The Chicago Bears saw their first real action from Brian Urlacher's replacement today and the results were not pretty. New linebacker D.J. Williams (who did not play the entire preseason) came in and looked horrible in his debut for the Bears. Whether it was rust, or his limited ability the new linebacker starts can now count on hearing foot steps until the debut of rookie Jon Bostic.
Williams finished with a mere three tackles in the game and came out in the nickel package. Williams showed nothing at the point of attack with offensive guards constantly getting their hands on him and driving him up the field. Whether Williams was getting driven out of the hole or five or six yards down the field he did nothing to make me feel comfortable about his debut in a Bears uniform.
There was a real lack of physicality from his game and at times he seemed to quit once a blocker would get their hands on him. It was a horrible debut and an even worse effort from #58. Williams did not make one splash play in the game and he already has me questioning why he's in a Bears uniform as a replacement for Brian Urlacher.
Never mind the Urlacher question, why is Williams playing ahead of Bostic if he's only a two down linebacker? Let the rookie come in and learn and develop his game as a run defender, at least he's more physical and hungrier than the 10 year veteran. The Bengals mauled the middle of the defense today, and part of that was Williams' failure in the middle.
An inauspicious debut by the veteran will have to be corrected next week against the Vikings and Adrian Peterson. Peterson racked up 93 yards and three touchdowns today for the Vikings and the Bears face them in a pivotal week two game on the Lake Front. Any early struggles by the veteran should be met with an immediate benching in favor of the rookie.
Bostic showed well in the preseason with consistent effort, speed and physicality. The young player needs to work on trusting his keys and run fits, but his overall effort was better than the 10-year veteran. One can only hope that Williams shaky debut is the result of knocking off the rust.