It’s a different world than where we were a year ago, Bears fans. Last season, you had Mike Martz going on with his “heavens no” and “oh gosh yes” answers when referring to the Chicago Bears offense. Mike Tice is like a breath of fresh air, a welcomed dose of truth and reality who doesn’t beat around the bush when assessing his offense and the O-line in particular following the Bears 31-3 loss to the Denver Broncos:
“We were disappointed in the fact we didn’t carry over some of the things we were doing in practice to the game,” Tice said of the offense. “Also I felt like, physically, we got our butts kicked. I think it was evident more so with some guys than others. I didn’t feel that overall, as an offense, we did enough physically to make any type of statement.”
Not much sugar coating in that and more importantly, it’s the truth. For all the hype around this Bears team and the new offense, it’s all meaningless if they can’t protect the quarterback. Mike Tice knows that all too well.
The best part of Tice’s review on Monday was that he didn’t try to baby anyone; he called out specific players. Here’s Tice’s review of veteran guard Chris Spencer, who struggled a bit last Thursday night.
“Although his style of play is not going to be like Gabe’s … everybody wants Chris Williams and Chris Spencer to be like Gabe,” Tice said. “It’s two different styles. That’s why we have Gabe on the right-hand side. He’s a bruiser. But I was very surprised (with Spencer). It was not a good tape to watch. It’s certainly not a tape — and Chris knows this; we’ve spoken about that — it’s not a tape you want on your resume.”
And it wasn’t just the pass protection that struggled on Thursday night. The running game struggled to a woeful 1.7 yards per carry.
“I thought from Day 1 of minicamp and OTA days, we would be able to run the ball when we wanted to run the ball,” Tice said, “and we didn’t do a good job of running the football.”
With all the struggles against the Broncos, Mike Tice has opened up the competition for left tackle again, announcing that Chris Williams will get reps with the first team on Saturday vs the Washington Redskins.
“I felt like Chris had a solid game, and I didn’t feel like the other player was up to par as far as the standards we’re trying to set at protecting our quarterback,” Tice said, leaving Webb’s name out. “So, we’re going to make sure we continue to see who’s going to emerge.”
Tice wants to see Webb and Williams both work against the Redskins’ Brian Orakpo, who has 28½ sacks in his three seasons. The starting offensive line is expected to play at least the first half and possibly into the third quarter.
The competition is back on and I don’t expect a winner to be announced until after the third preseason game. Expect both guys to get time with the first team in each of the next two games in heavy doses before a “winner” in announced. It’ll be down to the wire and I still think that Williams might take it. He’s more assignment sound and if he can take away the mental mistakes that seems to plague JWebb Nation, it’s a good bet he’ll be lining up to protect Jay Cutler on September 9th vs the Colts.
What do you think? Does Chris Williams have what it takes to be the starting left tackle? Can JWebb Nation rise to the challenge?