Wednesday, September 11, 2013
Frazier: Webb's transition a smooth one
By Jeff Dickerson
LAKE FOREST, Ill. – Minnesota Vikings head coach Leslie Frazier was a good sport on Wednesday when asked if former Chicago Bears offensive tackle J'Marcus Webb is providing the Vikings with inside information about his former team.
“We’re not finished, we got more questions for him,” Frazier said during a conference call with Chicago media members. “We’re going to be with him all week long so we got more questions for him. We got to keep asking him more and more.”
Minnesota represents a fresh start for Webb, whose three-year stint in Chicago can be best described as inconsistent, although in fairness to Webb he did enter the NFL as a seventh-round draft choice out of West Texas A&M. Despite being a late-round pick, the 6-foot-7 Webb started 44 of 46 games for the Bears from 2010-12, including 32 consecutive starts at left tackle. The Bears switched Webb to the right side after the club added Pro Bowl left tackle Jermon Bushrod in free agency, but the move failed to pan out. Rookie Jordan Mills passed up Webb on the depth chart a couple of weeks into training camp, a move Webb never recovered from. Even after agreeing to a pay cut, Webb was released by the Bears following the final preseason game against the Cleveland Browns. The Vikings promptly claimed Webb off waivers.
Frazier reported that Webb’s transition to Minnesota has been incident-free.
“I think it’s been relatively smooth,” Frazier said. “(He’s been) trying to get acclimated to this environment and finding a place to live and all the things that go along with moving. I think he’s handled it fairly well. His teammates seem to have accepted him. He’s getting along with them well. He’s picking up our system. Coaches are relating to him well. So, so far I think it’s been pretty smooth.”
Webb is currently listed on the Vikings depth chart as the No. 2 right tackle behind Phil Loadholt. Minnesota does not list a second-string left tackle behind starter Matt Kalil, but Frazier said Webb has the necessary experience to fill that void if called upon.
“We’re hoping at this point he’ll be a solid backup tackle for us at right or left,” Frazier said. “If we were to have a situation where he had to play, his experience should help him and help us. So that is what we are counting on. If he gets a better grasp of our system and what we are asking of our tackles, then he’ll be a solid backup guy who can really fill in and help us if we get in that situation.”