Chicago Sun-Times

Williams Wall crumbles; suspensions impact Bears in multiple ways

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The Minnesota Vikings did not lose any ground in the standings this afternoon, but their defensive line looks a whole lot more ordinary right now.

The NFL denied appeals made by defensive tackles Kevin Williams and Pat Williams, and the Pro Bowl performers must now sit out the final four games of the season for violation of the league's policy on anabolic steroids and related substances. The Williamses are two of six players whose appeals were shot down by the league.

Minnesota (7-5) forged ahead in the NFC North Sunday night with a convincing 34-14 victory over the Bears, who are a game back at 6-6. But the Vikings will have to face Detroit, Arizona, Atlanta and the New York Giants without the interior of their eighth-ranked defense in place. It was the Minnesota defensive line that turned the tide Sunday, repelling the Bears on four plays from the one-yard line in the second quarter as the Bears tried to pad a 7-3 lead. Then, Gus Frerotte hooked up with ex-Bear Bernard Berrian for a 99-yard touchdown and the Vikings led 10-7. They never looked back.

"Are they different? Well, they're different,'' Bears center Olin Kreutz said about the Vikes without the two Williams in the middle. "How different is yet to be seen. That's like asking is our defense different without [Brian] Urlacher and [Lance] Briggs. Well, the answer is, `Yeah.' There's no other way to put it."

The NFL's decision has further impact on the remainder of the Bears season. New Orleans has also lost running back Deuce McAllister and defensive end Will Smith to four-game suspensions, meaning they will miss the Dec. 11 meeting at Soldier Field. Defensive lineman Charles Grant was also suspended for four games, but he's on injured reserve and would not have played in the game had he won his appeal.

All of the players involved used the controversial supplement StarCaps, that was laced with a diuretic that is considered a masking agent for steroids.

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Doo-doo-doo-doo-doo, I'm lovin' it!

Anybody else smell that??? Revenge? Victory? Fate? Karma? Etc...

Doesn't matter. Bears will find a way to blow this gift. Their replacements will end up torching the Bears, just like the journeyman QBs have been doing all year. Only way Bears make playoffs is if they actually create a game plan, that works, and actually make adjustments to the other team's game plan, during the game.

bears have stunk all year.. doesn't matter if the vikings lose all of their arms and legs... the bears are already in hibernation

An interesting quote from the Chicago Tribune on the impact of the Vikings suspension issue: "The key for the Vikings will be beating the Lions on Sunday in Detroit, because if they lose to the Lions and the Bears beat the Packers Dec. 22, the Bears could leapfrog the Vikings based on a better record within the division, assuming the teams' overall record is tied.

With the 30th-ranked running game in the league and a 3.8 yard per carry average, the Lions do not appear to be well-positioned to take advantage of the new hole in the middle of the Vikings' defense.

The Vikings' next opponent, the Cardinals, also do not figure to run the ball down the Vikings' throats. They rank 32nd in the NFL in rushing offense. But the Vikings will miss Kevin Williams' interior pass rush against the No. 2 passing game in football.

The Falcons and Michael Turner should be able to exploit the absence of the Williams Wall. And the Giants definitely would be able to if the final game of the season meant anything."

The main issue that I wish was discussed here was the offenses of the other teams in further detail such as the actual stats of the Cards passing game and the Giants run and passing game and whether they will play any significant role in the upcoming games. Overall I hope that the teams the Vikings face will live up to the complemets they receive from all the pundants and anylists and that the Bears actually do step up and start playing in a more successful and consistant fashion rather than what appears to be a coin-toss format. Go Bears! and Go Luck!!!

8-8 is going to be our record at the end of the season.We are going to lose the saint.Drew Bree's is going to kill us in the pass game with (the quick slant).And count another lose to green bay in and there u have it...8-8 at best

Off Season Moves:





5.MLB (we need a good back up plan)

Front office, take notice! If the Bears blow this shot it's time to drop the hammer!! Look at all the ex-Bears coaching in football. I say we get Doug Plank from the Arena League , get Ron Rievera back, Dent, Frazier....etc.etc....or better yet get Singletary, he'll right this sinking ship, big time!!!!!

