Chicago Sun-Times

Tuesday morning tidbits: Williams makes strong 1st impression

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The gig of Tuesday Morning Quarterback is already occupied, so we’ll try out hand at a little Tuesday morning draft analysis.

The Bears have been the first club the last two summers to have all of their draft picks signed, but contract negotiator Cliff Stein has a little more work to make that happen again with 12 draft picks. Given where the Bears selected, it shouldn’t be an issue getting everyone to Bourbonnais on time and it doesn’t really matter if they sign July 4 or July 22.

First-round draft pick Chris Williams is expected to sign a five-year contract with roughly $9 million guaranteed. I did my best to explain the unusual circumstances surrounding the No. 14 pick last year, New York Jets’ cornerback Darrelle Revis. The Bears will do all they can to avoid those types of snags.

Second-round draft pick Matt Forte will be working off the deal of Sidney Rice, the No. 44 pick from 2007. Rice collected a signing bonus of $1.316 million for his four-year deal.

*** Williams was introduced at Halas Hall Monday and was every bit as impressive as the team made him out to be. Bright guy. Engaging. He didn’t seem in awe of the situation.

“Obviously, I want the opportunity to start,” he said. “And I want to earn the opportunity. They’re expecting me to play, but at the same time I have to work for it.”

Williams was asked if he plans to be in training camp on time, the most hackneyed question there is for these introductory press conferences. Of course, he said yes. When the player says he has a family reunion in late July that is important to him, and he doesn’t plan to show up on time, then it will qualify as news.

Say what you want about Cedric Benson, but he was as honest as the day is long three years ago when he basically said business is business. It has nothing to do with whether or not the player plans to be on time. No one plans to hold out. It just happens that Benson missed five weeks.

*** After saying the last two seasons that the Bears’ quarterback situation was as strong as it has been in his tenure, general manager Jerry Angelo says now it’s about fixing the No. 1, not the bunch from top to bottom.

Of course, he was referencing the trio of Rex Grossman, Kyle Orton and the since departed Brian Griese. Yes, it was better than any previous collections, you know, ones including Chad Hutchinson, Craig Krenzel, Kordell Stewart, etc.

It should be about fixing the No. 1 and that’s the point Sports Illustrated’s Peter King was hammering away at here.

The Bears passed on USC’s John David Booty in the fourth round to take LSU safety Craig Steltz. If Booty winds up being the answer in Minnesota, it will sting even more. Ditto if Brian Brohm ultimately is the man to replace Brett Favre in Green Bay. Angelo could have had him or Chad Henne in Round 2. The problem was the club had to address left tackle immediately, and there wasn’t a quarterback to take at No. 14 without making a great reach.

The Bears liked LSU’s Matt Flynn, but when he went off the board in the seventh round to, gulp, Green Bay, the club settled on a couple undrafted guys they had interest in starting a while back. Southern Illinois’ Nick Hill and Colorado State’s Caleb Hanie were both brought to Halas Hall on pre-draft visits.

*** Anybody hear Ole Miss coach Houston Nutt on the Score Monday with Mike Mulligan and Brian Hanley, friends of Inside the Bears? Nutt, who coached Harrison and wide receiver Marcus Monk at Arkansas, did a dance step and then rolled out of the pocket when asked how defensive tackle Marcus Harrison netted only a one-game suspension after his felony drug arrest. Harrison sat out the game with Troy. The next game with Alabama was kind of important, you know.

The interview with Nutt was terrific though and he’s a colorful guy. Nutt is from the same hometown of Harrison, Little Rock, Ark., and the coach has known him a long time. He said the incident was terribly embarrassing to Harrison, and that he has a solid family background. Nutt predicts troubles are only in the player’s rear-view mirror.

If we come across something later on, we’ll check back in.

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24 Comments

What's the story on Caleb Hanie? Kiper seems to like him, but since he played on such a poor team it's hard to see what we've got there.

Nutt is notorious for sticking up for his guys, past and present, so I am not surprised that he defended Harrison.

