Few NFL coaches are as loyal to their players as Bears coach Lovie Smith. So he was sincerely disappointed that the Bears finally cut former first-round pick Chris Williams on Tuesday.
''There are some tough decisions you have to make when you have guys around here for awhile. And when you have to release a player like Chris Wiliams it's always tough,'' Smith said after practice Wednesday. ''Chris was a good guy in the locker room. Just a great guy in general. Helped us win a lot of football games.
''But we had gone in a different direction and when you go in a different direction you want to let your players have an opportunity to play somewhere else. That's part of the decision we made to move in a different direction with him. We wish himn well. I know he'll get picked up by somebody else fairly soon.''
There are many theories as to why Williams didn't make it. He was injured as a rookie. He was moved from left tackle to right tackle to left guard. He had short arms. Though lauded for his technique, he wasn't as strong as many other left tackles.
''I think sometimes it just doesn't work,'' Smith said. ''There's not a good explanation I can give you, except when you see that it's not going to work out, it's time to move on. And that's what we did.''