LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- The continued inactivity of starting left tackle Chris Williams (hamstring) could lead to added snaps for rookie swing tackle J’Marcus Webb, who saw his first NFL action Monday night against the Packers, when he rotated at right tackle with veteran Kevin Shaffer.
Shaffer said the club’s move to insert Webb into the lineup wasn’t a spur-of-the-moment decision. In fact, it was part of the club’s plan heading into the contest.
Starting right tackle Frank Omiyale is currently filling in for Williams on the left side, while Shaffer is running with the starters at right tackle, with Webb playing the swing role.
“They wanted to get him a little bit of playing time,” Shaffer said. “So they rotated us a little bit. There were kind of set drives [on] who was gonna go [when]. I think we handled it pretty well.”
Bears general manager Jerry Angelo obviously felt the same way.
Although Webb played sparingly against the Packers, the Angelo saw enough of the rookie in live action to give him high praise. Described prior to the NFL draft as a potential diamond in the rough because of his prototypical size (6-7, 328 pounds), athleticism and nasty demeanor, Webb fell down the board because some scouts said the tackle lacked maturity and possessed questionable work ethic.
So far though, Webb seems to be proving those skeptical scouts wrong. Prior to training camp though, Tice did mention that Webb needs to become accustomed to consistently doing “what it takes to compete at the NFL level.”
“The sky’s the limit with him,” Angelo told the club’s official Web site. “J’Marcus has got tremendous potential. I think coach [Mike] Tice getting him in the game Monday night, and getthing his feet wet was a great thing for him. It will be for us as well. Even when he makes a mistake, his size and athleticism enable him to recover and still get the job done. Hopefully, he’s got a passion for this game and a hunger to be great. If he does, he’s going to be a very good player for us.”