Monday, August 13, 2012
Bears' LT situation becoming a spectacle
By Kevin Seifert
You have to hand it to Chicago Bears offensive coordinator Mike Tice. His consistent public criticism of left tackle J'Marcus Webb, which continued Monday when Tice referred to him only as "the other player," simply draws further attention to the Bears' decision to enter training camp with the current situation they find themselves in at left tackle.
In the end, it suggests Tice has supreme confidence that, one way or the other, he will ultimately put a functional left tackle on the field when the Bears open the season Sept. 9 against the Indianapolis Colts.
Speaking to reporters Monday at Bears training camp, Tice confirmed that Chris Williams will begin taking some repetitions from Webb with the first-team defense. He denied that playing Webb into the fourth quarter of the preseason opener was designed to send a message, noting that Webb was aware of the plan ahead of time, but to me that just shifts the timing of the delivery.
There continues to be little doubt that Tice is putting heavy pressure on Webb to even out his performances. It hasn't happened yet, and Williams' return to the left tackle mix makes clear that the Bears believe they have other options.
There are surely some coaches who, faced with this predicament, would repeat public platitudes about the process and downplay what appears to be the rising urgency of the situation. Drawing attention to negatives isn't always the first thing coaches do in a public setting. It's not good for résumé building, among other things.
But Tice has not run from it. Instead, he's probably created a spectacle more intense than it would have been if left alone. I assume that's by design. As a blogger, I can't argue with it.