Chicago Sun-Times

Williams making adjustment better than Omiyale did

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At this time last season, Frank Omiyale was still struggling while making the adjustment from tackle to guard. For whatever reason, the transition has gone smoother for Chris Williams, who already feels at home after four games at guard despite playing tackle throughout his college and brief NFL career.

"I've been amazed at how quickly he has adjusted," said Omiyale, who is relieved to be back at tackle, which he considers his natural position. "He has taken the criticism and gotten a lot better. It definitely proves he's a better athlete than I am."

It wouldn't seem as if there would be a big difference between playing guard and tackle. Just line up and block somebody, right? Those who have made the transition claim otherwise.

"It's like moving from quarterback to tight end, and I know a guy who did that and it was really tough," said offensive line coach Mike Tice, who played quarterback at Maryland before logging 14 years as an NFL tight end. "It's that tough."

The biggest difference is there is less less reaction time at guard, which means a player must be quicker mentally and physically to play the interior line.

"It happens faster, much faster," Tice said. "Everything is short-stroke movements. Footwork has to be short stroke, your punch has to be shorter. It's a whole different body movement. You have to be more compact, more balanced. You have to know when to be aggressive and when to stay back. There are just a whole lot of nuances to it.

"It's like any of us who get into something new for the first time. Each week there are learning curves and anticipated grey areas that won't be sorted out whether you're a veteran or not. We hope as a veteran player with a lot of intelligence and pride and passion that each week he's going to sort out more and more of those gray areas and he'll learn from some of his mistakes during the game and correct them."

Another major difference is knowing whom to block. At tackle, it's simple. It's more complex and takes more coordination at guard depending on the defensive alignments and blitz packages.

"At tackle, you block the end, block the end, block the end," Williams said. "Inside, you have the noseguard, this linebacker, that linebacker. There are a lot more moving parts."

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14 Comments

Neil, is there also an element of good coaching here, in the sense of running some plays that use the parts of the position that Williams knows how to do right at this point? He looked pretty formidable as a lead blocker for Forte last Thursday, even if it didn't involve a lot of contact on those particular plays.

In the Mike Tice article it appears that is more difficult being a left guard than left tackle. His explanation makes sense. However then why does everyone make a big deal about getting a left tackle and why do they get paid more?

JE

Williams is not a guard, he still gets pushed into the backfield. He has no quick hand punch, can't tell when he needs to be aggresive. I don't think he even knows how. His best position just might be right tackle. I was hoping Webb would just take that position and say " It's mine", but I haven't seen that at all. Bears really need 2 guards, 1 center, 1 tackle(any combo) in the first 4 rounds. I hope the 1st pick is a cover corner or big wideout.

On a mountain of skulls, in the castle of pain, I sat on a throne of blood! What was will be! What is will be no more! Now is the season of evil!

Janosz: He is Holland! You are like the buzzing of flies to him!

Filthy peasants, this is MY Bears team and last time I checked I don't believe I gave you lowly insects permission to discuss MY team. I am best friends with Jerry Angelo, Lovie Smith and especially Mike Tice so if there's any questions regarding Chris Williams I think I would know a hell of a lot more than any of you!

The real question about Williams is does he have the passion? Mike Tice thinks he does. So I think he does too and now you thoughtless fleas know the answer.

Let's say it all together now: "Yes, Mr. Holland. You are my infallible overlord Mr. Holland."

Good.

Death is but a door. Time is but a window. I'll be back.

THE #1 Bears fan, Bill

up rooted,

Got are draft all figured out? Great. Personally, I am more interested in how we play over the next six weeks before I worry about the draft. I agree with some of your "selections" however a lot can happen over the next six games. Heck, we might even get a playoff game. Then again, we might have a new coach & front office who want to do things differently. (And that too is getting ahead of ourselves.)

I thought the post was good to understand what Tice sees in the line. Personally, I think Tice has done a very good job. Look at where they were for the 1st preseason game. They could not even run a vanilla offense with the 1st team against the Chargers. Had to take Cutler out for his own safety.

That was 10 real games and 4 exhibitions ago.

How well the line play is -- both side but esp. on the offense -- will determine who is coaching, drafting and selecting your "suggestions" six months from now.


Me, I am more concerned about Vick and the Eagles. That will be the test.

It was interesting watching Williams turn up into the hole on a few run plays.
Alternately, it can be "painful" watching him get driven back into Cutler's face. Guard is probably where he should stay. I was afraid he'd get Cutler killed out at tackle...

Jeffrey, the difference is the size and quickness required to be a top LT is much rarer than what you need to be a good guard. In pass protection a LT needs to be big enough to concede ground yet nullify a 260lb DE's bullrush and also have the footwork and balance to pick up a speed rush from a smaller OLB. At guard the defenders have much less space so there is more of a premium on power and getting vertical movement at the POA in the run game.

