Theisman: Roy Williams will never be a quality WR

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Theisman: Roy Williams will never be a quality WR

Friday, Sept. 30, 2011
Posted: 12:06 p.m. Updated: 12:54 p.m.

By John Mullin
CSNChicago.com Bears Insider Follow @CSNMoonMullin
Williams-bashing

NFL Network analysts Joe Theisman, Willie McGinnest, Jim Mora Jr., and Marcellus Wiley broke down the Bears and Atlanta Falcons playoff situations and their analyses are worth checking out. If they are right about the Bears, this will not be a pleasant next three months.

Theisman challenges what the Bears did to upgrade their wide-receiver group. He isnt buying Roy Williams. Neither is McGinest. Not at all. Not even a little bit.

McGinest, rolling his eyes at the mention of Williams, rips the veteran wideout for showing up to training camp not in NFL shape and notes that Williams has had just one quality year in the NFL.

Those are some of the nicer of the things said about Williams.

Roy Williams will never be a quality receiver in the National Football League, Theisman declared. Because he doesnt have what it takes. Roy, if youre listening, Im saying it right to you. You have to make a decision that you want to play football as a professional, not someone whos entitled because someone was not thinking when they gave away two No. 1s for you... The wide-receiving corps is non-existent.

We dont even know that Jay Cutler is getting better because hes spending a lot of time doing everything going backwards.

Wiley is blunt about the mesh of protection and the Mike Martz scheme: If you dont protect on the offensive line, this offense does not go.

NFL protecting Cutler better than Vick?

Former NFL official Mike Pereira is mad as hell and hes not going to take it anymore. If defensive linemen got after Michael Vick as hard as Mike P, Mike V would be in a body cast, or at least more than the one he claims the NFL is setting him up for.

Pereira,the NFLs vice president of officiating from 2004-2009, takes on Vicksrecent charges that he (Vick) isnt being protected as well as otherquarterbacks. In his column at FOXSports.com, Pereira tells Vick to go check the facts.

Turns out that officials arguably are protecting Jay Cutler perhaps better than his offensive line has at times. Cutler is second only to Oaklands Jason Campbellin drawing roughing-the-passer penalties per 100 pass attempts.Campbell is getting 1.48 calls per 100 throws and Cutler 1.28. Vick isNo. 9 on the list with 0.88 flags per toss.

By comparison, Aaron Rodgers only draws 0.52, slightly more frequently than Drew Brees (0.51) and less than Philip Rivers (0.60) and Matt Ryan (0.58).

Theproblem with the analysis is that quarterbacks who are getting hit themost obviously will get the highest numbers of roughing calls. SoCutler (or Vick) will be getting hit more often as theyre releasingtheir 100 passes than Tom Brady or Peyton Manning, who also get rid of balls faster.

Picking on the Bears

Ive had reasons for picking the Bears to win each week so far which means Im wrong two-thirds of the time. Small consolation here, but Im not alone.

Mike Florio at ProFootballTalk.com has gone exactly the same route, for pretty much the same reasons. Hes gone Bears again vs. Carolina and I will too (officially on Sunday); the Bears simply can not lay a third straight coaching and performance egg, and I saw the Bears as 10-6 or better this season. That call still stands, but it was based on certain assumptions about Mike Martz and hes fooled me. Unfortunately for his team, not the Saints or Packers.

But Mikes PFT colleague Gregg Rosenthal has a different take on Sunday, and its a dark one, because the Bears are at Detroit the following weekend. It just feels like bad times are brewing in Chicago, Gregg surmises, and if his call on Sunday is right, there likely will be...

Peter King at Sports Illustrated has the Bears but by just a 20-17 score. His comment about using Matt Forte says where his reservations lie. Peter also has the other three members of the NFC North winning as well.

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 Grades: Offense ignites to end 1st half, puts up season-high points vs. Niners

Bears Grades: Offense ignites to end 1st half, puts up season-high points vs. Niners

With less than 2 minutes to play in the first half the Bears had gained a total of 45 yards, and had zero pass completions (2 attempts) and zero points . By the end of the half they had 115 yards, Matt Barkley had completed 4 of his last 6 passes and the Bears adjourned for halftime with a 7-6 lead.

For the second straight week Barkley engineered a comeback, this time for a win, and running a two-minute offense that, curiously perhaps for an inexperienced quarterback, seems to suit Barkley even more than the offense run a normal speed. More than one player said that 70-yard drive to finish the first half was a tipping point, on all sides of the football.

The turning point “was that two-minute right before the half,” said right tackle Bobby Massie. “Everybody just executed, did what we needed to do and drove right down the field. Then we come out after the half and drove right down again. It was good.”

More than just good for the offense. “I think that really spurred both sides of the ball to be motivated to finish the game strong,” said Barkley, who got the Bears into the end zone twice in last Sunday’s Tennessee game, and nearly a third, within the final 10 minutes, running 35 plays over the span of those minutes.”

This time the result was the highest point total (26) this season and scores on four out of five possessions beginning with that hurry-up score to end the half.

Quarterback: A-

Once again Barkley was beset by dropped passes, although nowhere near the avalanche of them that defeated him against the Tennessee Titans. Barkley shook off the conditions and poor start to complete 4 of 6 passes on the final drive of the half, for 64 yards – the entire passing production for the half.

