Darryl Drake puts heat on Bears WR Roy Williams
BY MARK POTASH email@example.com August 24, 2011 10:14PM
Wide receivers coach Darryl Drake has called out an out-of-shape Roy Williams (above). | Jonathan Daniel~Getty Images
Updated: November 4, 2011 9:41AM
Mike Martz on Roy Williams: ‘‘Roy is fine. We’re getting on the same page with Jay [Cutler] with [routes and timing], but he’s doing fine.’’
Lovie Smith on Williams: ‘‘We haven’t gotten a lot of production, but we’re making progress.’’
Cutler on Williams: ‘‘I see nothing wrong with Roy and where he’s at right now. I think by the [opener] he’s going to be right where we need him.’’
Williams on Williams: ‘‘I’m good. I’ve got to clean up some things. But other than that, I’m good.’’
Darryl Drake on Williams: ‘‘He’s not where he needs to be, and he knows that. He and I have talked about that — and the good thing is, you’ve got Johnny Knox, who’s fighting and working hard. And believe you me, Roy understands Johnny’s there. Johnny’s hungry, and Johnny wants his spot back. If things don’t start changing, then Johnny’s going to be in there. That’s straight from the horse’s mouth.’’
There’s nothing wrong with having so many ‘‘good cops’’ at Halas Hall as long as there’s one really good ‘‘bad cop.’’ Drake, the wide receivers coach, played that role to perfection Wednesday to provide some much-needed balance and perspective to a situation that may or may not be worth fretting about in late August: After two preseason games, Williams has zero receptions.
Considering Williams signed with the Bears days before training camp and wasn’t able to practice until Aug. 4, calls for patience are not unfounded. On the other hand, that the Bears anointed Williams the No. 1 split end, leapfrogging him past the team’s leading receiver in 2010 (Knox) just because he’s Roy Williams, puts a little bit of an onus on Williams.
So while Smith, Cutler and Martz are preaching patience, Drake is lighting a fire.
“Roy’s got some things to do as far as getting himself in shape,’’ Drake said, ‘‘but that’s not my fault. That’s not my concern. My concern is making sure that when we play Atlanta, we’ve got the best guys out there that are going to give us the best chance to win. And if Johnny Knox is that guy, then he needs to be out there.”
Williams, who has had only 13 practices with the Bears, deserves more time. But Drake is going to hold him accountable. Williams, for instance, disputed the notion that his failure to catch a pass in his midsection against the Giants was a drop.
‘‘I didn’t have a drop,’’ he said. ‘‘[Aaron Ross] made a great play to knock it out as soon as it got in my hands, so I didn’t drop the ball.’’
Drake wasn’t buying it.
‘‘Aaron Ross made a great play . . . but you can’t let Aaron Ross knock that ball out — that’s the bottom line,’’ Drake said. ‘‘The ball hit him in the hands. It was a great throw, and he let the DB knock it out. Aaron Ross outplayed us.’’
Williams still has time to prove he’s worth the fuss. But with Drake applying the heat and raving about Knox, the Bears will find out what they really want to know about Williams — if he can produce under pressure.