Omiyale, Williams, Kreutz, Garza, and Webb all have major holes in their games, and are at best an average group, on most Sundays they are marginal. Running the ball helps, but it also helps to play against teams that are not getting to the passer. The Eagles are aggressive, and attack the QB. If Vick puts them up early, which seems to be Reid's MO with him in the game, we'll see how the line looks having to pass protect on every down. Conceivably, we could need to replace all 5 starters next year. Williams and Omiyale are both capable of playing left tackle, but I don't know that either is capable of playing it well. Kreutz is done, and Garza is right behind him. If we ever want to get short yardage conversions, we cannot allow Kreutz and Garza to play for another year. Webb has potential, but the way he has played, I cannot understand why Shaffer is not on the field. This line, regardless of how well they are coming together, is a train wreck, and will be exposed down the stretch as teams with better defenses show up. Eagles, Jets, and Packers are going to be the toughest games for the OL. And don't sleep on the Lions either. They are starting to come together on the D-line.

My concern is that this is not a great year for OL in the draft. And as usual, we will do just well enough to put us in the wrong position to draft any player from the top tier of any position we want. At OT, Solder, Costanzo, Sherrod, and Carimi are the top 4, but none of them are ready to step in like Joe Thomas and be a premier LT. Guard and center are stronger, but there are no Steve Hutchinson or Nick Mangold types from what I have seen so far.

So while I am glad Cutler hasn't been killed yet, this version of the line has not been truly tested yet.

Bears cannot attempt to spy Vick on every play. This is a path to certain defeat. Feed off of what the Giants did and force him to scramble to his right because he does not like to throw moving to his right! Best chance, hit him hard like the Redskins did early in first game and get him off the field for the duration. Not rocket science, although it probably is for Lovie! Go Bears!

Two things are perfectly obvious regarding the Bears' offensive line:they are definitely improving,and they still are not particularly good.The changes seem to have helped, for whatever reasons,and the coach seems to know what he's doing and is making the best of the talent available.One hopes they develop and improve to a top quality bunch with good depth.

Gonna have to blitz D. Manning from Vick's L side. He has the speed to chase Vick down and to the right. The Bears will also have to tackle well. One missed tackle will likely cost them the game.
Re the line- time to form a plan- Garza for one more year- replace the other four based on what you get in the draft. Don't reach, just start drafting and bulding one player at a time. If we can add two new starters to the line in the off season it's good progress. Cut anyone like Shaffer that's wasting a roster spot. Get some young OL on the practice squad and start developing them. Leave no stone unturned.

Hahahaha, I here this same garbage about Williams every year. In the Bills game he got beaten sensless by Kyle Williams all game long, during the Phins game the announcers kept pointing out that Willaims wasn;t blocking anyone. They asked more than once who is he suppose to be blocking? Yes that's a good job standing their looking around. Hahahaha, Dixon is not great but decent and he will probably give Williams fits. Teams are attacking Webb right now so Omiyale has not exactly been seeing elite rushers. Eagles like to blitz and Bears will look to Beat it. You know what's improved the line? Cutlers feet and better hot reads by the QB and recievers. But if the line was actually decent they wouldn't be turning Cutler into a game manager, they would not have dropped the vertical passing game (the signiture of Martz), they would not have become a run first team, they would not be doing nothing but quick drops and 3 steps, and they would be scoring. Which they are not doing. In fact the offense is in the bottom of the league, it was actually better under Turner. Wow.

Yeah MD the Bears lead the league in sacks hits and pressures, plus they can't run block to save their lives. Hahahaha what a bunch of studs. I got news for you Cutlers feet have saved the line from giving up at least 6-7 sacks over the last three games.

Against the Phins, the dropped backed 25 times to pass that's it. Most of them where 3 step or quick drops, and they still gave up 3 sacks. The ran the ball 40 times for 135 yards. They put up 16 points in about 40 minutes against an exausted defense. Oh they are so good.

Every year the Bears try to convince people they have a really good line and every year the line sucks. Then again they never do much to address the line, so maybe they really do feel it's the best ever. That sounds about right for Angelo "boy we really like this guy" Last I checked they loved Williams at RT and thought he was really getting it, then they loved him at RT and thought he was really getting it, now the love him at LG. Which they claim is harder to play than LT. Except for the fact that you don't have to be as athletic or fast, you don't need the range or quick feet, you generally used to double a guy instead of being on an island, you basically have to push the guy in front of you most of the time, who is a big slow DT. You deal with some Tex games, oh yeah it's much harder guard, thats why he was so great at Tackle, all great tackles hope to be a great guard one day. Hahahaha, I love it when peole try to justify doing a crap job, way to go Tice.

I reread all the comments and thought about the two positions. Although the guard position blocking is perhaps tougher on running plays, in general a tackle able to hold off defensive ends and adjust quickly to blitzers requires more athleticism. Regarding Williams, I think he's better suited at guard because he is harder to push backward than he is to get around.

I reread all the comments and thought about the two positions. Although the guard position blocking is perhaps tougher on running plays, in general a tackle able to hold off defensive ends and adjust quickly to blitzers requires more athleticism. Regarding Williams, I think he's better suited at guard because he is harder to push backward than he is to get around.

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This page contains a single entry by Neil Hayes published on November 22, 2010 4:52 PM.

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