DWill Says; I'm one of the 3 best Bears LBs....................

Discussion in 'Chicago Bears' started by soulman, Jul 22, 2014.

  1. soulman

    soulman Pro-Bowler SuperFan DBS Writer

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    D.J. Williams: 'I’m one of the three best LBs on [Bears]'

    July 21, 2014, 12:45 pm

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    D.J. Williams felt like the full details of the competition and linebacker situation weren’t adequately laid out for him, including the move of Shea McClellin to linebacker, or he may have pursued other options a little more ambitiously before agreeing to a one-year Bears deal that can max out at $1.5 million with various bonuses.

    “There were teams that were interested; I might have looked at other situations,” Williams told CSNChicago.com. “But I’m coming here to fight it out, duke it out.”

    Those options may have been problematic, given his age (turned 32 on Sunday) and recent injury history (2011 elbow injury, three games missed; 2012 suspensions, nine games; 2013 pectoral injury, 10 games).

    Whether Williams did or didn’t know what he was re-signing on for don’t really matter now, and certainly don’t ultimately matter to the 11-year veteran going into Bears training camp and a head-to-head competition with Jonathan Bostic at middle linebacker.

    “Personally, I feel like I’m one of the three best linebackers on this team,” Williams said, “and if I’m healthy, stay focused, do everything I’m supposed to do, I should be in there.”

    Williams is in a potentially dicey situation. He is ahead of Bostic as a run defender but Bostic has an edge in pass defense. Unless that Bears go with a system that platoons middle linebackers based on situations, the reality that the NFL is 58:42 percent pass:run ratio and that slightly favors Bostic. Williams has two career interceptions, none since 2007.

    But even with Williams missing all of preseason and most of camp with a calf injury, then the last 10 regular-season games with a pectoral injury, the Bears thought enough of his work to commit $100,000 in signing bonus to sweeten the effort to bring him back.

    “[In 2013 we] saw a good football player, saw a guy that has legitimately very good burst, saw a player that has good instincts, gets around the ball and plays with a relentless style,” Bears GM Phil Emery said. “We were not displeased with his effort. We were very pleased with where he was going and how he was progressing. Obviously he had some injuries in camp, he had to get his feet back under him and once he did he started producing at a high level.”

    If Bostic does win the starting job, Williams theoretically could be tasked with duty on some special teams, as backup linebackers, defensive backs and several other position groups are. Or Bostic could be assigned to special teams, where he collected three solo tackles last season.

    Williams isn’t thinking in any of those terms.

    “I’m competing for a starting job,” Williams said. “I’m not here play special teams. I’m not here to sit on the bench. It’s just day-in, day-out, a grind. There’s the numbers game, the money game, different ‘games.’ But at the end, whoever puts the best product on the field will be there.

    “I’m not a special-teams player. I don’t even think at this point like I would be a good special-teams player. It’s huge difference, different mindset, a lot of sitting around 10-15 minutes waiting. I don’t know how good I would be at it.”
  2. Jimmors

    Jimmors The Rhymenoceros Staff Member SuperFan

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    So basically you are saying you are a starter. Way to aim for the stars!!
  3. dachuckster

    dachuckster Veteran SuperFan

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    Maybe I am reading way too much into what he said (or maybe interpreting how he said it). But I am wondering if he will make it to the final roster as a starter.
  4. riczaj01

    riczaj01 DaBears Ditka DBS Writer

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    I think what he said is probably pretty similar to what Bostic would say(3-4 years from now as a vet and former starting LB'r). Guys that have started aren't playing for backup roles or ST jobs.

    Reality is he's likely on the team no matter what b/c he can play all 3 positions, and the team needs LB depth. They aren't relying soley on rookies and guys w/no playing time to be their primary backups in case of emergancy.
  5. soulman

    soulman Pro-Bowler SuperFan DBS Writer

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    Although there may have been other teams who were interested they weren't exactly lined up around the block for his services. I think that much is clear. At this point in time this begins to sound a little more like "sour grapes" for a guy who Trestman has called the "lead dog" at MLB.

    I thought this was interesting for a couple of reasons. One is that it's kind of the first crack in the solidarity we've been seeing from the defense and two DWill's attitude tells me why, despite Bostic's strong showing in the OTAs and mini camp, Trestman is still calling him the starter at MLB. Me thinks there's a little massaging of his ego going on right now and that DWill is showing a little of the attitude issues that got him released out here in Denver. He likes to pout when he's not playing and once the Broncos drafted Von Miller he became a big time pouter.

    Now I'm gonna add to this his final statements about not being here to play STeams and his attempts to excuse himself by saying he doesn't think he'd be very good at it. Most vets with his playing experience wouldn't be asked to play STeams anyway but it's his attitude that's really the issue here not whether or not he'd be useful on STeams. No matter what his feelings inside on the outside and to the media a player looking to hang on at the end of his career should be saying he's want to do whatever he can to help his team win and that's not what we're hearing are we?

