're trying to set to protect our quarterbacks."
That is concerning, considering the team's increased focus on protecting Jay Cutler, who has been sacked 75 times over the past two seasons.
"I think confidence at the outside position is paramount to everything," Martz said. "(Webb) certainly has ability. But the confidence is such a big issue. As he gets more confident, he'll get a lot better."