Barkley followed a shaky first half with a solid second, completing 7 of 10 passes for 128 yards and zero interceptions, a significant key with the 49ers unable to do much of anything against the Bears defense. Barkley effectively convinced coaches that he could operate in the adverse conditions with passing and not simply handing off to Jordan Howard.

“I thought [the way] he handled the two-minute drive before the half, we had to open it up some and throw the ball,” said coach John Fox. “I thought he executed outstanding.”

Barkley finished with 11-of-18 passing for 192 yards, no touchdowns but no interceptions and a passer rating of 97.5.

Running back: A+

In a game that demanded effective rushing, Jordan Howard delivered a statement game, his fifth in the last eight with 100 rushing yards and 115 total yards of offense.

Howard rushed for 3 touchdowns, giving him five on the year, and carried 32 times, an average of 3.7 that belies the overall, which involved the chemistry of the run game, now averaging 4.4 yards on the season . “He’s fun, man,” said guard Eric Kush. “We block our butts off to try to give him something. Even if it’s not the prettiest block, we try to finish our blocks and give him a chance.”

Howard displayed power inside as well as burst on the Bears’ outside-zone runs that exploited the San Francisco edges. He carried 10 times in the first half, then 22 in the second.

“I’m definitely ready to be that workhorse,” said Howard, who now has 883 rushing yards and 5 touchdowns despite not starting until game four. “Even though they might know the run is coming, they still have to stop it.”

Receivers: B+

Josh Bellamy, replaced in the starting lineup by Deonte Thompson after his drop-laced game against Tennessee, had perhaps one the streakiest game of the Bears year. Bellamy again suffered with drops that included lost TD catches, but Bellamy rebounded to match his career-best 4 catches against Tennessee but with 93 yards and a long of 31 and others of 24, 22 and 16 yards. Bellamy also was handed the ball on an end-around for 12 yards.

All of this despite two egregious drops, one of a potential TD ball with Bellamy two steps behind his defender. “He came up to me and said, ‘Keep feeding me,’” Barkley said. “I’m not going to stop giving those guys the ball… .I’m going to keep coming back to them for the rest of the year.”

Cam Meredith remained in the starting lineup and caught 3 of the 4 passes thrown to him, with Thompson and tight end Daniel Brown catching 2 each.

Offensive line: A

With the adverse weather conditions expected, coaches made a specific challenge to the offensive line to take over this game against a struggling San Francisco front. Guard Josh Sitton was active but still limited with an ankle injury, so coaches stayed with Eric Kush at left guard and were rewarded with some consistent blocking in the run game. Kush executed combination blocks and worked to the second level. Kush and Charles Leno repeatedly dominated the San Francisco left side as the Bears pounded with the run and never let up in the snowy conditions.

“With the conditions, you had to run the ball,” Leno said. “The O-line just tried to come together, not worry about the record and win one week at a time.”

The result was another 100-yard rushing day for Jordan Howard, with 3 touchdowns, and 142 rushing yards, high for the season. “Today the offensive line got great push like they always do,” Howard said.

Barkley was sacked once, in the fourth quarter, on a breakdown in one-on-one blocking by tight end Daniel Brown.

Cody Whitehair going down in the fourth quarter with a leg injury was a blow, but Whitehair was able to return later in the period. The Bears had Sitton dressed and part of field-goal unit, and Sitton came in at right guard and Ted Larsen moved over to center.

Coaching: A

The obvious overall effort and preparation of a 2-9 team for a game of virtually no import to the season was noteworthy, as the Bears again played with intensity and efficiency throughout, including recovering from first-half gaffes on special teams that put the Bears down 6-0.

The defense schemed for 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick by staying almost exclusively in a 3-4 front, utilizing three down-linemen and two outside linebackers to pressure Kaepernick and with the speed to thwart his runs. The result was the worst game of Kaepernick’s career, with 20 rushing yards and 4 passing, vs. 25 yards lost to sacks.

The offense held to a run-based mindset and plan, even when the 49ers turned two special-teams mistakes into field goals for the first two scores. The 49ers also relied primarily on man-to-man coverage, committing an extra defender to run defense, but the Bears were willing and able to challenge downfield knowing that the San Francisco pass rush was hampered by the field conditions.

“Props to Dowell[Loggains, offensive coordinator] and the whold coaching staff for getting us ready and making adjustments like that during the game,” Barkley said.

Special teams was again mistake-prone with mental breakdowns compounded by physical mistakes.

Morning Update: Bears beat 49ers; Blackhawks' offense struggles in loss to Jets

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USA TODAY

Morning Update: Bears beat 49ers; Blackhawks' offense struggles in loss to Jets

Here are some of the top stories from Sunday in Chicago sports:

Five Things to Watch: Bulls back in action against Trail Blazers

Tune in tonight for Chicago Bulls Charities Night

Blackhawks score late but can't get past Jets

Bears offense finds groove in win over 49ers

Winter meetings preview: Why teams will find trying to copy a ‘Cubs Way’ rebuild is easier said than done

White Sox revamp would mean fewer 'stopgaps' and 'half-measures'

Significance of Bears win over 49ers lies beyond records and score

Five Things from Blackhawks-Jets: Offense still anemic

Bears' Matt Barkley 'showing the world' he can be a starting QB in the NFL

Lars Johansson excited for Blackhawks call-up