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Emery stays upbeat about left tackle spot

Chris Williams and J'Marcus Webb have some worried, but not Phil Emery. Getty Images

BOURBONNAIS, Ill. -- In the wake of offensive coordinator Mike Tice's pointed criticism of the Chicago Bears' offensive line, general manager Phil Emery elaborated Tuesday on the battle for the starting left tackle position, expressing confidence in the strides made in recent training camp workouts.

While voicing support for Tice's methodology and coaching acumen, Emery said that Chris Williams and J'Marcus Webb -- both candidates for the starting left tackle job -- have responded positively.

"I liked how the players have responded at that position, both Chris and J'Marcus here in the last three practices," Emery told the "Waddle & Silvy Show" on ESPN 1000. "I see an improvement. I see a group of players that have the physical skills to be good offensive linemen; to be starters and consistent starters. What we need is that consistency, and that's what Mike (Tice) spoke about yesterday."

Tice joked on Monday that the club's inability to consistently protect quarterback Jay Cutler causes him "to have trouble sleeping at night." Apparently, Webb and Williams caught wind of those remarks. A source said Webb produced his best practice of training camp on Monday night.

Tuesday morning, Webb penned a poem on Twitter and Facebook exclaiming in part that, "I'll conquer this battle like King Kong! I'll protect our quarterback and won't allow any sack!"

Emery, meanwhile, explained the club wants to resolve the left tackle situation as soon as possible, joking that "January 31st last year ... would have been fantastic" timing to do it. But the club plans to take it's time in evaluating the candidates before making a final decision.

"Hey, things take time, and we're gonna be careful in that decision process," Emery said. "We're gonna let those players declare, and whoever is the best going into the opener, that's going to be the starter."

Unlike Tice, the situation isn't causing Emery to lose sleep.

“No, I’m not losing sleep. I get up early every morning because I’m so excited about this job. (I’m) blessed with a great family and a great opportunity to be in a leadership position with the Bears. So, no, I don’t lose sleep,” Emery said. “But a part of that is because of what a good coach Mike Tice is.

"And I do see the physical attributes of the players we have there that we can continue to improve, and I know -- as I’ve spoken many times -- we will continue to look at ways to continue to improve our club in all aspects.”