Chicago Sun-Times

Bears to take a closer look at tackling machine from small school

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The Bears will bring in Murray State linebacker Nathan Williams for a pre-draft visit next week.

Williams is a tackling machine who led all levels of college football last season, averaging 14.9 tackles per game. Williams was the defensive player of the year in the Ohio Valley Conference and was a football subdivision, or as I prefer to call it I-AA, All-American. Wiliams, 6-1, 228 pounds, made 23 tackles in a meeting with Illinois State.

He's run the 40-yard dash in 4.75 seconds, and projects as an inside linebacker. If he can move well, he might be useful as a young player on special teams. The Bears will get a closer look in a few days.

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34 Comments

A tackling machine? Lovie will soon change that! He wants his MONSTERS to strip the ball, never mind that the carrier makes an additional 50 yards. It's the stats that count.

This is another non issue. Wow he is a tackling machine. There is something to be said about a guy who makes 23 tackles in 1 game. Your team is getting the s$%& kicked out of them. The D must have been on the field the entire game.

Here's a thought JA and Bears management bring in players that are worth looking at. What a concept?

I wonder if Jerry Angelo has a "whispering eye"? Oh wait he does.

GO BEARS.

I'm all for tackling machines that can do double duty on Special Teams. But we really need some tackling machines at S, not LB. Our collection of slow, stupid and awful tacklers at the S is laughable. Unless that gets fixed, get ready for another long season of last minute losses to hot QBs.

Hell, the Steelers have some pretty good Safeties and they still almost lost to the Cards. And they were lining their Safeties up at the Georgia border to make sure Fitzgerald couldn't get behind them.

Wake up Bears: your cover two demands great Safeties who can fly and hit, not ILBs.

I told you guys that Ohio is the hotbed of football in America! Draft him too along with all the Buckeyes! BEAR DOWN!

Do not draft anymore Buckeyes. The Bears already remind enough of those chumps. The Bears can't win any big games either. One more note...OSU vs Mich is such an overated game...yeah they hate each other but grambling and southern hate each other and that game is about as important to BCS rankings as OSU/Mich. Go SEC...Go Gators!!!Go Bears!!!

Yes Buckeyeland we could draft all your players and then we wouldn't even be good enough to win the Fiesta Bowl let alone the Super Bowl. Thats how ggod your team is.

Williams is a non issue but a 4.75 40 for a guy the size of a Safety seems pretty slow to me.

Didn't Recks Grossman come from the SEC??? hahahaha Need I say more??Next time, let's play the National Championship up north here instead of giving the SEC another home game! It ain't fair, them SEC chumps can't take the cold!Creighton, nobody wants your opinion. If they did they would give it to you!!

Like most fans, Angelo's policy of trading down has driven me crazy over the years. However, this year there just seem to be an inordinate number of guys who aren't worth a #18 pick but won't be there at #49 either. Here are 4:

1. Alex Mack C/G Cal
2. Connor Barwin DE Cincinnatti
3. Kenny Britt WR Rutgers
4. Brian Robiskie WR Ohio State(Love him)

these are guys i figure will all have productive starting careers in the league. Maybe Jerry will finally nail it this year. Let's hope.

This guy deserves a good look. He must be able to shed blocks to make that many tackles and cover ground as well. I think at this stage it is clear that Briggs is the only legitimate all-pro linebacker the Bears have, and looking for replacements justy makes sense.

Wow! This guy could be the next Boomer Grigsby. Maybe the Bears could convert him to full back.

Creighton, Crapton, PackerBacker, whoever you are. YOU SUCK!!!! Go away! Cheeseheaded loser! Please!

A 4.75 40 is slow for a player that is 228lbs. But, its important to remember, judge a player first by what he does on the field, then worry about how fast he is in shorts. The fact Nathan Williams avg 14.9 tackles per game means he's everywhere the ball is, and puts himself in position to make a lot of plays. I think Williams is worth a look and could contribute on special teams, especially with his ability to make a lot of plays on defense GO BEARS!!

By Tripper on March 27, 2009 1:58 PM
Creighton, Crapton, PackerBacker, whoever you are. YOU SUCK!!!! Go away! Cheeseheaded loser! Please!

Cute Brando now Im you. lets list your names, never mind you have to many. You do list 3 of them above though nut job. Seriously, seek help you are way to obsessed with me. You should change your new name to Trippin.

