The question was how he felt last years game in Denver against the Broncos on December 11 had gone for him. JMarcus Webb didnt answer at first, then smiled.
Long time ago, he said, laughing.
Loose translation: The young left tackle believes he has come a long way since then and he isnt looking back.
Perfectly understandable. The Broncos sacked Caleb Hanie four times in that game. All were by speed rushers no bigger than Elvis Dumervils 255 pounds at right end. Dumervil, working against Webb, had one sack. Von Miller (237 pounds) had one and linebacker D.J. Williams (245) had two.
Lance Louis at right tackle had two false starts working against Miller. Webbs hands-to-the-face infraction was declined. Louis is back inside at guard and Gabe Carimi will get a first-quarter test against Miller.
But Webb is still at left tackle and in need of a better performance to gain the confidence of his quarterbacks (Jay Cutler will play, but sparingly; Jason Campbells fate also will be in the hands of Webb and the line). And his coach.
We're out of the installation mode, and we can start, starting with the game against Denver, start looking at the protections, the protection schemes that we're going to use throughout the course of the season, said offensive coordinator Mike Tice.
Of Webbs play, Tice has been damning with faint praise. Webb is starting in part simply because Chris Williams has been worse to this point of training camp.
The motivation in Tices comments has not been lost on Webb.
I dont know if you can hear all the yelling, Webb said, laughing. No, Im kidding. Hes definitely pushed me to grow up a lot and be the player I should be. I just have to work hard every day to achieve excellence.
I take it as an all-around thing. I dont read too much into it.
Best guess, Tice does.