Big mouth, little production -- WIlliams just doesn't get it

Muhsin Muhammad said famously that Chicago was where wide receivers go to die.

Tribune Bears beat monster Brad Biggs brought up that line in this piece about Roy Williams, who is the first Bears receiver to be presented as a No. 1 guy since Muhammad. Bears coach Lovie Smith, of course, will say he always has five No. 1 receivers, but everybody knows it’s a crock, and you just smile at Smith and shake your head in agreement the way you do when Grandpa says he took Iwo Jima single-handedly.

I had forgotten about that guy and that guy’s quote till Biggsy brought it up, and then I thought about the Muhammad-Williams comparisons.

Neither has a volume control, for one  thing. They’re loquacious, available, a smiling confrontational way at times. How is that the guys furthest from the ball have the biggest mouths and loudest acts?

But what really matters is catching the ball, and if there’s another comparison between Muhammad and Williams, it’s that Chicago is where loud, self-satisfied receivers go to drop the ball.

Muhammad was a terror when it came to drops. By the end, his only use seemed to be babysitting Devin Hester at the line of scrimmage. Williams comes here with a big reputation of big drops.

Mike Martz talks as if Williams is the guy from five years ago. Martz is delirious, of course. Certainly, he’s lacking credibility the way he talks about a lot of Bears personnel, such as how great Greg Olsen and all of last year’s receivers were, and now he can’t wait to buck one of them down for a pet coming off a horrible year -- several horrible years, actually. Next, I expect Martz to tell us he took Iwo Jima single-handedly.

Williams, like any loud, egotistical wideout, said Wednesday he didn’t drop a pass against the Giants. Did too, Bears wide receivers coach Darryl Drake said, talking about Williams’ first chance, a third-and-10 pass that should’ve gone for 16 but instead went to the turf because the Bears’ alleged No. 1 receiver wasn’t better than a smaller cornerback.

It could be that Williams doesn’t get it. Sounds like it, anyway. That’s a problem. How can a guy get better if he doesn’t know why he’s not better?

Drake certainly let Williams know publicly how to get better. He nailed Williams for that drop, he called him out for not being in shape, and he threatened a demotion if things don’t change.

What part of “catch or sit’’ don’t you understand, Roy?

Williams deals with hard questions and issues by way of sarcasm and says a lot of people don’t understand his brand of it. Maybe, maybe not. Could also be that a lot of people don’t understand why a guy who isn’t in shape was given a job by the same offensive coordinator who said players have to “earn’’ such things in the NFL.

"Whether I'm catching the ball or not, we can run the football,’’ Williams said, even though there’s no evidence that the starting running game is any better than the starting passing game that Williams has yet to join. “We're a great screen team and we're a great passing team. So I don't want the focus on me."

Funny how he doesn’t want to be the focus when he looks like a guy who can’t play like a starter.

A lot of people will call this criticism premature and say it’s just the exhibition season, and blah, blah blah. Williams’ position coach didn’t sound like that, is all I can say.

A lot of people, mainly the Bears, will try to spin this potential disaster into a well-executed plan to motivate speedy Johnny Knox, who lost his job to Williams because of Martz’s hypocritical ways. In fact, Martz is one of many Bears coaches already lauding Knox for learning so much in the short time he has been a second-stringer, which might be true, but only the dopes will buy the idea that the Bears spent a million bucks or so for a guy to push Knox.

But you know what? Williams can change all this negativity and doubt just by catching the ball, specifically on third down and in the red zone. All of this edginess and anger goes away if he does what he’s expected to do, what he did for one season under Martz, what he hasn’t done since then. That, see, is why the Curse-O-Meter goes to 11 so quickly with this guy. He has been a mess for three years, underacheiving and overmodulating.

He has the sound of the diva wideout down. Man, he has nailed that loud and empty part of the act. The receiver part, through, putting the “recevier’’ in “big receiver’’ is all he has to do to make the other stuff tolerable.

Otherwise, the comparisons to the oral noise of Muhammad will cease. The comparisons to the ear-splitting boos of Adam Dunn will begin.

Twitter @steverosenbloom

Copyright © 2015, RedEye
Related Content
  • 2011 Bears results

    2011 Bears results

    All times Central; home games in CAPS. All games on WBBM radio. *—in London **—Game time subject to flexible schedulePRESEASONDATEOPPONENT TIME/RESULTTV/RECORD 8/13 BUFFALO W, 10-3 1-0 8/22 at N.Y. Giants L, 41-13 1-1 8/27 at Tennessee L, 14-13 1-2 9/1 CLEVELAND W, 24-14 2-2 REGULAR SEASONDATEOPPONENT...

  • 2011 Chicago Bears game photos

    2011 Chicago Bears game photos

    All the photos from this season's slate of games MORE: 2011 Bears results | Bears player photo galleries | Submit your fan photos

  • Violence touching unlikely communities in Chicago

    Violence touching unlikely communities in Chicago

    Diane Limas says the sound of gunfire has become so common outside her house in Chicago's Albany Park neighborhood that she's frequently calling police to complain.

  • Road to record Emanuel tax hike paved by delays, 'gimmicks'

    Road to record Emanuel tax hike paved by delays, 'gimmicks'

    Moments after taking the oath of office, Mayor Rahm Emanuel told Chicagoans he had "been clear about the hard truths and tough choices we face" and vowed to put "the city of Chicago's financial house in order."

  • Posh Water Tower Place condo: $1.995M

    Posh Water Tower Place condo: $1.995M

    180 E Pearson Street Unit 3301: $1,995,000  Listed on July 17, 2015 Enjoy exceptional north/west views of Michigan Avenue and the lake from the 33rd floor of this three-bedroom-plus-den condo with two full and one-half baths. The perfect combination of elegance and comfort, this 2784-square-foot...

  • Northerly Island's nature preserve now open

    Northerly Island's nature preserve now open

    The only thing that lands on Northerly Island now are birds and butterflies.

  • Where to go to laugh while The Second City undergoes repairs

    Where to go to laugh while The Second City undergoes repairs

    The early-afternoon fire on Aug. 26 that started in the Adobo Grill restaurant next door to The Second City has forced the historic theater to move or cancel all of its performances in their Mainstage, e.t.c and UP Comedy Club theaters until at least Sunday, Sept. 20, which will mark 26 days without...

  • City to offer ticket, tax amnesty program

    City to offer ticket, tax amnesty program

    Faced with pushing through City Council a massive property tax increase and other fees as part of a 2016 budget, Mayor Rahm Emanuel is trying to slightly soften that politically difficult package by offering an amnesty program for people who have unpaid tickets and back taxes they owe the city.