J’Marcus Webb officially got the nod as the starting left tackle when the Bears released their first depth chart of the 2012 season, beating out Chris Williams in one of the lamest positional battles of recent memory. The Bears hyped up the matchup like a steel cage death match to see who would protect Jay Cutler’s blind side. Just a couple of padded practices into camp and J’Webb took over. Offensive coordinator Mike Tice discusses the battle for the left tackle spot:
“I thought that one guy would separate himself and really jump out there,” Tice said. “I don’t think that’s really happened. So for me, let’s keep status quo and see where the games take us. I’m not in a rush to change for changes sake. We hope that a guy in his third year, Webb, will step up and mature as a football player and as a person…will get better, as show us this means something to him.’
That didn’t really inspire a lot of confidence, did it? Reading between the lines, Tice said the Webb needs to grow up and act like a professional.
Here’s the rest of the offense:
No big surprise with the skill positions, although I think Earl Bennett could supplant Hester opposite Marshall. It doesn’t really matter that much because the top four wide receivers will all get plenty of time on the field. Note that Dane Sanzenbacher is the 6th wideout, but that’s before Rashied Davis rolled back into the town. I’m a little surprised that rookie Even Rodriguez is down as the 4th string tight end, behind Kyle Adams and Matt Spaeth but it’s good to see the rookies have to work their way up the depth chart.
Next let’s take a quick look at the even less surprising defensive depth chart:
With Urlacher missing his fifth straight practice, we’ll get a better look at how the linebacker shake out. Nick Roach has been playing the middle linebacker spot while Geno Hayes was been taking Roach’s spot on the strong side. Shea McClellin and Corey Wooten are co-backups behind Izzy, while McClellin also backs up Julius Peppers along with Chancey Davis. The top four safeties are no surprise with Major Wright at SS and Chris Conte at FS. I’m curious how rookie Brandon Hardin fits into the mix, especially if Major Wright keeps missing assignments like he did last season.
The guys you see listed in the first column are unlikely to play much on Thursday night, so you should get a long look at the 2’s and 3’s to see them jockey for the few precious roster spots.