I am very disappointed that we did not address the QB position in the draft. I was not a fan of Booty at all, but would have been fine if the Bears had not drafted Forte and took Brohm or Henne in round 2. I have a feeling that Forte, Charles, or Smith would have been there at 70. And we could have addressed another need at 90 as well, like DeCoud at safety, who can actually participate in the minicamp, as Steltz is still recovering from a broken shoulder.
Imagine what this draft class could have looked like:

1. Williams
2. Brohm/Henne
3.70. Zuttah, G Rutgers
3.90. Thomas DeCoud, S Cal
120. LaVelle Hawkins
142. Tim Hightower, RB Richmond--Gil Brandt thinks this kid is the next Marion Barber
158. Athya Rubin, DT Iowa State
208. Chester Addams--one pick earlier for us
222. King Dunlap, OT Auburn
243. Darrell Strong, TE Pitt
247. Robert Felton, G Arkansas
248. Marcus Monk

We would have completely re-stocked the O-line, and gotten all the needs we had covered.

Time will tell if Jerry got it right, but I think he under-drafted the OL this year. Hopefully the street FA tackles will show something more than his last few draft picks in the late rounds (Tyler Reed, Aaron Brant)

I looked at a couple of highlights on him, and he has a good, strong arm from what it looks like, a nice deep touch, and has good mobility. Any guy that can complete 65% of his passes on a 3-9 team deserves some credit for accuracy as well. Hopefully we will get to watch him a bit this year in preseason.

He is not a big guy, but he is 6-2, and has good bulk for the position. This is no Colt Brennan...

Gosh why would we neeed a QB, we have Rex and Orton? Also why would we need a RB when we have Benson? I don't understand why Angelo drafted a RB in the second round, Benson a 4th overall pick and his guy is still on the team. How about Rex why would we need a QB with 5 year flop Rex on the team. The guy averages almost 2 good games a year, thats not a need. I bet if Angelo had not drafted him Rex would have been gone already. So Benson is now a bust and has one foot out the door, my guess is next year Rex will be in the same position. Lets take a look at mister Angelo's 1st round picks at this point.

2002 Marc Columbo, Bears dumped him for nothing, a wasted pick and bust for the team.

2003 Rexy, on the verge of being a bust has been benched and is in a QB compitition

2003 Haynes Big bust

2004 Harris, fell to Bears, a no brainer career will probably be shortened by injuries though

2005 Benson, Bust.

2006 Traded away pick for Dusty and Manning, Manning has has not been very good and Dusty has played all of 1/2 a game in 2 years, which for some reason has bears fans thinking he is the next Mongo.

2007 Olsen Fell to Bears should be a solid player, but did not make an impact his first year.

2008 Williams should be good.

So in 7 years we have 3 definite busts one Bust on the Bubble, one definite good player and 2 possible good players. Plus 2006 which I will give this year for each player to prove himself, so right now it's a draw.

I heard that if the Bears had not drafted Forte that the Lions really liked him and would have taken with their pick in the 2nd. I really like this kid and saw some highlights of him and he looks like he has a good burst and fights offs tackles. Time will tell what happens with these picks but the first 3 look to be solid additions that should help early. I do agree with Joe that taking Zuttah or maybe Murphy would have helped more but I do like Monk in the 7th. He might be a gem if he can stay healthy. All in all I think this was a pretty solid draft for the Bears despite a couple of questionable picks.

lets face it this years QB class wasn't that great. Outside of the 1st 3 QBs slected(ryan, flacco and o'connell, there wasn't much else. chad henne is another rex grossman, his completion precentage is horrible. brian brohm has serious issues with his ligaments, can they endure an NFL pounding?,he might need some ben gay up in GB. andre woodson ha! you can't be serious. colt brennan has a goofy throwing motion and looks as frighten as rex under pressure, ainge has never been healthy and booty will only be a game manager at best. johnson might be too skinny to hold up and his arm is a little weak.

after looking at that the bears did a good thing by not selecting any of those guys. caleb hanie stacks up well to any of these guys and we got him without having to draft him. trent edwards was on a horrible stanford team last year and he doing well with the bills. QB is the position everybody is dying for but why gamble on guys who will probably bust. the qb class next year looks a strong with tim tebow, todd boeckman, hunter cantwell, cullen harper, and curtis painter. any of those guy are far and way better than anybody coming out of this draft.

people may not like the bears draft because they didn't make the flashy picks but the ones they made are smart and will improve the team.

