Mike Tice isn’t afraid to push some buttons.
The Bears offensive coordinator, who once pulled a fan out of the crowd at a Vikings training camp practice to stand in at guard, is at it again.
After promoting J’Marcus Webb to the starting left tackle job, Tice left him in Thursday’s opener into the fourth quarter, an unusually long night of work for a starter in any preseason game. Webb played 41 of the 49 offensive snaps, even on the field with fourth-string quarterback Matt Blanchard.
“I’ve got to get better every day and every week, and that comes with the territory,” Webb told Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune. “I don’t think of it as a punishment. I’ve got to get better. If he asks me to stay in, then I will.”
Left guard Chris Spencer also played the entire first half.
“[Tice] was not happy with how we started,” Spencer said. “We did nothing that we’ve been preaching about being explosive. Very disappointing. We have to go back to work.”
“Just some players we thought needed reps, we needed to see,” Bears coach Lovie Smith said. “Some of the guys we know a little more about right now, we didn’t play as much, and that was pretty much it.”
Fact is, the Bears know plenty about Webb, and the rest of their offensive line. This was a motivational ploy, and Jay Cutler can only hope the message was received.