Man you are one f###### idiot. Hey Brando, Tripper, Crap-ton or what ever your name is these days. Have you even talked about football on this site in the last year. Nope just some wack job who is stalking me. You are a major Freak and I so own you, your like my crazed little pet who keeps eating my shoes. Your like a toy to me, I play with you because it amuses me. It's great to cause i don't even have to look for you, you always come and find me like an obedient dog looking for it's master. I am your Alpha and Omega.

Me change names?? Sorry only a nutter like you would do that, I love my name and I am proud of it, unlike you. Now quit barking while we try to talk about football. Your a nosy little dog. Be good and i'll give you a greenie bone.

This is all just a smoke screen...... They will draft a DT first round!

Who ever Tripper and Crap-ton is very good job. Can you believe this guy Creighton.

Creighton you have me typing like a broken record. I'm not anyone else besides Brando. It almost feels like I'M trying to teach a 21 year old idiot savant. Just will not get it will ya.

Kid Creighton the one that has a learning disability, I only have time to be on here a couple of times a week. I have a job and a family that is demanding. Maybe when you hit puberty you will find these things out. Maybe just maybe if that happen that's a big IF you will find out life does not revolve around you. As you say all the time people have their own opinion so let them have an opinion.

That stalking issue I think you invite people to hate on you just to give you attention. Its time to get off the tigolbittys and start the bottle!

You want to talk obsession well you Are the perfect example of obsession. You want me to be other people. You pray for me to come on here and have a human opinion. Why else are you accusing me of being other people and stalking you.

I wasn't on this or any website for 3 months and yet reading the archives (the news I missed out on) you still accuse me of being on here.

Thats an obsession buddy.

Can we talk Bears here, kids? Besides, it's past your bedtime, Cry-ton, I mean Creighton. Your computer time is up, little girl Creighton, now off to bed so the REAL Bear fans can talk football. Sleep tight and here's your binky! Girly-girl. BEAR DOWN!!

Can we talk Bears here, kids? Besides, it's past your bedtime, Cry-ton, I mean Creighton. Your computer time is up, little girl Creighton, now off to bed so the REAL Bear fans can talk football. Sleep tight and here's your binky! Girly-girl. BEAR DOWN!!

Are any comments coming through?

Who thought small school players would have problems with pro transitions (D. Manning). But with the Vandy kid taking a year to learn a pro style offense, what the hell, lets scout the community colleges! That would be cheap enough for the McBears.

Kevin, I hope you are wrong. I don't think defensive tackle is a big need for the Bears. I still think everything starts with the offensive line and hope the Bears go there with their first pick.

Even though I am somewhat new here, I am a lifelong BEAR fan living in Minnesota, about 25 miles south of St. Paul. I get more Minnesota Viqueen news than I like, but as long as B Chilly is the head coach, we are always in the game.

The best way to deal with persons of Cryton's nature is to just COMPLETELY ignore him.

I want to hear people's opinions of the team, trades, signings, etc. This cutting people down is childish, immature, and not worth my time by responding to her.

Thank you to all who talk intelligently with honest opinions.

Looking forward to being a regular.

GO BEARS

Paul I agree DT is not as big a need as DE (3 of the current DE's are free agents after this year), or LB (no production from the strongside backer). WR and OL depth is pretty good this year and JA will probably look at these positions after the 1st rd.

I think JA is going to pick English-DE, or Matthews-LB in the 1st rd. Unless the player is a QB JA looks for the 1st rd pick to be a starter by mid season, unless he's hurt. A RT might play, but he has 2 alternatives in Scheffler and Omiyale. A DT is unlikely because he's tied up so much money in the position with Harris and there is an expectation Harrison will continue to improve.

I'm hoping it's Matthews because he has a great work ethic, and is also good blitzing the QB. I worry that English is undersized for DE and they won't use a 1st rd pick on a situational rusher.

All this goes out the window if Sanchez-QB is there, or if they can trade the pick. The best outcome would be to trade the pick for a later round this year and a 1st rd next year. If they have 2 1st rd picks next year and Orton does not develop they might be able to package the picks for Bradford.

Your new and ur first comment is to call someone out who has been here longer than most of us?? You just caught them at a bad time lolol, it's all good, cause their Bears posts are top notch but you know its really bad when people say to quit the name calling by calling names lolol, how about you guy's posting some team analysis yourself BEFORE you start with the name calling as well? reread ur post's and see if you did the exact same thing your complaining about?

The Packers get on our nerves by beating us 37-3, how about posting comments on that and what happened to the team motivation/coaching/attitude against our hated rival, a game they should not have needed motivation for.