Guys, this is a great draft. We have 5 no-brainers that make the team - Chris, matt, earl, Stelz, and Bowman. And I think one of the Mich St. guys and the Ark. WR have a good chance.

Chill out on this QB stuff. Yes, we definitely want a franchise guy, but we did ok.

On Caleb, he's a project but he also produced his passing % after getting sacked about 40 times. He's almost 230 lbs.

My only gripe on this draft and others is Jerry just needs to draft a QB every year in mid-rounds until one makes it. It's a numbers game and we need to play it. I would have grabbed Josh.

I like the outlook this year - stronger D with backfield depth, all healthy, better line and RB and frankly while Rex isn't the long term answer, he hit bottom last year. He will be serviceable this year.

11-5.

This reminds me of 2006. Everyone wanted/expected the Bears to take a TE and they wiffed and then signed 2 FA after the draft, neither of which stuck around. Then they draft Olsen in1st round of 2007. This year they NEEDED help at QB and they wiff and sign 2 FA after the draft. Does this mean they will draft a QB in 1st round of 2009?

I am ok with letting Grosman/Orton battle it out during training camp with the winner opening the regular season. If the winner actually plays well (who expects it though?) so much the better. History tells us that the loser will take over sometime before midseason. The Bears should have drafted a QB (could have traded the two 3rd picks to move back into the 2nd round and taken Henne or Brohm) to hold the clipboard while Grossman/Orton throw the season away. This way they could have given a real prospect the chance to finish out the season after being eliminated from the playoffs. Does anybody beleive the Hill or Haine can be a solid pro ready to start the 2009 season? Look how long it took to get Romo ready.

The 2009 QB class is expected to be even worse than this year

romo is not good.if u put t o on the bears grossman would b the best qb in the n f c.

I'm glad Angelo and the Bears took Matt Forte over the QB's that were available at #44. Chicago needed to come out of this draft with a left tackle and a running back period. Matt Forte is going to give the Bears the runner they have been lacking since Thomas Jones. I like this kid and think he will be a very good runner for the Bears. Heck he put up over 2000 yds at Tulane and 20 plus tds, thats impressive no matter where you play. Also you have to take into consideration that Forte did this while being the only offensive threat for Tulane. Most the time Forte was faceing 8-9 man boxes and still produced. Even vs top competition like LSU, Forte was 13 for 73 yds, not bad considering the fact he was going against one of the top defenses with Glenn Dorsey and with only Tulanes sub par o-line to help him, also the lack of carries shows that Tulane was down most of the game and had to throw to try and keep up, so like I said not bad considering. Forte also impressed me in the senior bowl against the nations top seniors, he also stood out in this game by winning MVP of the contest. I think by week 2 or 3 everyone will forget all about the Bears passing up the QB's in the second. With the improved play from the line and the help of the Bears new runner Forte, either Grossman or Orton will be just fine. Also I don't mind that the Bears did not use a high round pick on a guard because they have Josh Beekman ready to contribute and a rookie would not have been ready to do so. I think that Chris Williams and Josh Beekman will be good replacements for Fred Miller and Rueben Brown, the Bears line will be just fine so GO BEARS!!

