Chicago Sun-Times

Williams' herniated disc an off-limits subject now

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In his teleconference Sunday evening, general manager Jerry Angelo said repeatedly that if the Bears were trying to cover up news of the herniated disc Chris Wiliams had when he was drafted, they would have muzzled the player.

Looks like the team's public relations staff got to Williams a day late.

Talking Monday afternoon when he came off the field, Williams did a 180 from his candid comments the day before when he said that everyone knew he had a herniated disc when he was drafted. Angelo bristled at criticism received but the Bears never admitted Williams had a herniated disc, the same one that required surgery earlier this month.

Head trainer Tim Bream acknowledged Williams had a pre-existing back condition when the Bears drafted him, but it was a "stable herniation" that was not affecting Williams. There is a long history of players playing with similar conditions and Williams didn't miss time at Vanderbilt.

Williams' Q&A a day later ... notice the difference:


I mean, there's no comments to be made, any more comments about medical stuff. If you want medical information, you have to talk to Tim or Coach [Lovie] Smith or Mr. Angelo. I'm in rehab now, I've had surgery and I'm getting better.


Like I said, I'm not talking about medical stuff anymore. It's just a waste of everybody's time in general. We're playing the Colts in two weeks, we've got the Browns this week and that's what we're focused on as a team.


Yeah, I think people are digging for a story that isn't there and it's just a waste of everybody's time in general. We've got a season starting here soon and everybody's looking forward to that getting started. I'm looking forward to getting back and playing football again. Just ready to play.


I got my stitches out last Thursday, started rehab. Doing great, feeling great, just healing.


Very realistic. Very realistic. So look forward to seeing all you guys after we win a lot of games.




It can be, but that's all it's been. I practiced two days and I didn't hit anybody, so there's nothing talk to about -- about medical stuff or practice. There's [74] other guys here, and those guys are working hard. I'm working hard, too, but I'm doing rehab.


It's been a big test. I'm not used to sitting out, so it's been a big test. But it's something you learn from, and I've gotten better from it and I'll be a better player in the end. I'm getting a chance to learn some things.


You just learn kind of the tempo, what to expect on game day, how stuff changes on game day. Because as much film as you want to watch during the week, teams are going to throw extra stuff at you. So it's been good.


Yes. Yeah.

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This is so pathetic and I feel so sorry for this guy. You can bet he got chewed out worse than Brian Griese after last year's game in Philly when Griese suggested that Ron Turner's play calling was killing the offense. Even if Williams turns out to be a complete dud, he'll undoubtedly linger a lot longer than Griese since he was an Angelo first rounder. Sad.


Folks, we've had the opportunity to hear Jerry Angelo explain himself regarding what he and the organization knew of first round pick Chris Williams' herniated disc. And, with special thanks to the Sun-Times reporting staff, we bring you Coach Lovie Smith's take on the criticism he has received as of late.

Without further ado, I present to you Coach Smith.

(Presenter nudges Smith who has obviously dozed off.)

Smith: ZZZZZZ. What, huh? Oh! Good morning. I was just...just preparing my game plan for our season opener against Indianapolis. You know (yawns and stretches), the same way I always prepare for games.

(Presenter explains to Smith it is in fact late evening. He nods, pretending to understand.)

Coach, the defense had a ton of issues last year and these issues seem to have continued into the preseason. Some have criticized you for letting defensive coordinator Ron Rivera go in place of your longtime friend, Bob Babich. What are your thoughts on this?

There has been criticism of me replacing "Chico" with my B.F.F., Bob Babich. Some will cite our defense�s catastrophic plummet from top-10 in the league to the very bottom. Some will cite the fact that the Lions, yes those Lions, set the all time record for points in the fourth quarter against us. Some will even point out how no one on our defense can tackle, cover, shed blocks or quite frankly be in position to make a play.

You know, I think the criticism of Bob is unfair. In fact, I think Bob and Ron Turner were two of the most criticized coordinators in the National Football League last season. But I'll tell you what. Next to my buddy Bob, Ron Turner looks like Joe Gibbs from the 80's. So I think that so far it has worked out for the best.

Speaking of the defense, do you think the Cover-2 has "run its course" in this league?

I sure as hell hope not.

What about your strategy of the team winning by getting turnovers on defense?