And Shaffer is better than St. Clair AND Tait in my opinion he has more potential but is no wheres near a top FA pickup. But he is supposed to be a decent run blocker?? so that will help us with Forte and Tait was old and Shaffer has more stamina so actually Shaffer/Omiyale are upgrades and we will be better with them, maybe not as great of upgrades as we wanted but upgrades nonetheless. I did not like JA signing such low Free Agent pickups but the fact is they are upgrades (as sad as that is) and they will both help the team,

If I am wrong, I APOLOGIZE !! But I am disturbed that there is so much backbiting among people, it seems to be more than the general team competitiveness that goes on among different team affiliations, or members of the same team affiliation that cannot respectfully disagree. There seems to be a lot of hate among certain people. Hate will bring out the worst in people.
I want to hear honest opinions from people, whether right or wrong, that is their opinion. I prefer clarity over agreement. I try not to judge opinions, because we all are entitled to one, I just want to know ""why"" that is your opinion, what are your reasons? We can all learn from others, no matter how old we are !!
If I offended anyone, again, I apologize, maybe I caught some on a bad day.
My thoughts again, I want to see us try and acquire a few more # 2 picks this year. 2 more O-lineman, a big WR, another DE, a S, and another LB. I do not want to give up the house for Cutler, Would I like to have Cutler? absolutely, but, if we strengthen our offense, I believe we will see a much better Orton. Is Orton the answer, I don't know.
I just read where JA has only 25 of his 69 picks in 9 years still on the roster, What I would like to know is how many of those 44 other picks were busts? Did we give up to early on some? Were some traded? Overall that is not a very good percentage.


Paul Manter & wmfights, while Im not the Kevin that commented above about the Bears drafting a DT, I am a Kevin that thinks its a possibility. I believe the Bears first rounder at #18 overall is gonna come down to either Missouri receiver Jeremy Maclin or Mississippi defensive tackle Peria Jerry.

Paul, I think DT is more of a need than you might think it is, especially with Tommie Harris being sidelined during mini camp for drills that were basically walk throughs. I agree, Chicago will still bring in another offensive tackle through the draft, just not in the first, not saying it won't happen, I just don't think so with the recent signing of Kevin Shaffer. I look for Chicago to draft a second day tackle like Florida's Jason Watkins who could come in as a rookie and play swing tackle, and develop for a season or two behind Shaffer.

wmfights, USC's Clay Matthews is a possibility. But with the recent signing of Nick Roach, who will probably get the first crack at the starting strongside job, as he was the starter toward the end of last season, I don't think the Bears go first round for a linebacker. I do look for the position to be addressed however, maybe in the third round with a player like California's Zack Follett.

wmfights, if the Bears go with a first round defensive end it will probably be someone like LSU's Tyson Jackson or Tennessee's Robert Ayers, who both project as left ends at the next level. Chicago might need another left end with current starter Adewale Ogunleye due to hit the open market after next season. At right end the Bears have Alex Brown who they obviously like after giving him a contract extension last february, Brown is signed through 2011. Chicago also has Mark Anderson who they believe new line coach Rod Marinelli can get back to his rookie form when he had 12 sacks. Brown and Anderson will get most of the reps at right end, there won't be any room for a rookie to get reps. Same with left end, Ogunleye and Idonjie will probably get the most reps, so there also might not be any room for a rookie to have a chance to develop, especially a first day prospect who would be expected to come in from day one and contribute. Also keep in mind, the Bears have second year player Ervin Baldwin at left end, who was on the practice squad as a rookie until the Bears caught wind that the Chiefs were gonna snag him off their practice squad. Chicago then elevated Baldwin to the 53 man roster, Chicago must like Baldwin to do this.

Speaking of Israel Idonije, he may be the tell tale sign that Chicago needs help at DT. Idonjie spent last season inside at DT as the primary backup at the three technique to Tommis Harris. If you remember Idonjie started for Harris vs the Eagles when he was down with a bad knee, and vs the Lions when Harris was serving his suspenion. Idonije was moved back outside recently, who's gonna backup Harris at the ever important three technique now? Maybe 2nd year DT Marcus Harrison, but if you notice toward the end of last season he was at nose tackle, and recently in mini camp was getting about as many reps at nose as he was at the three technique, why? Maybe if another three technique is brought in, Harrison can move to nose tackle where he may be a better fit at 6-3 310lbs. With Harris standing on the sideline during mini camp doesn't look very good. Jerry Angelo said he doesn't believe his defense will be as good as they once were. I believe he had Tommie Harris in mind when he said that. A GM doesn't come out and say something like that without a plan. I think the plan is to bring in another three technique to help Tommie Harris, who might not ever be the same player he once was. This is why I think Peria Jerry could have his name called off at #18 for Chicago, we'll see GO BEARS!!

