Fans of the Chicago Bears might have hoped for a different name, but the bottom line is that Chicago accomplished one of its primary offseason objectives by signing free agent wide receiver Roy Williams. Coming off a disappointing two and a half year stint in Dallas, Williams cost quite a bit less than his fellow free agent WRs. Yet, there's not many who deny that Williams still has the physical tools to be a significant weapon in the passing game provided he stays healthy and is in the right system.
Enter Mike Martz, the Bears' mercurial offensive coordinator. Martz and Williams know each other quite well from the two years Martz spent coordinating the Lions' offense back in 2006 and 2007. Williams posted his two best professional seasons in the two years that Martz was calling the plays in Motown. In '06, Williams hauled in 82 receptions for 1,310 yards and 7 touchdowns. Williams was named to the Pro Bowl for the first and only time in his career for the impressive production. In '07, Williams appeared in just 12 games but still caught 64 passes for 838 yards and 5 TDs.
No wonder then that Williams sounds so pumped to again be playing in a Mike Martz offense. During a Monday morning interview on WSCR, Williams talked about his excitement to play for Martz:
On what he meant when he said that he loves the Mike Martz system because it’s a ‘thinking man’s system’:
"I mean that’s what the NFL is all about. High school is easy, college gets a little bit more difficult, the NFL should be hard. You hear all the stories…you know, I went through the West Coast system, it’s okay, then I went through Jason Garrett’s system, it’s okay, and Mike Martz’s system — you have to have your head on straight at all times. It’s tough, it’s tough on the offense, so I know it’s tough for the defense."
On his career not unfolding the way most expected it would after his solid start in Detroit:
"Injuries set me back, and then my year with Martz I had 1300 yards, people don’t know that I was second in the NFL in yards and that was my Pro Bowl year. After that it just hasn’t been where it needs to be. Like I said, I’ll take responsibility for that, I won’t blame anyone else but myself. But I haven’t lost a step, haven’t lost anything, just need my main man Martz and we’ll see what happens this year."
Williams was later asked about his disappointing tenure in Big D:
On how he would characterize his time in Dallas:
"It was tough. It was fun being home, having the star on the side of the helmet, that was my dream team. I just think the timing was wrong for me to be there. I’m not taking anything away from that team, they’re a good football team. It was fun, but it’s a business, I gotta come out here and do what I’m supposed to do, and I know Martz is going to give me that chance."
Sounds like Williams isn't blaming anybody for his struggles in Dallas, but that he's confident that he'll be given more of an opportunity to contribute and be a big part of the Bears' success by Martz than he was afforded by the Cowboys' coaching staff.
He may have a point. Chicago certainly doesn't have as many talented WRs on the roster as Dallas did during Williams' two and a half years in Dallas. And we all know that Martz loves to air it out whenever possible, and that Jay Cutler isn't afraid of giving his guys a chance to make a play on the ball, even if it means throwing into tight coverage. We'll see what unfolds, but Williams could provide to be one of the offseason's best pickups if things break his and Chicago's way.