    If it's a dead heat between him and Bostic after camp and preseason don't be shocked if Bostic gets the job and DWill gets the axe. I love the confidence he has in himself but it's not an honest declaration of his talents. It's more of a veiled threat. I know D.J Williams from his time here in Denver and what he's really saying is that if I don't start I'm gonna be unhappy. We don't need any unhappy bench players period and with that attitude Trestman won't keep him around. In fact if they tell him that Bostic will start I'd be surprised if DWill didn't ask to be released. Apparently his pride means more to him than his team winning games.

    This is also interesting for another reason. If Adrian Wilson doesn't beat out Ryan Mundy will he settle for being a role player either? I think the idea of having vet depth is a very good one when you're shooting for a championship but not at the risk of having vet players who won't accept their diminished role and be leaders even if it's just being a leader in practice and from the bench. If DWill insists on starting my guess there won't be any competition left between Greene and Jones. They'll both make the roster and DWill will be gone.
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2014
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  6. shark86x

    shark86x Pro-Bowler SuperFan

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    Excellent post, Soul. Thanks for the prior info on this guy. If you're thoughts are correct I agree with everything you've said. A vet should have a better attitude than that. He should understand the team ethic and be a part of it. He needs to be a leader, not a self-centered primadonna. We don't need any pouters or half-assed players. Had that with Peppers last year, don't need to see it again. He either plays all-out or he's out. No matter what position he's at.
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  7. RochBear

    RochBear Rookie

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    Soul, you are the Denver guy so: It has been a long time but I remember DWill as a really good LB in Denver when he was healthy, fast in a useable way (not like '13 Bostic fast at overrunning play), making good run reads, good tackler when he got there, good blitzer, etc. Is that selective memory? Was he really just 'okay' (and was his pass D poor?).

    I'm hoping both SheaM and JonB work out as starter quality LBs. As we all saw last year, going into a season with 4 starter level LBs is none too many.
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  8. MPbears68

    MPbears68 Pro-Bowler

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    Interesting info, Soul. I'm sure you know more reading-between-the-lines about DJW than we do given your Denver connection. I sensed a little attitude in his comments as well but your explanation confirmed to me that I wasn't making stuff up in my head.

    Really sucks because he's the perfect vet depth guy (if not starting) due to his ability to play all 3 positions. But yeah if a guy has a bad attitude and is going to whine on the bench then it's better to release him than let him poison the team.
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  9. B-ell-y-iot

    B-ell-y-iot Veteran SuperFan

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    Agreed. I don't know the context of what DWill said, but it comes off with attitude and selfishness. The NFL is a very public job. In most jobs, the best of the bunch feel the same way. I've done my time. I've played my role. I want the spotlight and the recognition of my abilities. With the money, the intense fan spotlight, and the expectations for success each and every year on the players and the coaches, the NFL doesn't have room for entitlement or privilege. This seems especially true in Trestman's tenure with the Bears. It's about who's the best and, who out of the best can be a utility player.

    DWill is positioning himself out of that spot. Like soulman says,
    I don't fault him though. There are, or there will be other teams out there that need his immediate assistance. DWill knows he's nearing the end and while it might be pride, it's also a love of the game and getting a chance to do what you love to do and have done for a long time that causes this attitude. It's also fear of never getting a chance to do it again and fear of a continuously plummeting salary.

    I'm hoping DWill shines at camp. I'm hoping he shows himself completely recovered and at the top of his game. I want him to be the best linebacker out there, not the third best, and I want his experience on Sundays when we fight, knuckle to knuckle down the stretch of this very scrappy schedule. If he has some attitude, or some pride, or some entitlement issues, fuck it, as long as he's the best at the spot and he can play multiple LB spots so he simply needs to be the best at one of them.
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  10. soulman

    soulman Pro-Bowler SuperFan DBS Writer

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    No Roch he was THAT good. The guy was the Broncos 1st round pick in 2004 and he was a top dog in their LB unit. They played him at WLB and then at SLB and finally moved him to MLB so he can and has played all three LB positions. He can flat out play especially as a run defender at MLB and ILB in a 3-4.

    Then he got himself in trouble with a couple of DUIs, was demoted as a team captain, got replaced at ILB, and had to sit out and NFL suspension. He expected to move back to staring either at ILB or at SLB but when the Broncos drafted Von Miller whose one of the best pass rushers in the NFL that made SLB moot and he couldn't get his ILB spot back so he pouted and complained and the Broncos let him go.

    He's a very proud player but like a lot of guys who played at "the U" he has an attitude problem when he isn't "the man". He wants to play and he believes he deserves to play. I consider those admirable traits but he's also a guy whose stacked up some injuries over the past few years of his career so his dependability has become a little bit of an issue because of that as the Bear quickly learned last year. He missed a good deal of camp with an injury yet was able to start but then sustained another injury that ended his season.

    We'd have to be pretty foolish to depend upon him and him alone staying healthy and productive for 16 games ergo the reason Herring has made sure that both Bostic and McClellin have gotten plenty of reps at MLB too. Personally I want the guy here and I hope they do start him at MLB and use either Bostic or McClellin as the swing guy this year. I think we'd be far better off and I'm sure DWill does as well.