The Bears are still not performing. The fact is if the Vikings can beat the worst team in the NFL on Sunday they will own the tiebreaker. They also play the Giants the last game of the season. The Giants will have home field locked up and will more than likely sit many starters. If the Vikes win 2 of the next 4 they will win the division, again because the Vikings will own the tiebreaker! Sorry, but the Bears players will be watching the NFL Playoffs from their homes!!!

Turner,Tillman,offensive line, and the defense showing up every other week.Who has not sat in a bar and heard the bar yell out the plays before the snap? Two yard pass, 6 yard pass when you need 8.
If it's third down for the other team, throw at Tillman.

Mike, you're right the plays are predictable, but I had a High School coach who was as of the mindset, even if other team does know play that's coming, the offense still has to EXECUTE!!If they do, they will be successful. Look at the play from scrimmage at the one yardline by Minn.What was the chance first down wasn't going to be a pass play the way Bears defend the pass this year??? Shoulda been eight in the box rushing. No this coach staff has to resign for the good of the team.And how about 4 straight rushes in a row on the one yard line?? I think that has and will be discussed for a long time, as the stupidest play sequence ever!!Bears are history for this season. After seeing that abomination on sunday,I'm sorry I sent in money for playoff tix,last week shoulda kept it.
Good thing I requested a refund!!

i am a diehard bears fan, but i honestly don't think this is a good thing for the future/direction of the bears organization. the bears are at best a mediocre football team, requiring radical changes in both coaching and draft philosophy. if the bears somehow are able to win the division (i still don't think they will) all this does is perpetuates another year of lovie ball, and buys this regime more time....a regime that has proven over time to be nothing more than ordinary.

lovie has spewed the same rhetoric/lovie-isms on us for years now, talking about stability, building around a core of players. with the exception of a player here and there, the bears have the same defense in tact since the super bowl season, so he has his "core of players". yet over time this defense has progressively become worse in both scheme and performance, makes no halftime adjustments, so that falls on lovie and his staff. he has no excuses of roster turnover as this team was built for him (47% of the cap and countless draft picks) to run a more "pure" version of the tampa 2 and they are an ordinary football team.

the offense...lost cause. outside of forte, this offense has nothing that scares an opposing defense. in 7 years time as GM, jerry angelo only has matt forte to show for? pretty pathetic.

bears down.

the suspension hurts, but the vikings are going to the playoffs as long as AP plays!

and once we do make the playoffs AP deserves MVP...

BAD week to watch the BEARS, first time me and brother got a chance to watch the BEARS together in years, and they lay an egg. This gift as most of you say should not have been required, all we had to do was take the FG instead of going for it 4th and goal after giving one of the plays away with the fullback dive. I know that everyone says it was Tillman who got burned, but if you saw the replay he was trying to cover for the LB HUnter who was immediately beaten off the line by the Vikes TE, this issue has plague the BEARS all season and a major porblem with the scheme, our LB coverage on the TE is not solid and the DB's are not fully focused on there man, since it was Berrian who caught the pass it makes me even more sick. Nothing to do now but watch how the season plays out...I'm pissed off for sure, but hell I'd rather be in the playoffs than out...Go BEARS wins are neede NOW!

I understand a judge in Minnesota has stopped the suspension of the Williams duo and that until he decides the two can play. Since when can a judge interfere with a NFL decision? What about all the other players that have been suspended for various drug infractions. What good are the NFL rules if a player can get the courts involved. What lesson does this teach?

Hennepin County District Judge Gary Larson issued the temporary restraining order at the players' request, saying he wanted more time to hear arguments in the case. No further hearing date immediately was set.

The Williamses were among six players suspended for four games for testing positive for a diuretic that can be used as a masking agent for steroids. They have argued that the substance containing the diuretic didn't list all its ingredients, and that league scientists and lawyers had information about the substance but withheld it from players.

The NFL argues that the league's policy on banned substances is collectively bargained with the players' association and that players are responsible for what is in their bodies.

"This is one of the more difficult cases I've had in 23 years," Larson said before signing the order. "If I make a mistake, I've got to decide on a temporary basis which side I'm able to make the mistake on."

Larson said he would make himself available to reconsider the issue "as quickly as you'd like me to hear it." He also said he expected lawyers for the NFL, who participated in the hearing by phone, would take the issue to federal court in Minneapolis to get the suspensions reinstated.

