Game 2 could be telling for Williams, Webb
August, 18, 2012
AP Photo/Nam Y. HuhMike Tice seemed to put J'Marcus Webb on notice after his performance wasn't "up to par" in the preseason opener against Denver.CHICAGO -- Chicago Bears offensive tackle Chris Williams understands the precarious position he might be in, regardless of his first-round pedigree.
That’s why he can’t go into Saturday’s matchup against the Washington Redskins with the mentality that it’s just another preseason game.
“I’m not in that position,” Williams said. “Preseason is like a regular game for me. You go out there, you play hard, and you try and win a starting job.”
A candidate competing with third-year veteran J’Marcus Webb for the starting job at left tackle, Williams produced a solid performance in the club’s preseason-opening loss last week to the Denver Broncos, which earned him more repetitions from the coaching staff as it intensifies the evaluation process to nail down the starters as soon as possible.
Webb emerged early as the favorite to win the starting job, and still might be in that position. But Williams knows how he stacks up against Redskins pass rushers such as Brian Orakpo (9 sacks in 2011) and Ryan Kerrigan (7 ½ sacks in 2011) could change the completion of the left-tackle competition.
AP Photo/Nam Y. HuhChris Williams doesn't care where he start on the offensive line, he just wants to start.
After all, neither Webb nor Williams is excelling at camp.
Webb is coming off a performance last week that wasn’t “up to par as far as the standards we’re trying to set to protect our quarterbacks,” according to offensive coordinator Mike Tice, who also singled out Williams for having a “solid” outing.
“Not many of us performed the way we needed to last week,” Bears coach Lovie Smith said. “I assume we’re all going to do a good job this week, left tackle included.”
Williams isn’t reading too much into the team’s decision to give him more repetitions in recent days or the fact Tice wants to see him working against Washington’s starters. Williams just wants a legitimate opportunity to win a starting job, regardless of where.
Webb could make that tougher for him, because he’s come on in recent practices, according to Tice.
“I don’t know if I would (classify) it as a second chance, but it’s a chance for me to go out and win a starting job, which I’ve been trying to do all along,” Williams said. “We’ve all got something to prove. I want to prove I can go out and block anyone, and block people consistently. There’s nothing extra there for me. I’ve been trying all camp to win a starting job. So I’m not going to do anything different.”
There’s a good chance the top performer at left tackle against the Redskins eventually wins the starting job, with the club looking to name its starting five up front as soon as possible so the offensive line can develop cohesion going into the regular season. Typically the third preseason game for teams is somewhat of a dress rehearsal for the regular season, with most teams sitting out starters during the final exhibition matchup.
So if either player is to make a move toward separating themselves as the clear cut starter, preseason Game No. 2 is the time to do it.
Here’s a look at a few matchups to watch Saturday when the Bears host the Redskins at Soldier Field:
Bradley Leeb/US PresswireMatt Forte will make his preseason debut on Saturday against the Redskins.