    Maybe he was misquoted a bit in that interview. It's not like that never happens, but when it starts out with him saying he wasn't given the straight story here before he agreed to his deal he immediately comes off sounding like a complainer. It's like he expected to be handed the MLB spot without a challenge which is a lot to expect for a guy who missed most of last season and the preseason with injuries and who also has previous injury and off field issues in his past.

    I thought it was made quite clear long ago that Briggs was the only LB who wouldn't be competing for his starting job so for DWill to claim he was misled seems a little hokey and even if that was the case it's not something you piss and moan about in the media. Trestman has made it clear that even when there are players who are considered to have the inside track as starters they aren't just gonna be anointed as such. They still need to go out and earn their spot in order to keep it.

    Maybe D.J. is getting a little lazy here and not wanting to work so hard in camp and the preseason at keeping his job. Since he showed no effects of the injury which had him sidelined during preseason last year once the regular season began I have to wonder whether or not he was "milking" it a little to avoid some of the contact work and such prior to the season. That's not something I would put past him.

    As much as the Broncos have needed good defensive players recently if he was still all that and a bag of chips they would never have let him go. John Fox is very much a no nonsense coach and if he believed DWill was gonna be a problem he would not want him around so he was released. I believe he came here because he figured he could pretty much walk into a starters role at MLB, have a really good year, and parlay that into another 2-3 year deal with some guarantees. The injury prevented that and now he's clinging onto the end of his career but I think he's doing it wrong. Time will tell.
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  11. soulman

    soulman Pro-Bowler SuperFan DBS Writer

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    :guinness:

    Let me just say that I like the guy as a player and always have. He's a high motor, high effort guy who doesn't take plays off. But much like Pep he's not a career Chicago Bear so this is just one more job to him and he's not really a team leader here like he once was in Denver.

    I think he's still suffering from a bruised ego from his demotions in Denver and his ultimate release. Even after 2 DUIs, a suspension, and losing his starters job he still didn't see that one coming. If he keeps this kind of attitude up with Trestman and Emery he may not see it coming here either. We do have other options now we didn't have a year ago.
  12. soulman

    soulman Pro-Bowler SuperFan DBS Writer

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    I agree with you 100% and I really hope he gets over his bad self and goes out to get the job done. It wasn't until he went down last year that the wheels of the run defense really started to come off. The guy is a great run defender at any LB position and he truly can and has played them all. That alone makes him the perfect guy to have around and I'm sure one of the things about him that allowed Phil Emery to overlook some of his faults.

    Pride apparently being one of his biggest and you know that old saying about "pride goeth before the fall". D.J. would be wise to put his pride into his playing over the next 6 weeks and make sure that he makes himself as indispensable as possible in as many ways as possible because after a few comments like these he's not playing into the new rules Trestman has established for "esprit de corp" on this team.
  13. jackiejokeman

    jackiejokeman Pro-Bowler

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    I wonder what Lance Briggs thinks of D.J. Williams?

    It would be interesting to hear his thoughts.
  14. soulman

    soulman Pro-Bowler SuperFan DBS Writer

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    Yeah it would but I don't know that we ever will. Despite his being a defensive captain I really don't have a whole lot of respect for Briggs leadership abilities. I was actually hoping they'd transfer the play calling to DWill this year but with MLB still unsettled that seems unlikely. If Briggs has anything to say to him I'm sure it would be in private.

    I love "Moon Mullins" stuff because he lays it out as it is. This isn't an attempt to just "crap stir" this is an honest report on DWill's attitude right now and it's good that it's being reported this way and by Mullins. His stuff is always thorough, honest and accurate or at least as much as it can be for an outsider. He's very well respected around Halas Hall and by me above many other Bears media types.

    The bottom line is that D.J. needs to put all of that aside for now and just become an effective part of that defense in whatever role they put him in. If he won't do that I can't see Trestman having any problem with releasing him if that's what DWill wants. We do have other options in three other LBs fighting for what heretofore looked like just one roster spot. If it ends up being two roster spots then so be it. One man's preferences aren't gonna supersede the teams needs. Not with Trestman as HC.

    I'm still looking at this as having four starters instead of three because we can use all of them in various sub packages and even in a 3-4 alignment if they choose to show some of that and I think they will toy with it a bit. It's even possible that both DWill and Briggs may sit in some nickel packages where they may use Bostic to cover and McClellin to rush. This is a new defensive scheme and even the old timers need to learn to "go with the flow".

    Incidentally it's Jared Allen who should be a defensive co-captain this year along with Briggs. He shows better on field and off field leadership.
  15. JustAnotherBearsFan99

    JustAnotherBearsFan99 Coordinator SuperFan DBS Writer

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    I love the tone being set on this team. Emery has brought in some excellent competition for a number of positions on the team. Competition is good for the team. Players will need to earn a starting position. And they will have to perform to KEEP the starting position. Please, no more loafing players like Julius Peppers. No divas, or "privileged" players who can go through the motions and still be the starter. D.Will better wake up and smell the roses here.
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