Bears

More to Williams' game than just catching passes?

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More to Williams' game than just catching passes?

Friday, Sept. 9, 2011
Posted: 3:50 p.m.

By John Mullin
CSNChicago.com Bears Insider Follow @CSNMoonMullin
Dennis McKinnon was once asked to name the most memorable play of his career. The 85 Bears receiver and punt returner didnt hesitate, and it was neither a catch or a return.

It was a de-cleater, a block that takes a defensive player completely off his feet and lands him some distance away. McKinnons was delivered to none other than New York Giants legend Lawrence Taylor.
Roy Williams has visions of doing exactly the same thing. And for all of the doubting and dissecting he has endured since taking over Johnny Knoxs starting job, he understands that Chicago will love a wide receiver who not only catches passes, but also plants defensive players when hes not busy on pass plays.

I really do understand that, said Williams. People dont understand it right now but I try to keep a smile on my face. But I want to play ball. Im a ballplayer. Im a run blocker. Running the ball is going to help us win games, so Im not only going to run my routes; Im going to make my blocks.

Hopefully people are going to love me and that comes off of my play and not love me because I have personality or whatever. Theyre going to love me because No. 11 is doing his thing.

Class touch

A number of Bears will be wearing red-white-and-blue accessories Sunday in honor of the tragedies of Sept. 11 a decade ago. The NFL, normally rigid about adherence to uniform uniformity and whats permissible, has OKd the gestures, as it did with pink uniform elements last year as a way to heighten breast cancer awareness.

The team provided all media members with a 9.11.01 9.11.11 ribbon to wear to mark the remembrance.

Check this out

Looking ahead to Sunday, theres a lot going on so Im not Tweeting constantly about whats going on but fire off any in-game queries to me on @CSNMoonMullin.

And if youve got thoughts during and after the game (who doesnt?), use BearsPGL on twitter and your comments could appear on the show and in our Bears PGL Interactive chat. Ill be visiting with Jim Miller, Dan Jiggetts and Howard Griffith back in our studios and going over some of the intricacies of the day.

Duly noted

Besides Marion Barber being out with his calf injury, wide receiver Sam Hurd (ankle) and defensive end Corey Wootton (knee) are listed as questionable despite both registering full participation in practice.

Players coming off recent injuries for the Bears all are listed as probable: Anthony Adams (calf), Kahlil Bell (knee), Lance Briggs (knee), Chris Conte (head), Kellen Davis (back), Patrick Mannelly (calf) and Craig Steltz (hip).

The Falcons officially listed center Todd McClure (knee) and defensive tackle Corey Peters (knee) as out. All other injured players participated fully in practice Friday and are listed as probable.

John "Moon" Mullin is CSNChicago.com's Bears Insider and appears regularly on Bears Postgame Live and Chicago Tribune Live. Follow Moon on Twitter for up-to-the-minute Bears information.

Bears backfield ranked fourth-best in NFL

Bears backfield ranked fourth-best in NFL

The Chicago Bears have a really good problem in their backfield. Both Jordan Howard and Tarik Cohen will demand touches in 2018 and are each starting-quality running backs. Howard is the more traditional first and second-down back while Cohen offers top-tier playmaking ability.

The duo is so talented that they were recently ranked the fourth-best backfield in the NFL.

The Chicago Bears' Jordan Howard has emerged as one of the NFL's top rushers. He finished his rookie season with 1,313 yards, second-most in the NFL. Last season, he rushed for 1,122 yards and 4.1 yards per carry even though Chicago had the league's least threatening passing attack (175.7 yards per game).

Howard isn't the only standout back on the roster, though. Tarik Cohen is a supremely talented runner and receiver and a perfect complement to Howard. Last season, he amassed 370 rushing yards, 53 receptions and 353 receiving yards.

The Bears' backfield was behind only the Rams, Saints and Chiefs.

Howard set Chicago's rookie rushing record with 1,313 yards in 2016 and became the first Bears running back to start his career with back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons. He should be the Bears' primary back, but coach Matt Nagy expressed genuine excitement over Cohen's skill set which suggests he plans on getting him the ball quite a bit this season.

Regardless of how the touches play out, the Bears will present opposing defenses with one of the most challenging ground games in the NFL.

    Tarik Cohen was NFL's best big-play RB in 2017

    Tarik Cohen was NFL's best big-play RB in 2017

    Tarik Cohen's rookie season with the Chicago Bears was an impressive blend of running, receiving and special teams play. He quickly became a household name. The combination of his diminutive frame and oversized personality made him a fan favorite, especially when he started gaining yards in chunks.

    In fact, of all running backs with a minimum of 80 carries last season, Cohen had the highest percentage of runs that went for 15 or more yards, according to Pro Football Focus.

    Cohen will have a big role in new coach Matt Nagy's offense this season because of everything he offers a play-caller. He's a weapon as a receiver out of the backfield and can chew up yards on the ground like any traditional running back. He's a hold-your-breath talent who can turn a bad play into a touchdown in the blink of an eye.

    Cohen had 370 rushing yards, 353 receiving yards and three offensive touchdowns in what can be described as a limited role last year. John Fox and Dowell Loggains didn't seem to ever figure out how to best use Cohen's skill set. That should be no issue for Nagy and Mark Helfrich, the team's new offensive coordinator, who both bring a creative offensive approach to Chicago.

    Jordan Howard will be the starter and will do most of the heavy lifting. But Cohen is going to have a much bigger role than he had as a rookie, and that should result in more big plays and points on the board.