LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- During a wide-ranging news conference lasting more than 30 minutes on Monday, Chicago Bears general manager Phil Emery touched on some of the factors that led to the release of former starting right tackle J'Marcus Webb.
From the sounds of it, the Bears wanted Webb to win the job more than he wanted to seize it.
“Really, for J’Marcus, he had played, I will say that 14 out of the 16 games last year he was sufficient or better. He had a lot of good games in that we grade sufficient, good, very good. Fourteen out of those 16, they were at least at the sufficient level, which you can win with that player and his performance on that particular day. Two of them were below that line. The obvious games were the first Green Bay game and the San Francisco game,” Emery explained. “Coming into this fall, we were very optimistic that he was going to be our starting right tackle and would continue to improve as a player. He never gained the consistency, that sufficient level of consistency that we want out of our players. So at the end, his performance wasn’t to our expectation level that we felt we needed to move forward with it.”
When the Bears made the decision to cut Webb, I touched on the offensive tackle’s lack of motivation and inconsistency, which goes all the way back to his college days. One former Bears coach described Webb as the classic underachiever.
“He’s not motivated to be great,” the coach said. “He’s got good ability, enough to be a solid starter in the league. But he lacks passion.”
That’s now an issue for the Minnesota Vikings to deal with, as they claimed him off waivers to provide depth.
Emery didn’t anticipate Webb giving away many of Chicago’s secrets on offense.
“I don’t know if we’ve gotten that far in our game planning for J’Marcus to be able to share those,” Emery said. “I’m sure he’ll share some basics, just like what is natural. We’ll always ask the basics.”