J'Marcus Webb hopes to leave struggles behind

Offensive tackle J'Marcus Webb, claimed off waivers Sunday, is ready for a fresh start in Minnesota.

J'Marcus Webb admitted his head was spinning after going from the Chicago Bears to the Minnesota Vikings and having only about 24 hours to process the Vikings' plan for him before their first practice in preparation for the regular season.

"A lot of information going in and out of my head right now. I'm just going to get adjusted the way I need to and we'll get it rolling here the next day and Wednesday and ready for the Lions," Webb said after his first practice before heading back into more meetings.

The Vikings open the regular season on Sunday at Detroit.

After three seasons in Chicago, Webb was waived by the Bears and the Vikings claimed him and released another offensive tackle, Troy Kropog, to make room for him.

Webb started at both right tackle and left tackle for the Bears, starting 44 of the 46 games he played after being a 2010 seventh-round pick. Most of his rookie season was spent at right tackle and he was moved to the left side in 2011.

For now the Vikings listed him as a backup at right tackle without listing a backup at left tackle (left guard Charlie Johnson is also a possibility there). Head coach Leslie Frazier and Webb both said he would work at tackle on both the left and right side.

"I would have to learn both sides, just as I was in Chicago. You've got to be ready whenever they ask you to put the pads on," Webb said.

"Right now, I'm comfortable at both and that's why they seem to have acquired me. I'm going to do my best at both those positions any way I can."

The Vikings have faced Webb several times, but at least one of those times was a lowlight. In the final game of 2011, Jared Allen had 3½ sacks going against Webb and 4½ for the season facing him.

Still, the Vikings were interested in Webb's potential as a backup.

"We had a chance to line up against him a few times. We liked his length – that really sticks out at you – along with his athletic ability," Frazier said. "He's a guy who has shown the ability to be a very good offensive tackle in our league. There are definitely some things he needs to work on to become a complete player. That's one of the reasons we were able to acquire him. But we like the size and the experience he has as a tackle."

Webb said he hasn't been with the Vikings long enough to know what sort of changes he will have to make with changes in technique and schemes.

He didn't have much of a choice in the matter, as he was claimed by the Vikings rather than choosing to come to Minnesota in free agency, but he declined to go into much detail about what went wrong in Chicago.

"I'm not too sure. Things work out the way they need to at times and things don't when they don't," he said. "Moving forward, I'm really excited to be here. I'm loving every day of it. You know, I just got here yesterday.

"… I'm excited. Things just didn't work out and moving forward I'm happy to be on the team and ready to contribute."


Tim Yotter is the publisher of Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this story on our subscriber message board.

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