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.

What do the Bears have in their running backs? They’re about to find out

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USA Today

What do the Bears have in their running backs? They’re about to find out

The Bears were pleased with what they saw from their overhauled running back room during non-padded OTA and minicamp practices during the spring, but consider that an incomplete evaluation. 

David Montgomery, in particular, impressed with his quickness, athleticism and route running. Nothing Mike Davis showed dissuaded the team from believing in the free agent signing’s untapped potential. Positive things were said about seventh-round pick Kerrith Whyte Jr. and second-year undrafted free agent Ryan Nall. 

The only running back returning from 2018’s unit is Tarik Cohen. But while Ryan Pace, Matt Nagy and the Bears’ talent evaluators did their homework on their new players, they won’t really get to see what they have until the pads come on in Bourbonnais (Nagy expects the first padded practice of training camp to be Sunday). 

“I know (Montgomery) kept asking coach, ‘when do we put the pads on?” Pace said. “And so we’re to that point. One of his greatest strengths is his contact balance and his ability to break tackles, and now we’re at a point where that can be showcased.”

It’s one thing for a rookie to stand out during OTAs and minicamp. Tight end Adam Shaheen did two years ago, bodying up NFL-caliber defenders to make some impressive plays in those non-padded practices. But he faded when pads came on in training camp and didn’t play a significant role in 2017’s dour offense. 

The Bears believe Montgomery’s ability to break tackles — he forced the most missed tackles among FBS running backs in 2018 with 99, per Pro Football Focus — will translate to the NFL, giving their ground game a dimension it didn’t have in 2018. Jordan Howard avoided 22 tackles on rushing attempts last year, 28th in the NFL and nearly half the total of Kareem Hunt. Hunt appeared in 11 games (five fewer than Howard) before the Kansas City Chiefs released him after video surfaced of him pushing and kicking a woman; Montgomery’s style of play has favorably been compared to Hunt’s.  

As for Davis, Pace said: “I think I feel like he’s a little bit under the radar right now. Mike’s had a great offseason and we’re fortunate to have him. That’s a strong room — we talk about the receivers, we feel the same way about the running back room. And Mike Davis is a real important part of that.”

The Bears feel like Montgomery, Davis and Cohen leading their running back room will allow them to be less predictable and more efficient on offense. Last year, Howard carried the ball two-thirds of the time he was on the field, while he was targeted with a pass on just six percent of his plays. Yet no skill position player (except Mitch Trubisky, of course) was more involved in the Bears’ offense last year — 33 percent of the Bears’ total plays involved Howard. 

All three of the Bears’ top running backs in 2019 will be expected to catch passes out of the backfield as well as running the ball with a blend of efficiency and explosiveness. We’ll begin to find out this week in Bourbonnais if Pace’s overhaul of that corner of his depth chart will produce the results the Bears’ offense needs. 

Confirmed: Vic Fangio is still grumpy as hell

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USA Today

Confirmed: Vic Fangio is still grumpy as hell

Former Bears defensive coordinator Vic Fangio is starting his first (overdue) season as an NFL head coach. 

It's his first time running the show, making the rules, etc. One particularly important rule that Fangio has emphasized to start the year? Music has no place on the football field! 

Fangio won't be playing music during practice because, as noted Grump Bill Belichick can attest to, if you're having fun, you're not getting better. Here's his rationalization: 

"There's no music in games. And when it comes to the point where we need to simulate crowd noise in practice, which we will do, it will be noise. It won't be music," said Fangio, via NFL Network's James Palmer. "Noise, by definition, sounds annoying. Music sounds nice."

He's not wrong - music DOES sound nice. That's about where he stops making much sense, though. 

Vic Fangio: still kinda grumpy!