My philosophy is that teams win games when the defense gets turnovers. I feel good; feel real good, about turnovers. Some say it's not a philosophy, but rather "hoping for good things to happen." Yet, let's backtrack to 2007, the days following the SuperBowl. I had just come off the biggest fluke season of my career and management literally had a gun to its head in terms of me receiving a multi-million dollar extension. Then the 2007 season happened. And this off-season you saw how our core players; Brian Urlacher, Lance Briggs, Tommie Harris, Robbie Gould; made the very same organization shower them with millions. And you've plainly seen their efforts so far this preseason. So if that's not winning by forcing turnovers, then I don't know what it is.

Thank you for your time and go Cowboys!

(Presenter whispers something to Smith.)

Oh, right. Go Bears.

(At that moment, without warning, Smith's body stiffened up and he blankly stared into space. Then, a burst of steam shot out from his ear as his entire head opened up to reveal a little green person inside a futuristic mini-cockpit with all sorts of levers, switches and blinking lights. The little green man looked ill and tried to speak. "To prevent war," it started. "The galaxy is on Orion's belt.")

Angelo makes me sick, this kid gave an honest answer to an honest question and now he is in trouble for doing it. I am not a big fan of Williams but but I hate gag orders and Angelo a heck of a lot more. I hope Williams doesn't keep his mouth shut like he has been told to do, its called the first Amendment kid tell it like it is. Angelo won't be here much longer anyway, look at the way he is acting, blaming the Media and attacking the press for exposing his lie and then not even admitting he lied saying he was honest about his back the whole time. Pathetic looser scum bag GM guy has managed to draft six starters in 8 drafts, I think that may be the worst draft stat in the NFL.

Creighton I think you need a hug. Whatever you do, don't stop commenting. If you don't vent all that anger here where it is harmless, it could be bad. Remember, we all still love you no matter what you say.


I see where you are using Jay Mariotti's stat of six starters that Angelo drafted. Jay fails to mention the following people: Hester (#7), the LG will either be Metcalf or Beekman (both drafted by Angelo, #8), expect Forte to start at RB (#9), and it is possible that Payne beats out McGowan at SS (#10) and if Dvoracek is healthy on opening day that makes #11. Three starters were drafted by the Bears before Angelo: Urlacher, Mike Brown and Kreutz -- four if you count LS Mannelly. That leaves 10 players out of the 25 starters (when you count the 3 special teamers of PK, P, and LS) that were acquired via trade (1): Ogunleye; FA signings (6): Clark, Tait, Garza, St. Clair, McKie, and Maynard; off of the waiver wire (3): Hillenmeyer, Gould, and either Booker/Lloyd/Davis, R. That is not a horrible record. You claim that Angelo's six drafted starters -- an inaccurate number put out there by Mariotti to make his point -- is the worst in the NFL. Please look it up. It is not even close. I could tell you the number here but then I would be doing your work. So please go through the 32 teams and select the starters that were drafted either by the current GM of the team or they have only played for one team.

Now can Angelo be faulted for misses in the first round? Sure. Has he and his team been better at selecting defense over offense? Yup. If I hold fault with Angelo and his selectors is when he came he said controlling the line of scrimmage was critical. He has done well on the DL and he has put together an OL from the FA market (Tait, St. Clair and Garza). Angelo has not drafted enough OL and it shows now because of the age of the OL. The fact that Williams is his highest drafted OL since '02 and the injury plagued Colombo who is now a stud for the Cowboys is probably what is digging in his craw and the cause for his outburst on Sunday.

Hold Angelo accountable for not drafting as he said he would on both lines of scrimmage. And yes he has not done as well in the first round -- but most GMs have the same problem. But Angelo has a good to very good record of drafting. We might have as many as 35 or the 53 roster be home grown Bears. That is very good.

To the larger point Creighton, compare the Angelo/Smith record with the 20 years prior and you can say we are much much better now. Or do you disagree??

add one more to the list of bad draft picks by angelo

Herniated discs are a common problem. A large percentage of the population develop back and leg pain from a herniated disc. Alot recovery, however, some like Chris Williams need surgery in order to get back to their normal routine.
The interesting thing with herniated discs is that a scan may show a herniation, the patient then gets better but a re-scan shows there is still a herniation. This is one of the many challenges with treating back pain and herniated discs. It is important to consider the whole person and look at the scans to see if everything matches up.

I wish Chris Williams a speedy recovery.

Sandra McFaul
McKenzie Physiotherapist


That has to be one of the funniest posts I've ever seen. Brilliant!

md Kevin you have nop clue what you are speaking about. All those guys you mention, Beekman, Metcalf, Dusty, they all suck. The only reason they are starting is they have nobody else. Because Angelo failed to draft offensive linemen for years. Angelo has been with the Club 7 years and one of the first things he did was clean house of guys that were not his. But are you kidding your comparing 20 years of Bears history to Angelo. Lets take Columbo, Angelo drafted him to play LT, a position he struggled at and got hurt playing at. The Cowboys play him at RT where he should have been to begin with but Angelo thought he new Better, not to mention it was the Cowboys who developed him not the Bears. We almost killed his career. Having guys on a team does not mean they are good. You list Garza, St. Clair, McKie as good players are you crazy? They stink. Youo basically put up a list of scrubs and are like look Angelo has them starting see how great they are, cause there starters. Being a starter doesn't make you good, it just means thereis no one better on the team. 6 starters is 100 percent accurate. Heck Hester got out played by Davis but Hester got the start over him because of profile. As starter go six is the number he has drafted and that does not even mean they are good. You don't want to tell me the number because it is six. And I didn't get it from Jay if you new me and had pposted on this board more than a week you would know there isn't a stat I don't know or a fact about Angelo dating back to his tim with the Giants I don't have. Why dont you look up his draft history with Tampa and his plus 10 loosing seasons there. Oh man Kevin Payne started a game he is a starter see his stats are higher. This team is full of garbage players he put on it. Also Dusty is not a starter, you count Beekman and Metcalf as both starters, well only one is gona start and they both suck. You are actually bragging that he drafted Metcalf. That is a joke.

Lets look at the starters, Llyod, St. Clair, Garza, Tait, Beekman, Orton, Forte(who will get beat out by Jones), Hester, Olin(who by the way you forget to mention is the fifth holdover from the previous regime), Olsen and Clark. So Orton(who is a backup anyplace else), Olsen, Hester and Forte has not been named yet so that is three one of which is a backup and the other Hester is totally unproven and has looked horrible so far.

Defense, Goon, Brown, Adams, Harris, Brown, Lach, Hunter, Briggs, Till, Vash. Oh my god your right he may have as many as seven starters, that number is so much higher than six. How many of them are legit starters? 5. Or maybe you can explain why all of his players look like garbage this preseason against weak compitition sense like you seem to claim there all so good. Gosh what a team, 0 and 3 in preseason so far and last year did they have a winning season? Remind me please. In fact in his time here what is the Bears record. 2002-2007 I say 2002 because he got hired after the draft in 2001. His record with the Bears is 47-49. Wow thanks for showing me how awsome Angelo is, or how many great drafts he has had. Oh I also notice you skip his whole first round disasters list and act like yeah so what one player in his time here has suceed as a first round pick. I have listed every pick he has ever made on this web site, everyone, please spare me your knowledge of Angelo, cause you aint clue. You act like guys like Beekman are great picks when in fact they suck and act like all his misses are no big deal and we don't need those picks. Under Angelo the Bears have 4 loosing seasons and 2 winning season. For you this seems like a big success. Wow maybe the Bears will go 6-10 won't that be an awsome season. Jeese if your gonna speak to me at least know what you are talking about.

MD Kevin

I almost forgot you mentioned the last 20 years with the Bears and Angelo has improved the team sene he got with them. Well lets take a look at the numbers shall we. Oh did you mean like las t 20 years or 20 year s prior to his arival. Doesn't matter though lets look. Sense 2002 47-49.

Sense 1987-2001 they were 120 and 119. Well my goodness they have actually gotten worse sense he got here. Thanks for showing me what a great GM he is.

How about 20 years prior to his arival will say 1982 till 2001. Well thats 170 and 142. My goodness still better than the Angelo regime.

Hey would you like to see his Tampa numbers as the head of Player Personel. I am sure it will be very fun for to post the Great Angelos numbers. You remember Tampa the Place that fired Angelo and then went on to win a super bowl. We could talk about all his great first round picks there as well. It will be fun for me.

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This page contains a single entry by Brad Biggs published on August 25, 2008 8:59 PM.

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