“You don’t bring a Roy Williams in here to sit the bench.”
That’s what Bears wide receiver coach Darryl Drake said in this Chicago Tribune article about Johnny Knox and his frustration over being listed behind Williams on the team’s first depth chart of the preseason.
I’d be frustrated too if nonsense like that was spilling out of my coach’s mouth.
You don’t bring a Roy Williams in to sit the bench? Since when did Williams turn into Andre Johnson, Greg Jennings or even Jabar Gaffney? I get what Drake is implying: that Williams is a veteran, has experience playing in Mike Martz’s offense and deserves the respect to see his name atop the depth chart. But are the Bears serious here?
If Cowboy fans ever wondered if Williams could get any slower than he was last year, follow him this year on that patch of dirt the Bears call their home field. This was a guy that struggled mightily trying to gain separation from defenders last season in Dallas, which oh-by-the-way plays half its games on turf. There were also times when he displayed alligator arms and lost focus as his role diminished in the offense.
Granted, the Bears have been vocal about Knox needing to get more aggressive at the line of scrimmage and fighting for the ball when it’s in the air. Plus, he’s going to get opportunities to play because Martz usually roles out three or four receivers in most sets. But the part that is confusing to me is the Bears’ overall thought process. Do they honestly believe that Williams should receive more playing time than Knox? Or that Williams gives them the best chance to win? Knox played in 88.2 percent of the Bears’ offensive plays last year and was easily their best receiver. If the coaching staff believes that Williams is an upgrade, then what in Tom Waddle’s name is going on in the Windy City?
Of course, none of this will probably matter in a couple of months. Once Williams proves that he’s not a reliable full-time starter, Martz and the rest of the Bears coaching staff will wise up and put Knox back in. Because if there’s one thing this Chicago coaching staff knows, its how to manage a receiver corps…