Webb, Williams await word on LT battle

August, 25, 2012
8/25/12
12:03
AM ET

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Chris Williams figured he’d won the derby for the starting position at left tackle, while J’Marcus Webb cracked jokes about his lunch seemingly to ward off anxiety building in the wait for the Chicago Bears coaching staff to make a final decision.

[+] EnlargeChicago Bears offensive line
Joe Camporeale/US PresswireThe Bears have yet to make a decision on who will protect Jay Cutler's blind side.

Both said it’s time for resolution in the aftermath of the team’s
20-17 win Friday over the New York Giants, but an official decision isn't likely to come until after the club finishes the preseason Aug.30 at Cleveland.

“Man, that pasta… nah, I’m kidding,” Webb said, laughing. “I would like some resolution, but that’s not up to me. I feel like (if) I just keep working hard and playing the way I’m playing and everything will work out on its own.”

The coaching staff continues to wait for Webb or Williams to make a significant jump in the competition for the starting left-tackle position. The problem, is while both have shown flashes, neither has separated themselves far enough to make a decision easy for the coaching staff.

“Protection was O.K.,” Bears coach Lovie Smith said. “I don’t know if we had any sacks. They got some decent pressure at times, but I was fairly pleased. Sometimes I’m wondering if you’re watching any other part of the game, except for watching J’Marcus. But I think overall the line did a decent job protecting.”

Against the vaunted defensive line of the New York Giants, Webb played the first four offensive series of the game before giving way to Williams at the 5:33 mark of the second quarter.

With Webb manning the left tackle spot, quarterback Jay Cutler experienced pressure from the Giants, and completed 4 of 9 for 52 yards and a 21-yard touchdown to Brandon Marshall near the end of the first quarter.

Williams played just 12 snaps in the second quarter. Webb re-entered the game after intermission to start the second half. Williams expected to play sooner than he did.

“I had planned on it, but don’t know happened. Coach decides who goes in,” Williams said. “I don’t know if he was going off the play clock or what.”

Asked whether he’d done enough to win the starting job, Williams said, “Yeah, I think I will (be the starter). But that’s out of my hands.
That’s over now. I did all I can do, so we’ll see.”

Although Cutler experienced pressure, which in turn played a role in him struggling to hit the receivers, the first-team offensive line didn’t give up a single sack. For the game, however, the Giants were credited with five quarterback hits. Third-team defensive end Adewale Ojomo’s dropped Bears No. 3 quarterback Josh McCown in the second half for the home team’s lone sack.

“That’s definitely a good sign (that the starting offensive line didn’t allow any sacks),” Webb said. “We definitely wanted to move the ball up and down the field, and work as a unit; be physical and strong and come out with a win.”

Michael C. Wright

ESPN Chicago Bears reporter

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