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When will left tackle competition be decided?

Posted Aug 20, 2012

Wondering about a player, a past game or another issue involving the Bears? Senior writer Larry Mayer answers a variety of email questions from fans on ChicagoBears.com.

How close are the Bears to making a decision at left tackle between J’Marcus Webb and Chris Williams? The regular season is less than three weeks away.

From Josiah J. on Twitter

I think the winner of the left tackle competition between J’Marcus Webb and Chris Williams will be crowned following Friday night’s preseason game against the defending Super Bowl champion New York Giants. Starters typically play into the third quarter, so the Bears will get a big dose of one of the best defensive lines in the NFL, which will be great for evaluation purposes. Offensive coordinator Mike Tice said Monday that J’Marcus Webb will start the preseason road game, but I’m guessing that Chris Williams will rotate in like he did last Saturday against the Redskins when he entered the contest on the Bears’ third possession. Tice said both players performed well against Washington, and as far as determining the starter at the position, “Let’s face it, this is going to be the week. We’ll all know when we watch the game.”

Do you see rookies Shea McClellin and Alshon Jeffery starting this season?

From Matthew S. on Twitter

I believe that receiver Alshon Jeffery has a better chance of starting than defensive end Shea McClellin, who could be utilized more initially as a pass-rush specialist on third down as has been in the case in the first two preseason games. But the Bears didn’t spend their first two picks in the draft on McClellin and Jeffery to sit them on the bench. They expect both players to contribute as rookies. I don’t think whether they start is that big of a deal because both play positions where they’ll rotate into the game and should get quality reps.

I know Brian Urlacher says he will play in Week 1, but in the event he isn’t able to, how has Nick Roach looked so far this preseason?

From Tom F. on Twitter

The Bears have been impressed with how Nick Roach has stepped in and played middle linebacker in training camp and the first two preseason games. He’s pretty comfortable there, having started three games at that spot in 2009 and working as the second-team middle linebacker in practice last season. The Bears view him as a reliable and athletic playmaker, but of course he isn’t a future Hall of Famer like Brian Urlacher. Here’s hoping the face of the franchise is back on the field soon.

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