- Michael C. Wright, ESPN Staff Writer
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LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- The Bears aren’t exactly ecstatic about Chris Williams’ two-game stint at guard, but they expressed encouragement about the strides he’s making towards transitioning into the new position.
Offensive line coach Mike Tice said Williams spent extra time last week working to eliminate the technical kinks from his game.
“Chris had a good off week working on technique, and trying to get comfortable in there,” Tice said.
A first-round pick in 2008, Williams started 11 games last season at right tackle and five at left tackle, where he was penciled in as a starter prior to the start of the season. A hamstring injury in Week 2 sidelined Williams for three games, and the Bears shifted him inside to left guard upon his return to the lineup on Oct. 17.
Williams played a role in quarterback Jay Cutler's suffering six sacks against the Seahawks in that game. The next week in a 17-14 loss to the Redskins, Williams allowed Albert Haynesworth to drive him into Cutler in the first quarter for a 10-yard sack.
Williams doesn’t appear to play with the pad level and aggressiveness required to excel inside at guard, but Tice likes the unit’s potential inside with the return of Roberto Garza from arthroscopic knee surgery, and Williams playing his third-consecutive game at left guard. Tice says the much-needed continuity up front should help.
“We should improve just based on that, you know,” Tice said. “The way I’ve looked at it over time is this: If three guys out of five play winning football in a game, you should win some games. If four out of five guys play winning football in a game, unless you turn the ball over a whole lot, you should win the game. Every play is a street fight. [If] four guys grade out winning football, we’ll win a lot of football games if we don’t turn the ball over. [If] three guys [play winning football], we’re gonna win some. [If] two [play winning football] we’re not gonna win many. That’s the only way I know it. I only know it that way from experience. That’s what I tell my peers, and my bosses: we’ve got to get more guys to play winning football.”
Williams definitely falls into that category.
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