<
>

Bears support Chris Williams

LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Chicago Bears left offensive tackle Chris Williams simply had a bad day at the office.
That's how the Bears publicly view Williams' performance on Saturday, when Williams allowed numerous sacks in the first half versus the Raiders.


"I think with Chris it's an aberration," Bears offensive coordinator Mike Martz said Tuesday. "I see him every day out here. I don't know what happened to him, when I look at him on tape [against Oakland] the technique and everything just isn't who he is. I know [offensive line coach Mike Tice] has talked with him, and they've worked through that.

"A young tackle will go through that. Fortunately, he experienced that in the preseason, imagine if that was a regular season game. He needs to fight through those things. That's why I was telling you earlier about the preseason, you put him in one-on-one situations, hang him out to dry a little bit and make him be on the edge by himself."

Throughout training camp, the Bears refused to give Williams help when blocking perennial Pro Bowl defensive end Julius Peppers. In the regular season, that would not be the case, especially since Bears offensive line coach Mike Tice uses at least 37 different protection schemes to aid the offensive linemen.

"I've always carried a lot of protections," Tice said. "I remember when [Jacksonville offensive coordinator] Dirk Koetter came into the NFL about three years ago, and he came out and said 'What the blank do we have all these protections for, I only had like three at Arizona State.'

"You have to carry a lot of protections, because you really think you know what the other guys are going to do, but sometimes you don't know what they are going to do. You have to have ways to adjust to that. It could be you throw a protection out on a certain day and say let's not do that, even though that was one of the ones you worked on and it was a major one in your plan. Sometimes you need to go to protections to help other players that might be having an off night. [You may say] let's major in this protection so we can keep the tight end in. All of those things come into play, so you need to carry that many protections."

Perhaps Martz is optimistic about Williams because Tice doesn't utilize those primary blocking schemes during preseason games.

"You're always concerned when you have sacks, there's no question about it," Martz said. "It was a little unsettling because that's not Chris. If I felt that's who he was, yeah, I would be very unsettled. But I don't think that's the case."

Neither does Bears quarterback Jay Cutler, who remains convinced Williams can rebound. The two have a long history together, dating back to their college days at Vanderbilt.

"Chris knows, he's a professional. He's been in the league long enough to know what we expect out of him," Cutler said. "He's our left tackle, he's a first-round pick. I've played with him many years now, so he knows all of our expectations are high. I don't think anybody has higher expectations for Chris than himself."

Jeff Dickerson covers the Bears for ESPNChicago.com and ESPN 1000.