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Bears WR Roy Williams in danger of losing starting job

Bears wide receiver Roy Williams has been forewarned—perform or lose your starting job. | AP

Bears wide receiver Roy Williams has been forewarned—perform or lose your starting job. | AP

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Updated: August 24, 2011 4:36PM

Bears receivers coach Darryl Drake issued a strong message to Roy Williams recently.

If he doesn’t get better, he’s going to lose his starting spot.

Asked where Williams is at, in preparation for the season opener, Drake said, “Not where he needs to be, and he knows that.

“He and I have talked about that. And the good thing about it is, you got Johnny Knox who is fighting and working hard. And believe you and me, [Williams] also understands that Johnny is there, and Johnny is hungry, and Johnny wants his spot back. And if things don’t start changing, then Johnny is going to be in there. Heard it straight from the horse’s mouth.”

Williams said earlier Wednesday that he was being sarcastic about his comments from last week regarding his physical fitness. But Drake didn’t debunk the notion that Williams still isn’t in game shape.

“I understand that Roy’s got some things to do, as far as getting in shape, but that’s not my fault, and that’s not my concern,” Drake said. “My concern is making sure, when we play Atlanta, we got the best guys out there, that is going to give us the best chance to win. And if Johnny Knox is that guy, then he needs to be out there.”

These are strong words from Drake. But keep in mind that Drake coached Williams at Texas, and he knows how to push the receiver.

Drake is one of the team’s more outspoken and publicly honest coaches, but he certainly made his comments with a goal in mind.

Regardless, Drake likes the way Knox has responded.

“I know a lot is being made about Johnny not being in there but this has helped Johnny. This has helped him to be a better student of the game. Johnny has improved tremendously. I’m very proud of what he’s done, and he needs to continue to do that because there were some things he needed to do,” Drake said. “But as long as he continues to make the strides he’s making, he’s going to be fine.”

Williams suggested he didn’t have any drops against the New York Giants Monday night, even though he clearly botched the first ball intended for him, which would have given the offense a first down on third and long.

Asked how many of the three passes intended for Williams should have been caught, Drake said, “The first one, for sure.

“Aaron Ross made a great play and knocked it out, but you can’t let Aaron Ross knock that ball out. That’s the bottom line. The ball hit him in the hands – it was a great throw – and he let the DB knock it out.”

Drake explained that the details of the offense are evident on that play. He said if Williams were one or two steps over, Ross wouldn’t have had a chance to make a play on the ball.

“That was the difference in the play, bang-bang,” Drake said.

As for the slant, Drake said there was no way for Williams to make the play, suggesting that the cornerback held the receiver.

But Drake added that the receivers have to play through those things.

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