Philbeart you are not looking for guys to make the team, you are looking for guys to step in and play. Williams, Forte, and Harrison are probably the only locks to play. Bennett has to get past a couple of guys for the slot reciever spot and Lovie will probably play the vets over him. Angelo and Lovie both said they expect Steltz to contribute down the road and may help this year but I doubt he does anything but special teams this year. Bowman needs a ton of work and I doubt he starts or sees the field this year except on special teams. He does not have 4.3 speed anymore, he put up 4.45 at the combine, he lost a step after hurting his knee. Davis also needs a ton of work. Everybody seems to think they drafted 12 starters.

Kevin Rex got booed off the field multiple times in 06 with the number 1 rated Oline and Thomas jones playing great. He still played bad. The only time Rex played well was at the begining of the season, then teams got some film on the Bears offense and Rex, figured out what they where doing and the show was over. Jones carried that offense that year. Hester and the Defense are what kept the team winning. Rex has never been a good QB. They got to play 4 games against a very bad west that year, 6 games against the horrible north, there first 7 games where against really bad teams that year. His QB rating for the season after those first big games was 70.9, after the first 5 games he went in the hole. his QB rating was 70.9 and the team was what top 4 or 5 in scoring, so a lot of people played well but it sure wasn't Rex.

His post season record
133 passes attempted
69 passes completed
783 passing yards
4 passing touchdowns
4 passes intercepted 2-2 postseason record
67.3 quarterback rating

Not very good Kevin. Why are you making excuses for this guy, plenty of QB's are on bad teams and put up better numbers. He is gone after this year. Not that I thought anyone in this class was great but Brohm, Henne and Ryan are probably going to be a lot better than Rex. Not that it would be hard to be better than him. Rex has a couple of saving graces on the Bears. 1. The defense has one more games than he has, 2. Special Teams has one more games than he has, 3. Angelo can't admit he blew it on yet another first round pick, not so close to giving Benson the boot. Angelo just wants Rex to be another Dilfer and manage the game and let the Running back and defense carry the team. To bad for him Rex thinks he's Bret Farve. The 5'10 gunslinger with happy feet.

Joe Felicelli- Oh yeah take 3 guards, that makes a lot of sense. I'm not buying into Brohm or Henne. Odds are they don't become very good QBs. The Bears window for winning with this group is closing. I agree with most of their picks and Hanie could develop into a decent signal caller.

why the bears even resigned rex is beyond me. you can't teach pocket presence and he doesn't have any at all. that's enough about rex i just hope he gets cut in the preseason but i know i'm just dreaming.

as for orton he did show some promise. if you look at the stats you won't find it in his last three starts but consider the conditions. the vikings game 1 int no tds.... rust maybe?
but the last two games considering the horrible conditions he did pretty well. i think last year he showed that he is starting to get serious about the game. remember 06 when he was a fat neckbreaded drunkard. orton doesn't have to be great all he needs to do is make a few plays and not screw up . people want to fall in love with the big name qbs and they think that we need one to win it all, that isn't true. dilfer, johnson and big ben(he might be a big time passer now but when they won he wasn't). they all did it with defense. the bears have a good defense, i know last year they sucked but basically everbody who mattered was banged up. seriously how many teams can play through that? the bears have a good chance of winning the nfc north

it seems that the viking are the favorite pick but they're paper champs. adrian peterson might be great but he won't stay healthy. he's never played an entire season, injuried every single one( college or pro). don't you think after the packers took him out by hitting him low that other teams won't follow? he'll last three games max and its back to the same old craptastic vikes

the packers won't be much with rogers at the helm. he's also another player who's even more injury prone. how do you get injuried when you're not even in the game? i guess he'll have to ask brian griese about that. after roger what? brohm or flynn? ha!
maybe they can dig up farve to play again. remember this too, farve made recievers look good. javon walker and robert ferguson look pretty average without him and so will this crop of pack recievers.

the lions? ha! enough said

Remember someone snaked us for our OG in the draft, everyone seems to know what the other team is going to pick (kinda anyway) so maybe Forte would not have been there later, but thats not the point, The Bears were not even trying to pick a QB, they were set on Rex/Orton all the way, I liked Brohm as well but I'd rather have Forte myself, I feel Orton can get it done, look at his Purdue carreer and he has played decent here, give him a line and he might take over.
I always really liked Rex but he has shown snot a thing, so I wouldn't give him much of a shot. I am not sold on Kiper's Kid yet either....

