The offensive line as a unit was not the most productive it could be in Friday night’s preseason loss to the Panthers, but that’s to be expected for a group with a few new faces in new places which hasn’t had the opportunity to jell yet considering injuries and only a short training camp so far. Plus, it was the first preseason game.
But the bigger concern is the individual play of J’Marcus Webb.
I’m not going to rip him for his constant use of social media and the fact that he preaches about his “J-Webb Nation.” I’ll leave that to the other analysts to do. I personally don’t care what he does off the field as long as it is legal and doesn’t prevent him from suiting up — although I know that wouldn’t bother many of his detractors.
What concerns me most is that it’s difficult to see individual improvement. I’m no expert on offensive line techniques and I don’t claim to be. But the fact that Webb continues to struggle with footwork and allowing faster defensive ends to get around him, past him, and even through him is a problem. When you see the same old story time and again without change, you begin to wonder if it’ll ever improve.
I’m willing to give Webb a fair chance through the preseason and first couple games of the regular season, mainly because it’s a new scheme and also because of who he now will be working with. Offensive coordinator Aaron Kromer is a widely-praised offensive line coach, just like his predecessor here, Mike Tice.
However, if Webb cannot show any improvement under these two guys, I think you can throw in the towel on him in terms of ever expecting him to be a good starting offensive tackle.