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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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Battle for starting spot a ‘dogfight’

Posted by Larry Mayer on July 29, 2012 – 1:15 pm

The most hotly-contested battle for a starting job at training camp is being waged by J’Marcus Webb and Chris Williams at left tackle. The two are dead even and splitting first-team reps in practice.

“It’s going to be a dogfight for those two guys,” said offensive coordinator Mike Tice. “I’m not going to put up with any crap as far as turning [pass-rushers] free and not protecting the quarterback. We have too many athletes to not be able to throw the football explosively.”

Webb, a 2010 seventh-round pick from West Texas A&M, started all 16 games at left tackle last season after opening 12 games at right tackle as a rookie.

General manager Phil Emery feels that Webb possesses the ideal body-type for the position with good length, feet and range as well as the right temperament.

“He needs experience and he needs to show consistency as he gains experience,” Emery said. “He came in here and he played right tackle, so last year was his first year as a left tackle, and as a first-year left tackle did he make progress? Yes, I do believe he did. I think he made progress.

“Does he need to make more to be a consistent starter, that when we line up on Sundays we know that our left tackle is a consistent starting NFL player? Yes, he needs to make progress.”

Williams, a 2008 first-round pick from Vanderbilt, joined the Bears as a left tackle before being moved to right tackle in 2009. He returned to left tackle late that season before switching to left guard in 2010. Williams started the first nine games at left guard in 2011 before sustaining a season-ending wrist injury.

The ability to pass block with consistency will be a key factor in determining the starter.

“We’re going to keep the heat on both of them,” Tice said. “What we want to see is who’s going to block our good pass rushers. I know they can both run block, but we’re not going to go out there and run the ball 50 times a game. So you’ve got to be able to protect. If you can’t protect, you can’t play for us.”

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Williams thrilled to be back on field

Posted by Larry Mayer on July 26, 2012 – 2:04 pm

Back at his original position, Chris Williams is looking forward to competing with J’Marcus Webb for the Bears’ starting left tackle job. But after missing the final seven games last season with a wrist injury, Williams likely would be just as enthusiastic if given a chance to play wide receiver.

“I am just excited to get back on the field,” said the 2008 first-round draft pick from Vanderbilt. “I got hurt about Week 9 last year, so I am just excited to actually play ball again.”

Williams joined the Bears as a left tackle, but was moved to right tackle in 2009 after the team signed free agent Orlando Pace. Williams returned to left tackle late that season before being switched to left guard in 2010. He then started the first nine games at left guard in 2011 before getting hurt.

Although Williams will be battling for a starting job this summer, his mindset will remain the same.

“I am just here to work,” Williams said. “I come in every day and work hard. The competition will take care of itself. I’m not really changing my approach to training camp at all.”

If Williams doesn’t win the competition, he could serve as the third swing tackle or end up at another position.

“Chris has been a good football player,” said coach Lovie Smith. “He’s been that way since he’s been here. Injuries have slowed him down. But what we’ve seen from him is a big, athletic guy that can play a lot of positions.

“It’s our job to get him in the right position. Exactly where he ends up, that’s what you come to camp for. We have options with Chris. We can make a case that he can play just about every position on the offensive line.”

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