Former Bears top pick Chris Williams finds success in St. Louis

Former Bears top pick Chris Williams finds success in St. Louis
November 20, 2013, 11:15 am
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Things really never worked out for offensive lineman Chris Williams in Chicago.

The Bears made the Vanderbilt left tackle the 14th overall pick of the 2008 draft, whereupon a back problem surfaced and he never developed into what the team hoped for and projected.

Williams lost starting jobs at tackle and guard before finally being released by the Bears on Oct. 16 last year. He signed with the Rams less than a week later after visits with a handful of teams. He played right and left tackle and left guard in Chicago, filled in at both tackle and guard for St. Louis last year, starting six games, and this year won the starting left guard position and has started all 10 games there.

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He had fallen out of favor with line coach and later coordinator Mike Tice because of a perceived lack of toughness. That was not an issue when the Rams took a flyer on him last year and thought enough of the experience to sign him to a one-year deal worth $2.75 million this offseason.

“We don’t really pay much attention to a player’s past,” said St. Louis coach Jeff Fisher. “He’s a very talented kid. He’s a good, smart football player. I think he just needed a fresh start. He came in and played guard and tackle for us last year, and played well.

“He’s familiar with the system now, he’s communicating real well with Scott [Wells, center] and Jake [Long, left tackle]. He’s having fun. He’s a great guy in the locker room and he’s become a great teammate here.”

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Durability issues that plagued him in Chicago have not resurfaced. He has played 602 snaps this season, second only to Wells (675) and Long (667) among Rams offensive players, although not all of his problems were left behind. Williams has allowed three sacks and five quarterback hits in addition to 17 hurries, according to ProFootballFocus.com, and he has the worst overall rating of any Rams offensive player and second only to cornerback Cortland Finnegan on the entire roster.