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Weems preparing to make Bears debut

Posted by Larry Mayer on August 16, 2012 – 6:31 pm

After missing part of training camp and the preseason opener with an ankle injury, receiver Eric Weems is healthy and excited about playing in Saturday night’s game against the Redskins.

“I’m just going to go out and play football; what I’ve been blessed to do all my years in the NFL,” said Weems, who signed with the Bears in March after spending his first five seasons with the Falcons from 2007-10. “I’m just going to go out and play football and everything will take care of itself.

“I feel good. The coaches gave me some time to get right and I feel like I’m good to go and ready to perform.”

Weems caught 24 passes for 205 yards and two touchdowns in 55 career games with the Falcons. He also excelled on special teams, earning a Pro Bowl nomination in 2010. In five seasons Weems recorded 41 special-teams tackles and averaged 25.6 yards on 113 kickoff returns with one touchdown and 10.6 yards on 77 punt returns with one TD. 

In addition, he returned a kickoff 102 yards for a touchdown in a 2011 playoff game against the Packers.

Among other roles, Weems is expected to serve as a gunner on punt coverage this season.

“The key is to beat the man in front of you,” he said. “You’ve got to have a lot of skill to do that, to beat two guys at one time. You’ve just got to be patient and once you see an opportunity you’ve got to go because the window of opportunity of beating two guys opens and closes right away.”

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Chris Williams eager to prove himself

Posted by Larry Mayer on August 16, 2012 – 5:29 pm

With J’Marcus Webb failing to perform up to expectations in the Bears’ preseason opener against the Broncos, Chris Williams seemingly now has a second opportunity to win the starting left tackle position.

But Williams, who is expected to share first-team reps with Webb in Saturday night’s preseason game against the Redskins, isn’t necessarily looking at it like that.

“I don’t know if that qualifies as a second chance,” said the 2008 first-round draft pick from Vanderbilt. “It’s a chance for me to go out and win a starting job, which I’ve been [trying to do] all along. I’m just going to go out and play hard and let it sort itself out.”

Williams is eager to show coaches that he deserves to start this season.

“We’ve all got something to prove,” he said. “You want to prove that you can go out and be consistent and consistently block people. I’ve been preparing the whole camp trying to win a starting job.”

Asked if he would like get the left tackle position solidified Saturday night, coach Lovie Smith said: “We want to get all of our positions solidified, but not many of us performed the way we needed to last week. I assume we’re all going to do a better job this week, left tackle included.”

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Lovie Smith impressed with RG III

Posted by Larry Mayer on August 16, 2012 – 5:24 pm

Coach Lovie Smith is eager to see how the Bears defense fares against Redskins rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III in Saturday night’s preseason game at Soldier Field.

The reigning Heisman Trophy winner, who was selected by Washington with the second overall pick in the draft, completed 4 of 6 passes for 70 yards with one touchdown and a 145.8 passer rating in the Redskins’ 7-6 preseason-opening win over the Buffalo Bills.

“I’ve been impressed with him for a long time,” Smith said. “His college coach [at Baylor] is an old high school friend of mine, so I’ve followed them and him quite a bit.

“He can do everything you want a quarterback to do. He had over a 145 quarterback rating in the 14 plays he played last week. He’ll be a good challenge for us. It seems like most of the quarterbacks these days are athletic, and they can beat you moving around, buying time to complete passes, and he can do that.”

On Griffin’s third and final series against the Bills, he capped an eight-play, 80-yard drive with a 20-yard touchdown pass to Pierre Garcon.

Before starring at Baylor, Griffin attended Copperas Cove High School in Texas, the same school that produced Bears cornerback Charles Tillman. During the NFL Combine in February, Griffin said that he was inspired by Tillman’s success.

“I met Charles for the first time when I was a seventh-grader and he was in the league,” Griffin said at the time. “To watch him play the way he has and be a Pro Bowl player, it’s an inspiration. We’ve both got long hair, both went to Copperas Cove High School and hopefully we’ll both have great NFL careers.”

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