One of the key positional battle to keep an eye on through OTA’s and training camp is the battle to protect franchise quarterback Jay Cutler as former first round LT circa 2010 Chris Williams battles the 2011 LT J’Marcus Webb. It’s an interesting matchup of two guys who took different paths to get to this point in time.
Williams was drafted at the #14 spot out of Vanderbilt in 2008 with the hopes that he’d be the answer to the LT position for the next decade. That didn’t work out very well when he showed up to camp and almost immediately had to head to the training room with a bad back, which later led to missing half his rookie year to injury. In 2009, he moved from LT to RT to accommodate a well-past-his prime Orlando Pace.
In 2010, with Pace out of the picture, Williams moved back into the starter’s role at LT, but was injured again in Week 2 vs the Cowboys. When he returned from injury, Mike Tice decided to move him inside to guard, where he closed 2010 and started 2011. He was performing well at LG until, you guessed it, another injury ended his 2011 season prematurely.
On the other hand, J’Marcus Webb was drafted in 2010 in the 7th round out of West Texas A&M, where he played after transferring from Texas by way of Navarro College. Webb was pressed into action as a rookie with the Bears offensive line struggling mightily in 2010. Webb started the final 12 games at RT. After the Bears drafted Gabe Carimi, who most scouts agree is best suited to play RT in the NFL, the Bears moved Webb to LT, where he started all 16 games for the Bears in 2011.
The battle pits the high round pick who was supposed to be the answer at LT before injuries sidetracked him vs the late-round project who has struggled to play up to the level of his competition. Both guys were moved around to accommodate other players at different times. Let’s take a look at the tale of the tape:
|Games (Started)||47 (38)||30 (28)|
|40 yard dash||5.13||5.28|
|225# Bench Reps||21||17|
Who gets the edge? Did Webb show you anything last season that would make you believe he can get the job done? Can Chris Williams stay healthy enough to be relied upon to anchor the left side of the line? Which is the lesser of two evils?