Bears DC Alan Williams shares very interesting takes on his defense

Vince Carbonneau
August 7, 2022  (6:04 PM)

The Bears' defense is supposed to be the strong suit of this team. The success will start with the defensive coordinator. Alan Williams was brought in this off-season in order to help this defense get back to it's roots.

Here is what he said about the Bears practices so far.
"Yesterday was a little bit long of a practice and guys still had great attitudes," Williams said Sunday. "They came in, they weren't cussing or fussing or making excuses about their legs; that sometimes can happen. So, I think that's a good sign in terms of the dividends that will pay off.

"I listened to our guys and how they talked the other day and I listened to them coming off the field. When you have tough practices or difficult practices, I think the momentum is guys work through it. Guys that don't normally get reps, they get more reps. So, I think our team is gelling in chemistry even though some guys might not be practicing."

In recent practices, the defensive backs room has been injured a lot with multiple players out. However, Williams has seen the cornerback group fill in multiple positions and perform at a high level.
"DeAndre Houston-Carson, DHC, he's done a good job. He's been available assignment-wise, and he's made some plays in there," Williams said. "I'm happy with that. And then it seems like each day we've had a different nickel person in there from the corner position, and they're coming in there. Sometimes it's not, 'Hey, are you making a play?' Sometimes it's coming in there, 'Are you just doing your job? Are you a cog in the defense? And are you not giving up big plays? Or not giving up plays that you should have been in the right place?' Really, the corner position — not just one person, but the corner position — those guys coming in, (Jaylon) Jones coming and playing that spot when he's been outside."

Rookie CB Kyler Gordon has missed the last few practices after impressing coaches early in his camp with his versatility and athleticism at the nickel and corner positions. However, Williams said Gordon has been with his position coach each day even though he is injured, looking over what he would've been doing during practice.
"It's not just, 'hey I'm out.' He's attentive in the meetings," Williams said. "He's working at his craft in the morning. He's staying late watching tape. He comes in with questions. So, that's not a typical rookie. Those are veteran habits. So, I'm excited about that part."

Finally, in Williams' introductory press conference, he discussed how difficult it can be to install the HITS principle. Williams anticipated some early resistance from Bears players based on his previous experience.
"Guys have been great," Williams said. I was expecting some pushback, some kickback like, 'hey coach, my legs are dead. Hey coach, this is what we did last year. Hey coach, this is what I used to do to be successful.' There hasn't been any of that. The guys have been outstanding in terms of how they're working. That shows they trust their position coaches; they trust the head coach."
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