Chicago 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.

'The world's against us': Bears plenty motivated to prove preseason expectations wrong

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USA TODAY

'The world's against us': Bears plenty motivated to prove preseason expectations wrong

BOURBONNAIS — There are 13 different teams on the Bears’ schedule this season. But as the Bears started training camp ahead of the 2017 campaign, they saw many more opponents.

“The world’s against us,” linebacker Danny Trevathan said Thursday.

Trevathan was referring to the almost universal lack of faith among preseason prognosticators when it comes to the Bears’ chances to make some noise this season.

The last three seasons have been miserable by the franchise’s historical standards, with last year’s 3-13 mark the worst the team ever posted in a 16-game season. So those doubting some sort of sudden turnaround have something to back their opinions up.

But down in Bourbonnais, the Bears are using that lack of confidence as a motivating tool.

“You want that mentality. You want it to be just us against the world. That’s how it is. It’s us,” Trevathan said. “A lot of people are going to say what they want to say, critics, all those guys are going to say you were 3-13, all this and that. But we know we can be way better than that. And we showed glimpses of that. But now we gotta go ahead and show it the whole season.”

Self confidence is never in short order for athletes, especially at the dawn of a new season when every team has the same record and there’s no new data to separate contenders from pretenders. But it’s not just the Bears pumping themselves up. They have a few reasons to believe that a flip of last year’s script is possible.

Health is a big one. Trevathan is one of a lengthy list of Bears returning from injuries that cut their seasons short in 2016. Impact guys like Kyle Long, Kevin White and Leonard Floyd missed significant time last season due to injuries. Their healthy return would figure make a big difference for the Bears this season.

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New additions are expected to make a huge difference, as well. The Bears will have a new quarterback, with Mike Glennon the likely starter to begin the season and No. 2 overall pick Mitch Trubisky waiting in the wings. Two new faces, Dion Sims and Adam Shaheen, are earning plenty of attention in the battle for the starting tight end job. And Prince Amukamara, Marcus Cooper and Quintin Demps are a trio of new starters in the secondary.

Those guys, guys who weren’t a part of last year’s loss-a-palooza, are bringing a fresh perspective to the team.

“Last year is last year,” said Demps, who’s been to six postseasons in his career, including each of the last two with the Houston Texans. “You’ve got to come in each and every year and prove yourself. That’s the goal right now. We’re coming in with a clean slate, 0-0. We’re just trying to get better right now, trying to build a good team.”

But most importantly, the Bears see this season as the culmination of the cultural changes Ryan Pace, John Fox & Co. have put in place over the past few years.

“That change has been starting from two years ago, it’s been starting. It just hasn’t rolled over to the games,” tight end Zach Miller said. “3-13 is not acceptable for us. We put in all the work, and you can feel the change coming. Every year you walk into camp, everybody’s against you, it’s time to turn the tables, surprise some people, so that’s kind of the goal in mind right now and see how we can do it.”

“I saw spurts of us last year just blooming and being that four-quarter team to win games, close games,” Trevathan said, talking about the team and his defense, specifically. “A lot of people are not seeing the work that we’re putting in, the communication, pieces that we’re putting in, putting in work, guys coming in like they’ve been here before. It’s like we’re clicking on all cylinders right now, and it feels good to be part of a defense like that. I feel like we’re going to be one of the greatest coming up. As long as we keep that full steam ahead, that attitude, that hungriness and that drive, we’re going to be great.”

Never underestimate the power of bulletin-board material, something that’s been around almost as long as football has. There's enough of it floating around this preseason for the Bears to fill a few bulletin boards. As they said, it’s up to them to prove they’re better than everyone thinks, better than last year’s 13-loss season indicated.

But while 2016 was short on wins, one thing 2017 will not be short on is motivation.

“A lot of people have got their backs turned to us. And we’re going to come out swinging. They’re gonna come over to our side,” Trevathan said. “But right now we’re taking care of our business. Our thing is to get better and get better every day, and that’s our goal.”

Shunning hypotheticals, Bears aren’t setting a timetable for Pernell McPhee

Shunning hypotheticals, Bears aren’t setting a timetable for Pernell McPhee

BOURBONNAIS, Ill. — While John Fox said Pernell McPhee is “truly day to day” after being placed on the physically unable to perform Wednesday, he didn’t want to delve into a timetable for one of the key players in the Bears’ pass rush.

Fox said the Bears found a “little irregularity” in McPhee’s right knee — not the same one that troubled him last year — during a physical on Wednesday and decided to place the 28-year-old on the PUP list. McPhee will continue to receive treatment in Bourbonnais and can attend all team meetings, and could be removed from the PUP list at any time.

“I hate to get into that hypothetical stuff,” Fox said. “We did that a couple years ago (with Kevin White) and it kind of bit us so we'll just let the doctors evaluate it and when we're ready to give you something concrete, we'll give it to you.”

McPhee was placed on the PUP list prior to last year’s training camp and missed the first six games of the regular season. His absence was one of many for an injury-addled Bears pass rush that also was without LaMarr Houston for 14 games and Leonard Floyd for four games.

If McPhee winds up in danger of missing time early in the regular season, though, it could bolster Houston’s chances of making the Bears’ 53-man roster. A thought regarding Houston, who had eight sacks in 2015 but has missed a total of 22 games in three years in Chicago, was that the Bears would cut him and clear about $5 million worth of cap space. But the team needs depth behind Willie Young and Leonard Floyd, and Houston certainly would fit the bill to fill it (provided he’s back to 100 percent, too).

For now, though, the Bears are in wait-and-see mode with McPhee and aren’t indicating one way or the other what his future status could be.

“When you go on PUP it could be a day or it could be a week,” Fox said. “It could be, I mean, he might be fine and  then you’re back off of PUP. I don’t know.”