Chicago Sun-Times

Top pick Williams in full pads for practice

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Seven weeks to the day since Chris Williams underwent surgery to repair a herniated disc in his lower back he is on the practice field.

Williams is taking part in practice on a limited basis as he works his way back. The team has never put a specific timetable on a return but general manager Jerry Angelo did say he thought Williams would be ready for game action before November. Williams certainly isn't close but there are 3.5 weeks before the team's final game of October vs. Minnesota on the 19th. The team has a bye the following week.

There is a lot that needs to be learned about the first-round pick from Vanderbilt before he can be inserted into game action because he was injured on the second day of training camp. There will have to be a need too as the line has been decent through the first three games.

The practice is being conducted in full pads. No word yet, but a good guess is Williams is off limits to any contact.

Returner/receiver Devin Hester (ribs), defensive end Alex Brown and cornerback Nathan Vasher were sidelined when practice was opened to media. Vasher was listed with a shoulder and back injury last week.

Rookie safety Craig Steltz (sprained right ankle) was back to work after being injured last Wednesday.

Check back later for more information.

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5 Comments

Hey that's good news! Maybe the gamble (carrying him on the 53) is going to work. The O-line is really thin, but maybe the kid can work at least into a backup role. Better news is St. Clair is doing OK. Even better news is if Miller stays on the sideline.

No, no, no!!! Again the current "leadership" is gonna botch another draft pick. Numerous players such as Tom Thayer and Jimbo Covert have talked about coming back early from surgery, specifically back surgery in Covert's case, prematurely ended their careers. This team is going nowhere this year with that anemic offense, so rushing Williams back will not benefit them only hurt the future. Hopefully, they just hold him out, I thought it was a bad idea to carry him on the 53, but that is water under the bridge at this point. This current regime is basically using the organization as a piggy bank and have outlasted their welcome. Angelo is a bafoon.

The doctors have to clear him, and there is no question that the surgical procedures have come a long way since the time when Covert had his (almost 20 years). If you watched the last two games, between Tait and St. Clair, it is amazing that Orton is still alive, let alone still healthy. They are getting abused by defensive ends, and it has nothing to do with blitzing. Kreutz appears to have the right idea when it comes to he and Orton calling the protection, it's just that the players are getting beaten badly at the engagement site. Garza, Tait, and St. Clair are all playing poorly, and St. Clair may be playing the best of the 3.

Williams could be a big boost, or he could just be another turnstyle. We won't know for a few weeks. Since they kept him on the active roster, they don't need to make a decision in 3 weeks, or open up a roster spot for him, so this works out well in that regard. If he doesn't show recovery, he goes on IR, and you promote Balogh from the practice squad for the rest of the year. If he does show improvement, our best option would appear to be letting him compete for the LT spot, and if he wins it, moving St. Clair over to the right side. Tait is missing a step or two, and Miller is even slower. I still think Buenning needs to be on the field, whether he replaces Garza or Beekman. I would rather see him on the left working with Williams/St.Clair, but either side would be an upgrade. Metcalf would probably be an upgrade at RG over Garza the way he is getting manhandled at the point of attack. We need to add some power to the line on the inside, so Kreutz can get to the second level. Forte needs some help on the interior so his first move doesn't have to be at or behind the line, but 3-4 yards downfield. We will see more of what we saw at Indy, and less of what we saw against Tampa....

Joe glad to see I m not the only one noticing the line problems, the Bears have been using a three step drop to nutralize the pass rush as much as they can often they are using a 1 step turn and fire. I totally agree with you this line needs more power, in short yardage situations we are getting stuffed. Not to mention Forte has been dodging would be tacklers in the backfield for three weeks. Imagine Benson back there and we are loosing yards on most running plays.

As for Williams I agree with what Biggs wrote today and that is how do evaluate a guy in practice when practice is all non-contact. Not to mention if the Bears need a power boost for the run game Williams is not the answer, he is a Tech guy with good feet who lacks power and drive. He should improve pass protection if he gets up to speed. But who is to say he will even play much this year, he is way way behind everyone and would still have to get his timing with the rest of the line down. He can only do that by playing in games and he is not going to start games when he has never even practiced with the offensive line. Right now he is in limited practice. Biggs what is he limited too cause the Bears do non-contact practice to begin with, what are they having him do? Is it like stretching and then standing around for the rest of practice?

Creighton I don't buy it. But even if that is true, about just being a technique guy with good feet, that's what you want. He's got to have some quick when he gets here. They can turn the kid over to Rusty and develop his power and strength, but you can't teach natural athleticism.

Otherwise he spends his whole career reading things like "Freeney" and "Taylor" on the backs of jerseys like a trucker reading mileposts. Even on run blocks, the LT has to be able to operate in space.

The guards are ones who need to be able to root out defensive tackles. The jury is still out, but it looks to me like Beekman could develop into a player.

RG needs an upgrade. Garza is all finesse and that is just not enough. I think it's possible that when Buenning learns the system, and Williams heals up enough to be a backup, that Metcalf is the next Bradley. Hate to lose a Mississippi boy, but that's how it looks to me.

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This page contains a single entry by Brad Biggs published on September 24, 2008 1:36 PM.

Bucs TE Stevens: "People on the Bears got exposed" was the previous entry in this blog.

McNabb, Westbrook held out of practice in Philly is the next entry in this blog.

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