Marc Trestman maintained that the assignment of J’Marcus from starting right tackle to backup left tackle was neither necessarily permanent nor punitive; the move was not meant to send a message to Webb.
Indeed, coaches are being brutally direct with Webb, to the point that there is a growing sense that his spot on the 2013 roster is anything but secure.
“If he’s going to be on our team, if he makes our eight [offensive linemen], then he’s going to have to play more than one spot,” said coordinator Aaron Kromer. “And this is a great opportunity for him to get those reps.”
“If” has not been a word used in connection with Webb through his first three NFL seasons.
It is difficult to see the Bears keeping just eight offensive linemen on the roster. But with a fourth specialist (Devin Hester) currently in place, one more than the norm of three, the Bears may feel the need to go light in other position groups.
The key will be abilities of linemen to play multiple positions. Here’s one scenario of eight:
Tackles: Jermon Bushrod, Jordan Mills, and two of Eben Britton/Jonathan Scott/Webb, each of whom has worked at right and left;
Guards: Kyle Long, Matt Slauson, James Brown (swing);
Center: Roberto Garza, with Slauson and Britton able to play center and Brown either guard.
Scott is expected to try returning to practice after missing most of two weeks with a knee strain. “His knee was aspirated [drained] over the last couple days,” Trestman said. “It looks like it’s gotten better. We should see some movement in the right direction in the next few days and the next week.”