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 looking into Teryl Austin’s past for clues on how Lions will scheme vs. Matt Barkley

Bears looking into Teryl Austin’s past for clues on how Lions will scheme vs. Matt Barkley

The adage “play the man, not the board” seems somehow appropriate for what the Bears are doing to prepare for the Detroit Lions behind quarterback Matt Barkley.

“The man” is Detroit defensive coordinator Teryl Austin, and the Bears have been scouting him as well as his defenses, beyond just Bears games, beyond this season and last, taking in his 2014 Detroit season when Austin prepared defenses for Jay Cutler and Jimmy Clausen.

How did Austin scheme for rookie Carson Wentz when the Lions played (and beat) the Philadelphia Eagles? How did he structure is defense to stop a rookie Teddy Bridgewater when Detroit played Minnesota? (Not very well, apparently, since the Vikings won both games and scored 54 points combined in the two games).

While the John Fox Bears staff went against Austin’s Lions defense twice last year, Cutler was the Bears quarterback. When the Bears beat Austin and the Lions two months ago, it was with Brian Hoyer.

Now the Bears quarterback is Matt Barkley, who has fewer NFL games played (seven) than Cutler has NFL seasons (11), Hoyer (eight), too, for that matter.

“Different defensive coordinators attack young quarterbacks differently,” said offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains. “Some guys blitz, some guys play a bunch of zone. This group on defense there, they have a really good defensive coordinator, they're really smart, they do a bunch of stuff. On the back end, they run all the coverages.

“As a game, we'll have to make adjustments as the game goes and see what their plan to come out is early.”

Coaches and players may talk about how they prepare for a scheme irrespective of which opposing quarterback, running back, linebacker or whatever they will be facing. But in fact, preparations start with who is orchestrating the opponent’s offense or defense – play the man, not the board.

[SHOP: Gear up Bears fans!]

A risk can be out-thinking yourself trying to anticipate what a coordinator will do. The first point, Loggains said, is to start with your own strengths.

“We definitely look at that,” Loggains said. “As you go in the league long and longer, you face these guys, you see them in crossover games. We always know how a guy attacks a rookie quarterback or attacks a young quarterback, a veteran, or, in Matt's case, a guy who hasn't played as much.”

Evaluations of Barkley’s performance will broaden, particularly now that he is on tape for defensive coordinators to scheme for and scout. And while they are watching Barkley, the Bears are watching them.

Bears Talk Podcast: Is there friction between John Fox and Vic Fangio?

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Bears Talk Podcast: Is there friction between John Fox and Vic Fangio?

In the latest Bears Talk Podcast, Jim Miller joins Pat Boyle to discuss the friction between John Fox and Vic Fangio. And are there changes in store for the Bears coordinators?

Plus, Brian Urlacher and Mark Schanowski break down the play of rookie Leonard Floyd and find out which one of Urlacher’s former teammates Floyd reminds him of.

And don't miss a preview of Sunday’s NFC North clash with the Lions, who will be out for revenge.

Check out the latest edition of the Bears Talk Podcast here: