Bears rookie Jordan Mills takes over for J’Marcus Webb at first-team RT
BY ADAM L. JAHNS Staff Reporter August 11, 2013 9:02PM
Jordan Mills during the Bears Rookie mini-camp at Halas Hall in Lake Forest, Ill., on Friday, May 10, 2013. | Andrew A. Nelles~Sun-Times Media
Updated: August 11, 2013 10:25PM
BOURBONNAIS — The change was there for everyone to see on Sunday — rookie Jordan Mills had replaced J’Marcus Webb at right tackle on the first-team offense, while Webb worked on the left side with the second team — but coach Marc Trestman warned against reading too much into it.
“I wouldn’t draw any conclusions about what’s happened today,” Trestman said. “It really is part of our plan to find the best five over the course of training camp. . . . We’re not doing anything but working the plan at this point.”
But it’s curious because Webb, for a number of reasons, has become a focal point for most of the criticism directed at the offensive line. He started every game at left tackle last season, but the Bears thought an upgrade was needed and signed Jermon Bushrod. The change also comes after Webb was beaten by Panthers defensive end Charles Johnson for a sack in the preseason loss Friday.
Trestman said Mills will get most of his work with the first-team offense in the next two practices before the Bears host the San Diego Chargers on Thursday. The plan also includes Kyle Long at right guard with the first team, Webb working “as a backup at the left-tackle position” and veteran Eben Britton being in “better position to back up on the right side . . . and keep it competitive,” Trestman said.
“We think [Mills has] performed well on a daily basis, and we want to see what he can do playing against ones throughout the week without moving him around,” Trestman said.
Webb only played 10 snaps against the Panthers, but he said that was more than enough to show what he can do. He said the coaches didn’t express any disappointment and that he wasn’t disappointed about working with the second team.
Asked to rate his performance on Friday, Webb said, “I’ve got to work on using my feet and my hands.”
“They definitely want to give me looks at both sides,” Webb said. “You’ve got to be versatile in this offense. . . . One of the things I have to work on this week is being versatile and playing next to different guys.”
Mills, a fifth-round pick from Louisiana Tech, said the coaches told him he did “pretty good” against the Panthers, but he did feel a difference going up against a first-team defense Sunday.
“First time going against [defensive end Julius] Peppers — he’s great,” Mills said. “You line up against somebody who’s the same height as me but way faster and way stronger and just go at it with him. It was great.”