The left tackle mess hasn't gone away for the Chicago Bears. Questions linger after the first preseason game and don't figure to change for now. Has the time come for a game plan to seek a proven player like Jermon Bushrod from the New Orleans Saints?
J'Marcus Webb sent a clear message by Bears coaches
NFL players don't have the luxury of patience from fans and coaches. They expect good play every day. For a sports city like Chicago it is especially true. Nobody was happy after a lackluster effort against the Denver Broncos in the first preseason game. Receivers couldn't get open and once again the offensive line could neither protect nor push against the defense. As usual the blame starts with left tackle J'Marcus Webb. After getting handed the job following a brief roster battle with teammate Chris Williams, offensive coÃ¶rdinator Mike Tice sent him a message by playing the 23-year-old into the 4th quarter of the game. Fans know Webb will stand as the buffer between wins and losses protecting franchise quarterback Jay Cutler. If he can't then the hopes of a great season go down with him. It also means his last season in a Bears uniform, leaving the front office and GM Phil Emery to find a new solution. Will free agency offer that chance?
Bushrod protection of Drew Brees extends to NFL preseason too
The 2013 class of free agents is a rare one in NFL circles. While franchise tags will likely come into play, the current group of players set to finish their contracts include four Pro Bowl left tackles under the age of 30. While Ryan Clady and Jake Long earn the loudest noise in their contract disputes, one name left off the list is New Orleans Saints anchor Jermon Bushrod. His protection of All-Pro quarterback Drew Brees has helped turn the Saints offense into a powerhouse that won a Super Bowl back in 2009. He will enter free agency at 28 years old next year. For anyone who wonders how valuable he is they need look no further than the preseason game against New England. There, Bushrod admitted he had his hands full with determined rookie Chandler Jones, but like any great left tackle made sure Jones never touched Brees. That kind of protection is what Chicago needs for Cutler and would easily look to make cap room to bring the big man in next year should Webb fall apart.
J'Marcus Webb hasn't lost his job yet, but the Chicago Bears put him on notice that their patience has worn down. Jermon Bushrod might sound unrealistic but the New Orleans Saints can pay everybody huge money like Drew Brees. If the left tackle reaches NFL free agency then the Bears would become Class A idiots for not going after him.