"There is no merit to this lawsuit and we will promptly seek to have the order reversed," the NFL said in a statement.


Rachel, I saw the very same report. The Judge, no surprise, belongs to the Hennepin County District Court which is located in, oh, MINNESOTA! Obviously the good Justice figures that making sure his favorite NFL team gets into the playoffs is a noble use of his judicial powers. Nevermind what those silly NFL rules, approved by the Players Union, state or don't state.

But I wouldn't be too worried if I were you. If there's one thing Commi$$ioner GOD-dell hates, it's foolish mortals who dare question his power and authority. Zygi Wilf (man, his parents were cruel) will rue this day and those to come! GOD-dell will rip the corporate attire off his body with his bare hands and let forth a massive lightning bolt that will shake the very foundation of the Vikings organization and send them to...Los Angeles!


By Rachel:

"I understand a judge in Minnesota has stopped the suspension of the Williams duo and that until he decides the two can play. Since when can a judge interfere with a NFL decision? What about all the other players that have been suspended for various drug infractions. What good are the NFL rules if a player can get the courts involved. What lesson does this teach?"

This has not happened. This is not a matter of law, it is a NFL rule that all players agree to obide by as soon as they join the NFL. The court of of Law has nothing to say or do about any of this.

By mike:

"Who has not sat in a bar and heard the bar yell out the plays before the snap? Two yard pass, 6 yard pass when you need 8."

You don't actually need to watch a game to do this. Heck it doesn't need to be football season to do this as long as you know Turner is involved you be like "Hey six months from now I bet Turner calls a two yard screen on 3rd and long in the third quarter. Chances are you will be right. You can also do it for the defense. I predict next year if the Bears have a lead in there opening game in the 4th quarter , the team will get conservative on offense and Defense and blow the game. Not a real stretch there is it.

By Sid:

"Doesn't matter. Bears will find a way to blow this gift. Their replacements will end up torching the Bears, just like the journeyman QBs have been doing all year."

Sid I don't know you, but you need to be smacked in the head. We do not play the Queens again this year and the Williams wall will be back next year. So there will be no torching of the Bears by the replacements. Ok, you clear on that now. Also it's not TJ Who's Your Momma.

I think everyone is forgetting one thing when they talk about the playoffs. The Pack have by far the easiest road to the playoffs. If they beat the Bears again it's game over for the Bears. The Vikes will be lucky too get two wins, the Giants don't sit for anyone, were talking about Tom Coughlin he does not believe in resting his players he believes playing hard 24-7. The Giants will clinch and no one will sit, they will go into the playoffs hot. Bears will be lucky to win two more games. Watch out for Houston, they can run and pass and Williams will desimate the Bears line. My guess is Bears go 2-2, Vikes go 1-3 and Pack go 3-1. Guess who will owns the tie break if the Pack beat us again and Detroit.

I take it back a Judge has blocked the suspension, but not of his own accord. The Union has filled to 3 state courts to block the suspension the six players suspended. There seems to be a problem with the Doctor and Lawyer who administered the tests. Both seem to work for the Bears organization. Just kidding about the bears thing. But there does seem to be a problem with the doctor. The players union is currently taking it federal. This seems like a very big deal to be making for what looks like standard suspensions for breaking a simple rule. If this turns into some major scandal I will be laughing through christmas. Gotta love this stuff.

According to the AP: Federal judge blocks NFL from suspending five players
Associated Press

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- A federal judge has blocked the NFL from suspending five players for violating the league's anti-doping policy.

U.S. District Judge Paul Magnuson said Friday he needed more time to consider the case after hearing several hours of arguments from the league and the NFL Players Association.

Kevin Williams and Pat Williams of the Minnesota Vikings, and Charles Grant, Deuce McAllister and Will Smith of the New Orleans Saints all were suspended this week for four games. They tested positive for a banned diuretic in the dietary supplement StarCaps.

The union has argued the NFL didn't properly inform players about the substance. The NFL's attorneys argued that claim, and others, had been considered and rejected in a process set out by the league's collective bargaining agreement.

Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press
This is saying "we can stick it"

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This page contains a single entry by Brad Biggs published on December 2, 2008 4:20 PM.

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