LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Peppered with several questions after news spread that Chris Williams could be moving inside to guard, offensive line Mike Tice displayed a little testiness Wednesday during his session with reporters at Halas Hall.
Here’s a transcript of Tice’s interview:
Q: Why has it taken so long to try some of the things this team is doing, such as moving Chris Williams to left guard?
Well, we haven’t had Chris. I don’t know if you’ve been watching but Chris hasn’t been available for the last couple times, so we haven’t really moved him around. He was at left tackle.
Q: The point is he’s at guard right now, though, right?
Frank [Omiyale] went to left tackle when Chris got hurt. That’s my point. So I don’t know what you’re talking about. We haven’t moved Chris around at all. Chris has been hurt. OK. Right. So, what are you asking?
Q: Had you thought about Williams at guard in training camp?
No, not at all.
Q: Did he practice at guard today?
He took snaps at a couple spots, the reason being that we gave Roberto [Garza] the day off so we’re light again. We moved him around, didn’t give him too many snaps in a row; four at the most. I think at one point I lost count and he had five, but I didn’t want him to get fatigued and hurt his leg again. But he was in a couple different spots today.
Q: So there’s a chance he’s going to play guard moving forward?
There’s a chance he’s going to play. Where he’s going to play, we’ll determine that based on a couple of things.
Q: Can you talk about him as a guard and why he might fit there?
First of all, I think he’s one of our top five guys, and I’m going to try to find a way to get him on the field without disrupting some of the things that we’ve done to this point, and in the last week that was starting to establish some of the young guys, some of the young guys that we felt could help us moving forward. At the same time, a couple guys that are in the mix to move if we want to move Chris in certain spots have played OK. You don’t want to punish anybody. Our goal is to get five guys out there and establish some continuity. To this point, we haven’t had any continuity and that’s killed us a lot. Omiyale has played solid football for us. Like every guy playing left tackle, he has a glaring boo-boo. Like playing corner, it shines and everybody can see it and [say] ‘Oh, boy, he played like crap today.’ But in the scheme of things, Frank played pretty good football Sunday. Hopefully we’ll make the right decisions and get the right five guys in there, and have the right seven suited up so we can sustain injuries and move forward and gain some continuity. We haven’t been able to have that. So with Chris coming back, our chances of having that are pretty good right now.
Q: What does Williams offer inside?
If, hypothetically, he was to go inside, he’s a great knee-bender. I would say that at this stage of his career, and he would probably disagree with me, I think he’s a better run blocker than he is a pass protector. I know he doesn’t want to hear that but I just evaluate the film and make a determination that way. I can’t do it any other way.
Q: Did the line take a step forward in Carolina?
The key word I tried to tell you last week was ‘forward’ so you’re saying the same word that I said. When they move forward, they can take a step forward. If we can build on those things from Sunday and find a mixture, whatever that mixture is going to be. ... Certainly we’re not going to be a run-first football team. But if we can find the right mixture to help, gain some type of rhythm with those guys, it’s going to help.