wmfights, but what about Rod hiring and him saying he feels he can turn Brown, Anderson around. I don't feel any of the DE had a great season, (or 2) but it's real hard to tell what JA is going to do with that 18 now that he picked up the Oline FA and hired Rod for the Dline and Bennet was added in the 3rd last year, and he picked up DB I would like to get a Top DE as well, but with Rod coming in and Lovie saying he was the D Free Agent pickup, that really makes you wonder what the heck JA is going to target?
I agree that he might trade the pick, as he covered his needs (in his mind) as I feel all the pickups are untested and as such are still question marks, but a draft pick is a question mark as well. Do I sound cornfused? :) I am really trying to figure out what he will do with 18, its a tuff call right now.
DE/OL/WR/FS/LB all needs but yet all addressed somewhat here lately or last year in Bennet's case.
I feel LB is strong and he can convert that LB to DE after the draft as well.
And URL is still having injury issues and he is not getting any younger and Lovie wants that ML to blitz/cover/tackle/ run sideline to sideline - I mean be fast...so I am thinking MLB as well.

http://www.draftcountdown.com/rankings/top.php


Matthews is moving up but not yet to 18, I have seen, but he does sound like a great pick at 2, If we trade down with Philly Those USC linbackers will be right there. Here is a link with some very good anaysis:

http://www.nfl-draft-site.com/2007/06/linebackers-for-2008-nfl-draft.html

There are quite a few LB ranked right in our 18 area and that is what I am leaning towards with the 18 as that would help our DB as well - coverage - Lovie sends his LB into coverage alot.


Creighton, yes that's probably a tad slow for that position AND that weight, look at Matthews he runs the same and he has 20 lbs on him but the game day tackles do impress me and the speed is not that bad with the tackles added in, and a late draft on him would be worth it. You have to admit that would be better than JA spending 7's on Olinemen that we just release anyways.

Mick amen brother. Now in my opinion I would like to grab Ayers of Tennesee or Malanga of USC actually I picture Urlacher outside for the rest of his career and a real run stuffer in the middle would inprove the second level, I referred to two 320+lb d-linemen in the south at d2 schools in a recent post that would make a good rotation with Adams and move Harrison to the 3 tech he's showed he's quick enough and he's bigger would extend Harris' carrer and provide the future there are a lot of OT's in all rounds and some projected as guards so there is happy hunting in late rounds which is Angelo's strong suit.

KA - I really like P. Jerry DT at 18, the only negative I've seen is his age. He's 25 now. He might be the right pick, but with the big money on Harris I don't think Angelo will tie up 1st rd money on 2 players at the same position. That's why I think they look at DE or LB.

The Bears won't draft Jackson at DE (he's best suited to a 3-4) because he won't generate much of a pass rush. They can move Brown to RDE next year when Oqunleye is gone and they have Idonije there as well. I think you are right about Baldwin so I think the slot that opens up is Anderson being cut, or traded.

If Maclin drops I would trade the pick. The Bears need a big possession type and he doesn't fit. Also with the depth at WR they should see someone that will fit in the 2nd (Hicks, Robiske) the 3rd (Gibson) or later (Kelly).

Randy - you make agreat point. Angelo has done a masterful job of confusing everyone. He could pick a variety of positions in the 1st rd. I am inclined to think it's LB. The reason Matthews jumps out is because he is purported to have an incredible work ethic. Also, played in the best program in the country (No I did not go to USC) against top competition. He has great instincts and comes from an incredible blood line. I think he is currently the 2nd best OLB in the draft. I don't see them going for Maualuga because he doesn't drop into coverage well.

Check these rankings:
http://walterfootball.com/draft2008P.php

KA - along these LB lines the Bears didn't sign Roach to a big contract and it would probably be Hillenmeyer who gets cut.

wmfights, I realize Roach was only signed to a one year contract, but I think it was an audition type contract much like the one given to safety Josh Bullocks. Kind of a show us what you got before we give you a long term deal. Angelo has done this in the past with players like guard Roberto Garza, and receiver Brandon Lloyd. They liked what they saw in Garza and gave him an extension, and as for Lloyd, you get what Im saying. I think the Bears like Roach and want to give him a chance to catch on. And again, I agree linebacker will be addressed, just not in the first. I still say Zack Follett of California will be their guy in the third. Follett is a punishing tackler who has a knack for getting to the QB, look him up. I think he'd be a great 3rd rounder for Chicago. And wmfights, like you were saying about receiver being a deep position in this years draft, so is linebacker.

wmfights, I also don't like Jackson, but he does project as a 4-3 left end, as well as a 3-4 end. I was just saying if the Bears go end in the first, Jackson would make the most sense being a projected left end, and left end is the position Chicago might need after next season. Also, if Marinelli can get Ogunleye back to being a double digit sack guy, look for Chicago to extend him. With Rod Marinelli, it just seems like the Bears want to give their current ends a chance to succeed.

