Chicago Sun-Times

Where Will Chris Williams line up?

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Chris Williams, the 14th overall pick of the 2008 NFL Draft, is still looking for position to call home.

He's started at left and right tackle, and also at left guard. Once again, Bears coach Lovie Smith would like to lock him into a position this offseason but that didn't quite work out last year.

Now, it appears the Bears are going to play it by ear, based on what moves they make this offseason.

"Chris has moved [all] over the field so much," Smith said. "So for us, one of the offseason projects is just really working and trying to figure out exactly where to play him and try to get him there and see where he can go from there."

So, I asked, how did Williams play at guard in 2010?

"I'm not trying to run away from the question, but he made progress. We liked some of the things he was able to do," Smith said. "Chris would be the first one to tell you there were other times when the play wasn't as good as it needed to be.

"But when you move like that in mid season it's still hard. I'm going to say he did some good things last year. I'm anxious to see Chris go through an entire season healthy and hopefully have him in the same spot. That's the plan. But we don't know for sure what the group will look like."

The current linemen, at least, do have some position flexibility. Frank Omiyale has played guard and tackle, and Roberto Garza can play guard or center. Meanwhile, the Bears believe J'Marcus Webb can play left or right tackle.

Smith added that's one of the "exciting" parts of the offseason.

"Putting those pieces together to try to get that best group," he said.

Naturally, the Bears will have an opportunity to add some talent to the offensive line via the draft and free agency.

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4 Comments

Lovie is exposed as clueless again! He still does not know where to play Williams!
Comeo on this tragic. Tthe D-Line needs two starting tackes. Adams, Toeina & Melton are back ups at best. Lovie and Angelo are inept.

This is the reason I think Lovie Smith is a good (not great) coach. He will never lose his players. He will never publically humiliate them. He knows how to push all his players in the different ways they need to be pushed.

He also is no dummy. He knows who is good, and who is not. He knows if his GM drafted a bad player or a good one. But he will never dis the picks of his boss, publically.

Unfortunately, the GM has a terrible track record in the draft, and particularly in the first 3 rounds. He has not had even a good draft in years. His best was in 2003 when he landed Tillman and Briggs. Besides that, he has struck out.

I know the Bears are not going to fire him. However, I wish they would assign someone else, or hire someone else to handle the drafting.

I suspect that if Ted Thompson (of the Packers) were the GM of the Bears, Smith would have an excellent record. Lovie is the right coach, but he doesn't have the weapons at his disposal. I doubt Mike McCarthy, Belichek, Tomlin, or Fisher would get more out of these players than Lovie Smith has.

Well I would agree that Omiyale has played guard, but it was just enough to learn that he can't play guard. I guess that is valuable because it's a question they don't have to answer. Omiyale is a fairly good swing tackle..... period. He's not a guard.

You have to take this quote with a grain of salt. Nobody in the NFL tells the truth about player evaluation at this time of year. But....

Maybe Lovie is blowing smoke, but it doesn't sound like they have an answer for Chris Williams. That's not encouraging because they are not going to know any more about Williams until training camp gets going again. What could they possibly learn now? You can't really evaluate linemen without putting them in pads.

That was the key to last year's line play: getting answers. This line of questions is the biggest one of the off season for the Bears. Given where they started last year, Tice has to know his players a lot better now. To take the next step they have to use this information.

It's a simple problem that has five hard questions. Garza probably makes it four questoins. If Kreutz comes back, it's three questions. One solid answer on a position for Chris Williams could reduce it to two questions. Or it could mean Williams is not an answer, leaving three questions. Two questions needing answers from the current roster, draft, and free agency sounds a lot better than three.


Ms you forgot Webb. The Bears don't feel Webb is a question. So using your logic which I get, means they they either have 1 question or 2 questions. Having one or two questions on the line does not make you the worst line in football. Yet they were the worst line in football, meaning its probably more than 2.

Question 1 is LT and Omiyale is bad, question answered. He was also bad at RT, so he is not an answer.

Question 2 LG, against bad players Williams was mediocre against good players he got destroyed. So that's a big question mark.

Question 3 RT, a lot of people were happy with Webb showing mediocre improvment, but he had a lot of help all year, and most of his pass protection improvemnt came via the quick drop. Question not answered.

Question 4 RG, Garza showed major signs of decline and his play showed it, he had a bad year. You also have to consider age and games played.

Question 5 C, in a bad year for Center play league wide Olin had a mediocre year and showed signs of decline again, he can no longer run block and was mediocre as a pass protector. Yet he was still the Bears highest rated lineman. Age and games played comes into effect again.

Age and natural decline alone gives you two question marks on the line in Garza and Olin. Omiyale needs to be replaced so that's 3. The Bears don't know what to do with Chris Williams and admit it so that's 4. So at the very least they have 4 question marks. Webb adds a partial question because the Bears want to move him to LT but they don't know if he can handle it so that is also a question, not to mention he was one of hte lowest rated RT in football last year. SO the Bears could have as many as 5 but will only look to answer 4 question marks on the Oline. Even if you bring Olin back that does not make him good so he is still a question mark same for Garza.

What you can see is the Bears are looking defense in a major way in this draft. And while they may know the line is a problem they may not care as much as some people think. After all the line has been a big problem for years and they have done little to address that problem.

At the same time the D-Line was also having problems just not as bad and the Bears had no problem trading for Adams, signing Peppers, drafting Gilbert, drafting Melton, Drafting Wootton. Over the long term they have spent multiple first round picks on D-Line, made trades for guys like Goon, brought in FA like Adams, and also spent plenty of mid round picks on D-Line as well.

Over the last two years the Bears drafted 7th round pick Webb, and 7th round pick Louis, signed Shaffer to be a backup, signed an old Orlando Pace with bad knees and Signed career backup OT Omiyale who had done nothing in the league to be considered a starting guard.

It's pretty clear that in the Smith era, that the brilliant Smith continues to neglect the offensive line while he focuses on his defense. Again Smith thinks he is a DC and not a head coach. In fact didn't he hire himself to be the DC?

I have this question about Lovie. If Lovie Smith who is suppose to be a defensive coach, was fired by the Bears as a DC a year ago or forced to remove himself from the job pick whichever idea makes you feel better.

Well if the organization or Smith himself didn't feel he was good enough to call just the defense alone then what makes them think he is good enough to be a head coach? Not good enough to call the defense and did a poor job at it, but hey good enough to be the head coach. The organization or Smith trusted him or himself so much that he brought in 3 former head coaches to help him.

So he gets fired or removed from the DC job.

Has not been able to develop talent and has to rely on FA signings.

Has fired and thrown more assistant coaches under the bus than any current head coach in football.

Has yet to learn how to manage the clock or when to throw a challenge flag.

Has 1 playoff apperance in 4 years and managed to beatthe Seahawks the worst playoff team in nfl history.

Had to hire three former head coaches because he didn't seem to have a clue on how to find assistant coaches. Which is once again shown by the fact that he fired more of them than anyone else.

So what do the Bears do? They extend him even though he had a year left on his contract and had no need to extend him at the time.

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This page contains a single entry by Sean Jensen published on March 29, 2011 1:51 PM.

Jerry Angelo expects a "big jump" from Greg Olsen in 2011 was the previous entry in this blog.

Lovie Smith says Bears need to "find more ways" to get Devin Hester the ball is the next entry in this blog.

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