We know Roy Williams' track record - a guy who had his best year in 2006 as a Lion under Mike Martz, has a history of dropping passes and disappearing in games, and hasn't lived up to the lofty first-round pick the Lions spent on him nor the bounty of picks the Cowboys traded to get him. And at the start of camp, there was a bit of ruckus when he was put on the depth chart ahead of Johnny Knox. He said he'd turn "it" on, whatever "it" "is," when the regular season started and has had all of two receptions in the preseason, when he had two drops in a single game.
So follow me past the jump and let's talk about giving Williams a chance.
The Sun-Times' Mark Potash wrote an article late yesterday about Williams and about Chicago being unwilling to give him a chance to breathe. The premise seems to be that if we as fans don't give him a chance, he could shut down before long.
I'm willing to give him a chance, sure, but not for that reason. I'm willing to give him a chance because the coaching staff seems to like him and they know more about football than I do, but I'm not dumb enough to ignore his track record.
This is, after all, the same Roy Williams who had one year of Pro Bowl success - in Martz's system, for what it's worth, in 2006 - and a whole lot of disappointment; the same Williams who's been given tons of opportunity to live up to his first-round billing, and the same Roy Williams whose career comparables according to PFR include Braylon Edwards, Bernard Berrian and Todd Pinkston.
Potash says we should give him a chance because he's been...
anointed the Bears' No. 1 receiver the first week of August, he's had five weeks to get re-acclimated with an offense that Devin Hester and Knox are still getting used to after 16 months and 18 games playing in it.
Isn't his prior experience in the system why we should expect more of him, as the reason he came here?
And I love this one too...
Sox fans gave Adam Dunn two months. Will Bears fans give Williams two games?
I don't see what that has to do with anything. Dunn was at least productive for most of his career and was possibly the most demanded bat available this past offseason. What's Williams done recently? Another "when-trailing" first down celebration? 75 receptions combined over two years as a second or third option?
Look, I'm all about giving a guy chances; I usually take a "wait and see" approach with my team's free agent acquisitions. And I'm not expecting some superstar performance worthy of a Larry Fitzgerald or Andre Johnson. I'm also not looking for admission of a dropped pass. What I am looking for, though, is competent receiver play and a reason why he was initially put first on the receiver chart. I'm looking for a guy who realizes his career has been a disappointment and who's willing to redeem himself on the field.
I hope he can produce, the offense would be much better for it. But if it's going to be subpar yardage and reception numbers, more drops, and premature celebrations, it wouldn't be failure to give him a chance, it'd be the player living up to his career status quo.