Joe- Yeop he def. underdrafted the Offensive Line! We shoulda had a guard in there higher, I like Harrison, and Steltz but Steltz maybe shoulda sat and we get a OG there.

So prophet, you are comfortable with Roberto Garza, Terrence Metcalf, Josh Beekman, and Anthony Oakley at Guard? The guys on my list (Zuttah and Addams especially) are versatile enough to play guard and tackle. Zuttah is even being projected as a center. The fact of the matter is that our O-line depth is crap. Beekman may be a decent player, but we have absolutely no idea whether he can even carry water to the field. Oakley is terrible, and Garza was abused all year long, and can't hold up at the point of attack. We carry 8-9 offensive linemen on the roster during the season, and the only locks are:

Kreutz
Tait
Williams

All other positions should be up for grabs. And Tait will probably only be around for another 2-3 years. So we have three of the starting 5 locked up. We needed at least 4 OL out of this draft to start re-making the roster. You figure one will not pan out, so you play the numbers game. When you only take one guy, you put all your eggs in that basket, and if he fails, you have no backup plan. And taking players who can play more than one position makes sense.

And as far as the QBs go, Brohm is by far the only QB who is capable of coming in and reading NFL defenses from day 1. He may not have the same physical skills that Henne, Flacco, and Ryan have, but he is head and shoulders above them in terms of football intelligence. I am ok with that we didn't draft them, but for a team that preached the need to upgrade that position, I am not too excited about Nick Hill and Caleb Hanie. Neither of them will be ready to see the field for at least two years, but given our track record, they will be forced into action this season, which could de-rail their progress.

And looking at just about every scouting service that I have found, Matt Forte was a reach at 44. We should have either moved back to take him, or taken a different position and trusted that he would have been there at 70. If he wasn't, there were other backs on our list that could have been good for what we need. The 44th pick in the draft should not be a head-scratcher. Tillman was one, and he has turned out very well, so hopefully Forte will do the same, but I will believe it when I see it.

Are you people high? What has Orton ever done besides grow a bad beard? Grossman was the first QB to take the Bears to the big game since McMahon. It's a team sport, so Grossman didn't help or hurt as much as you people think he did. LINE, LINE, LINE. Get it through your heads.

Creighton, do you REALLY think that the O-line was great in the 2nd half of the 2006 season? Ridiculous.

Remember Grossman was still young in the 2006 season due to injuries his first couple of seasons with the Bears. Last years O-line was horrible and with Williams and Beekman, will improve, but not dramatically. It's Grossman's last year to prove that he's a franchise QB or not. Only time will tell.

Otherwise lets all hope we win the Tim Tebow sweepstakes.

It is too early to say that Orton and Rex will be the only experienced QB's on the roster this season, but they will be the only ones to play unless both suffer major injuries. The June 1st cut down date may bring us another QB to look at for the future(Chris Simms maybe?), some teams have 5-6 guys on the roster at that position, look at Tampa Bay for one...Drafting a QB outside of round 2 this year would have been a developmental guy anyway, everyone was bi_c_ing we did not pick up Romo as a FA a few years ago, so far I like what I've heard about the rookie FA QB's let see what they can do first before we throw Angelo under the bus(again) for his draft. I see some solid late rounders that could make the squad, the Big Cheese may be the guard we need, bring back Ruben as a coach if he can't go 1 more year to work with Beekman, Cheese, and Barton. Go BEARS it's us and the Vikes for the NFC North, I like our chances.....