I think Jerry Angelo has sat himself up to simply take the best player available. This is why I am thinking Jeremy Maclin or Peria Jerry, don't count out Ol Miss tackle Michael Oher either. Jerry Angelo said the Bears don't want to go into the draft fixated on a certain position, and Jerry Angelo has sat himself up not to. When the #18 overall pick comes up, Missouri receiver Jeremy Maclin could be the best player available. Another thing to remember, Angelo has also said the only place to get a #1 receiver is the first round. Look up Maclin, the guy is a straight up game breaker, the type Chicago doesn't have. Everytime he has the ball in his hands he's a threat to score, and moves the chains, 22 of his 55 first down catches came on third down. Also, Maclin has scored 32 times in 28 games, again, think gamebreaker. Think what a player like Maclin could do for Matt Forte, Greg Olsen, and Devin Hester. But in the end wmfights, your guess is as good as mine GO BEARS!!

Kevin A., you make some good points especially about the 1 yr contracts. I think your analysis is correct.

I think Maclin has the potential to be a game breaker at WR, but the #1 role has been given to Hester. They like to have a variety of types at WR and what they need is a big possession type. Hester will continue to improve if the OL improves and if Orton learns how to throw over defenders to receivers.

If Oher is there at 18 they have to grab him. Jerry is another solid pick I agree with you about. The only reason I think they won't pick a DT 3 technique is they've already tied up 1st rd money in Harris at the position.

Kevin all the players you've pointed out would be great additions, but they would be sharing #1 money with another player Maclin vs Hester, Jerry vs Harris. I'm a life long Bear fan and would love to see them do it, but that has not been the way they've operated. They don't pay top dollar for someone to share time with someone else. That's why I think they will go LB or DE.

Money is a consideration when drafting. If they tie up too much money in one spot it will hurt them somewhere else. If money were not a part of the equation than I would go DT 3 technique in the 1st rd. Of course my theory can go right out the window and Sanchez drops to them and they grab him.

Is Sanchez worth the pick? What is your feeling with Freeman? Bigger, taller, I think he has more upside. Could we trade Harris to Oakland for their #1 pick, and a 3rd. Give them Vasher and we will also take their #2. I know wishful thinking, I think Al is crazy enough. Do we have anyone to replace Vasher? I do agree on Oher ! This kid has had a real interesting upbringing, and it was done right by the folks who raised him. I think he is a star waiting to shine. Then we could go Robiskie in the 2nd.
Maybe we could trade our 1st next year to NE for 2 of their 2nds this year. Use them to draft a DT, DE, or S, or another WR. We could trade Urlacher for picks, and then pick up Derrick Brooks for a one year contract. He knows Marinelli, and move Briggs to MLB.

AGAIN, just thinking out loud

Mick - Sanchez is worth the pick. He has very good arm strength, can throw on the run, has a very good work ethic, gets along with his teammates and has played big in big games. Freeman has more size but not more arm, is not as mobile.

Bottom line football is a QB's game. If you want to win a SB you need a QB. Orton has some good traits, but he hasn't shown the ability to throw over defenders and lead his recievers.

I don't think the Bears will trade up, but they will probably look to trade down. I think the best move is trade the 1st rd pick to someone for their 1st next yr and a lower pick this year. Until the OL gets rebuilt a premier QB doesn't make a lot of sense. In the 2nd rd the Bears should be able to get a solid RT.

Yeah, and Berrian/Hester etc...Jones/Ced.....
It looks like I am not the only one thinking JA's draft has taken a definite turn - whoever he talks about is not who he is looking at...even bringing in players may be smoke.
I don't think other teams will look at Harris cause of the injury thing, much like Briggs stayed a Bear, when every one thought sure he would leave for the money. (lucky us)
Boy, I would love for Oher to be there - some players may just drop to us,
It would really be something for JA to pick a QB (Sanchez) with the 18 as he has drafted 2 QB high lately, he has admitted he messed those picks up, but to redraft and fail again would be horrendous, that is why it would make sense to trade for Cutler (just saying) as he couldnt mess that pick QB up.

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This page contains a single entry by Brad Biggs published on March 26, 2009 11:14 PM.

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