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Thursday, November 3, 2011
Speed read: Williams likes Bears

By Jeff Dickerson

Asante Samuel
Eagles cornerback Asante Samuel has 43 career interceptions in the regular season.

LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Roy Williams is betting on the speed of Chicago Bears wide receivers to win out over the seven combined Pro Bowl selections of Philadelphia Eagles cornerbacks Nnamdi Asomugha and Asante Samuel.

"They're pretty good corners. Big-name guys, big-time players, All-Pro guys," Williams said Thursday. "They're good. One thing this group (Bears receivers) has is speed. I hope they can run. [I know] they see it every day with DeSean [Jackson] and [Jeremy] Maclin and those guys, but I think Johnny [Knox] and Devin [Hester] have a little bit different speed."

Knox and Hester were both able to hit Philadelphia's defense for big plays in last year's 31-26 Bears win at Soldier Field. However, Samuel was inactive that day due to a knee injury, while the Eagles' other starting cornerback Ellis Hobbs went on injured reserve prior the game with a neck injury.

When healthy, Samuel and Asomugha are considered two of the top cornerbacks in the NFL. They have combined for 56 regular season interceptions, 43 of those belonging to Samuel, mainly because teams stopped throwing the ball to Asomugha's side his final five years in Oakland.

But it sounds like Williams believes the return of receiver Earl Bennett might also tip the scales in the Bears' favor on Monday night. Bennett, inactive since suffering a torso injury in Week 2, caught a pair of touchdown passes against Philadelphia last season. While not as quick as Knox or Hester, Bennett is a much stronger and well-rounded receiver who could give the Eagles trouble working out of the slot.

"Best receiver that we have," Williams said. "Best receiver that we have on the team. Most consistent guy. Knows every position. Might even play quarterback if you put him back there. It's great to have him back. He's good. Very underrated."