Chicago Bears: Mike Williams
January, 16, 2011
By Jeff Dickerson | ESPNChicago.com
CHICAGO -- In the matchup of Charles Tillman vs. Mike Williams, Round 2 was ruled in favor of the Chicago Bears' veteran defensive back.
Even though Williams finished the day with a pair of touchdown grabs, his impact was marginal at best, thanks to the defensive efforts of Tillman, who shadowed the Seattle wideout the entire game.
"Coach [Lovie] Smith and coach [Rod] Marinelli came to me early in the week and told me they were going to match me up on No. 17," Tillman said.
Williams had four catches for 15 yards. In the first meeting with the Bears in Week 6, he made 10 receptions for 123 yards.
Tillman knows the Bears secondary must perform at a similar, or higher level, when they face the Green Bay Packers in the NFC Championship game at Soldier Field.
"They put on a hell of a performance [against Atlanta on Saturday night]," Tillman said. "I was looking at Aaron Rodgers, those receivers, they were balling. If they put on a performance like that next week, I think as a secondary we're going to have our hands full. They were balling. They are a good team.
"Great quarterback, can't say how enough how good he is."
January, 14, 2011
By Michael C. Wright | ESPNChicago.com
LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- The Chicago Bears often claim to simply do what they do defensively.
Apparently, that hasn’t changed based on film study from Seattle Seahawks receiver Mike Williams, who caught a career-high 10 passes for 123 yards in a 23-20 win over Chicago in Week 6, and poses a dangerous threat to the Bears for Sunday’s rematch in the NFC divisional playoffs.
“Watching film from our game, and then watching Chicago down the stretch and the stuff they did to the different receivers they played, I don’t think they really game-planned for us one way or the other on the perimeter,” Williams said. “I think they just played their game.”
Otto Greule Jr/Getty ImagesMike Williams' career revival in Seattle began with his 10-catch performance against the Bears in Week 6.
The key for the Bears this time around, though, is to do it better. That starts with getting pressure on quarterback Matt Hasselbeck to disrupt his timing with Williams and a pair of targets -- Brandon Stokley, and Ben Obomanu -- who combined with Williams for 14 catches, 184 yards and a pair of touchdowns in the team’s wild-card win over the New Orleans Saints.
“They executed better than we did [in the first game]. Obviously, it’s gonna be a little different this time,” Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher said. “They had us on our heels most of the game. They ran it pretty well, and they threw it when they wanted to.”
Hasselbeck passed for 242 yards, and a touchdown when the teams met on Oct. 17 against a Bears defense that couldn’t notch a sack or force a turnover, while generating only one quarterback hit. The teams finished the game equal (0-0) in turnover ratio.
Interestingly, the Bears won just one of three contests the regular season under those circumstances.
“It would be nice to get a sack this game on Hasselbeck,” cornerback Charles Tillman said. “We didn’t have any sacks [in the first game]. We didn’t have any turnovers. Definitely, man, you can’t throw the ball if you’re on your back. So we want to get a lot of pass rush going on and hopefully that can [disrupt] the timing between him and Mike Williams. Mike Williams is a good receiver, and Hassselbeck is playing as good as ever. The timing the two have is great.”
Tillman neglected to mention what the other receivers have done.
Although Williams caught 10 passes against the Bears -- the most by a Seahawk since 2007 -- and posted 11 receptions the next week, and 11 three weeks later, the impact of Stokley and Obomanu can’t be diminished.
A veteran slot man, Stokley played two years for Seahawks offensive coordinator Jeremy Bates in Denver, where the receiver posted two of the best statistical seasons over his 12-year career in terms of receptions. Stokley also contributed four catches against the Seahawks, including a 45-yard TD.
Obomanu, meanwhile, is in his fifth year and third coaching staff in Seattle, but he is finally able to take advantage of an opportunity. Obomanu didn’t catch a pass in the first showdown between the teams, and he hauled in just 30 passes for four touchdowns in the regular season.
But in just six starts, Obomanu doubled his output from the previous four seasons, and tied Williams for the team high in receptions (five) against the Saints, in addition to chipping in 43 yards.
“This is a big opportunity for us,” Williams said. “We got in a great week of practice. Coach [Pete] Carroll spoke on it when we just broke down. We’ve done the things that we can do to give ourselves a chance.”
The Bears have done the same on defense by tightening up in key areas throughout the season, while staying true to their core philosophies. That’s one of the elements of the Bears’ defense that stuck out on film to Williams, who said the team hasn’t changed at all schematically from the first meeting.
“Through the course of the season, that’s what they did -- [they never changed] -- they just made plays,” Williams said. “Their guys up front made more plays. So we don’t expect anything different. Obviously, they’re playing harder, and with us winning [the first game], they’re going to play us a lot tougher and with the revenge factor. We’ve just got to match their intensity.”
January, 10, 2011
By Jeff Dickerson | ESPNChicago.com
LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Lovie Smith rarely wavers when it comes to his defensive scheme.
AP Photo/Nam Y. HuhThe Seahawks' Mike Williams caught 10 passes for 123 yards against the Bears on Oct. 17.
Smith's system has proven successful if the right players are in the place. Unlike perhaps the previous three years, the Bears once again have the necessary parts to suit Smith's scheme.
But something broke on Oct. 17.
The Bears' defense was unable to stop Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Mike Williams (10 catches, 123 yards) in Week 6, prompting many to wonder if the Bears will alter their game plan the second time around.
"I think when you look at what he was able to do last time, that's a fair question. We have to play a lot better against him," Smith said. "If you don't have success, you look for a better way of doing things, but maybe the better way is to play what we had planned then a little better. Show up Sunday and you'll see."
Standing 6-foot-5 and weighing 235 pounds, Williams, who was out of football from 2008-09, isn't a threat to go vertical down the field, but he is an effective target underneath or close to the sidelines.
The Bears seemed slow to adjust once Williams got rolling in the first meeting.
"For me, it's real tough to go up against a guy like that," said Bears cornerback Tim Jennings, who is 5-8. "But that's one thing about this defense, if it was just a lot of man-to-man with no help over the top, it would be a problem. For us as a defense, we play a lot of Cover 2, Cover 3, we got a lot of guys running to the football. Our linebacker, our defensive line even gets to the secondary to make tackles. With a guy like Mike Williams, I think we'll be fine. He's going to get his catches, but we just have to eliminate the yards after the catch."