In the first six practices, J’Marcus Webb and Chris Williams took turns starting at left tackle.
It appeared today would be Williams’ turn, but Webb lined up there for a second consecutive day. In addition, Gabe Carimi got a lot of rest, with Williams filling in with the ones, and undrafted rookie James Brown got the bulk of the snaps as the backup left tackle.
Afterwards, coach Lovie Smith downplayed the move, saying his staff is trying different combinations at several positions.
Williams and Brown found out just before practice.
“Coach told me to get some work at right tackle,” Williams said. “I just do what I’m told.”
Asked if he’s not reading too much into it, Williams said, “It’s like Day 3 of training camp, man.”
Williams said he feels he’s performing “pretty good.”
But, he ultimately wants to start — anywhere.
“My hope as a player is just to get a fair shot at starting. Don’t care where. But what they do, personnel wise, is out of my control,” he said. “Only thing I can control is how I play.”
I also asked Williams if he ever thinks about the numbers game, since he’s set to make $1 million in 2012. If he doesn’t start, he’d be an expensive backup.
“Not really. I feel like I’m a pretty good football player, so the numbers game or what they want to do, personnel wise, is their decision,” he said. “I just come out here to work hard, and control what I can control and get in shape and get ready to play football.”
Here are some other observations and highlights:
* NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and Hall of Fame coach and broadcaster John Madden were at Olivet Nazarene University on Wednesday. After practice, they joined Bears chairman George McCaskey for a fan forum, which more than 200 fans attended.
The best answer was from McCaskey, when a fan asked all three of them how they got into the NFL. “In my case, nepotism had nothing to do with it,” he quipped. “All hard work.”
* Craig Steltz had a pick of Jay Cutler during practice.
* Henry Melton and Israel Idonije had excellent back-to-back plays against the starting offense. Idonije tipped a Cutler pass then Melton scooped it up and would have returned it for a touchdown. On the next play, the two of them appeared to split a sack of Cutler.
* Rookie safety Brandon Hardin had a fine practice with one pick and another one he should have had.
* Cornerback Kelvin Hayden forced two fumbles.
* And undrafted receiver Brittan Golden had a 30-yard catch in the two-minute drill from Josh McCown.