Creighton you're contradicting yourself again. First you say Rex played well at the beginning of the season then you say he was never a good qb. Rex had more games in 2006 with a qb rating over 100 than any other in the league. He also had more games than anyone else with a low rating. That doesn't make him bad, that makes him inconsistent. Whatever happened to letting qbs develop? Thomas Jones was a key to their success in 2006, but Rex gets too much credit for bad games and not enough for good ones. Rex has the talent. It's his head that's screwing him up. He can't handle the pressure of the big games. It started in 2005 against Carolina in the playoffs. He played decent against Atlanta and GB and then had a horrible first half in the playoff game. He played good in 2006 up until the Arizona game. Too much pressure from all the success the team was having. Look at how bad he plays in nationally televised night games. Not too mention the Super Bowl. He needs to get his head straight. Time will tell if he's the answer, but he does have talent. He's a better prospect than Benson is right now. How many games has Benson rushed for over a hundred yards even? He hasn't even had success against the bad teams that Rex did.

Not surprising. Does Peter King or Dr. Z ever have anything good to say about the Bears? Ever? Hey Peter, how about commenting on the picks they did make. Great analysis. You're knocking Cincinnati for not dealing Chad Johnson? Umm... I don't know if you know this, but he's a pretty good player. And again, how about some insight into the picks they did make.

I would've liked to see the Bears take a QB in the draft as well, but they did have some nice picks that have a chance to start sooner than later, up until the second pick in the 5th round. If they get 4 or 5 starters that's a good draft. If they get 3 it's still a pretty decent draft.

Creighton, the first round is a crap shoot. Heck the entire draft is a crap shoot. The first rounders just get more exposure if they bust. Angelo has done a pretty decent job building this team through the draft and free agency. If I'm not mistaken, they did make it to the Super Bowl last year.

It is too early to say that Orton and Rex will be the only experienced QB's on the roster this season, but they will be the only ones to play unless both suffer major injuries. The June 1st cut down date may bring us another QB to look at for the future(Chris Simms maybe?), some teams have 5-6 guys on the roster at that position, look at Tampa Bay for one...Drafting a QB outside of round 2 this year would have been a developmental guy anyway, everyone was bi_c_ing we did not pick up Romo as a FA a few years ago, so far I like what I've heard about the rookie FA QB's let see what they can do first before we throw Angelo under the bus(again) for his draft. I see some solid late rounders that could make the squad, the Big Cheese may be the guard we need, bring back Ruben as a coach if he can't go 1 more year to work with Beekman, Cheese, and Barton. Go BEARS it's us and the Vikes for the NFC North, I like our chances.....

Creighton, I agree you can't argue with stats. But answer me two questions.
1] What QB started the entire 2006 season, setting a Bears franchise record for most wins in a season?
2] Who was the last QB to lead the Bears to 2 straight playoff wins and a Super Bowl appearance?
Did you name the same player twice... I thought so.
Because you see Creighton, you can't argue with stats, but you can't argue with the cold hard truth either GO BEARS!!

Good points Kevin. I too named the same QB twice.
The thing about Creighton is that he can only talk about first round draft picks. He is a Medias dream because he is fueled by all the Media hype. I am one not to get sucked into all the Media dung. I like Biggs because he tells it how it is.He seems not to glorify his storys.
Creighton you said Olsen did not make an impacted?
What on earth were you watching when the Bears were on, Figure Skating?
I bet you were a very sad little boy when the Bears traded there 1st round pick in 2006. Think of it this way Creighton if it wernt for that trade I do stongly believe that Hester would have never been drafted by the Chicago Bears. They needed help at saftey and DT that year badly. I could see that they would have drafted Manning anyway with that 31st selection and who know what player would have been on the board for the 62nd selection. So dont be so quick to put down the Bears for making that deal in 06.
Im going on to say in the last 7 years the Bears have faired well in the Draft.You know Creighton there is more than a first round in the NFL Draft.First round selections will not make or break a team, it can only improve a team. What about all the other rounds Jerry Angelo has made picks in. I can think of a few good names in rounds 2-7. I could waiste the readers time and list them but for anyone that truley knows about the Bears I think they can figure that out for themselfs.

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This page contains a single entry by Brad Biggs published on April 29, 2008 10:07 AM.

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