James ‘Big Cat’ Williams on the Bears Opener and the Season Ahead


Football is back. The Chicago Bears are set to kick off the regular season Sunday against the Detroit Lions. It’ll be the first time the Bears face an opponent this year, since the NFL skipped the preseason due to COVID-19.

One of the big questions this offseason has been whether Mitch Trubisky would continue to start at quarterback after the Bears picked up QB Nick Foles from Jacksonville earlier this year. Coach Matt Nagy says Trubisky will play Sunday, and that he doesn’t intend to pull him. At a press conference Wednesday, Trubisky said the competition helped him find his confidence in the offseason.

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“Something had to change from last year to this year. I think it was getting healthy, how I trained this offseason, and how I approached it mentally, and just talking to my support cast, family, and friends, and reaching out for advice,” Trubisky said.

Former Bears offensive lineman James “Big Cat” Williams says it’s the right choice for the team.

“(Trubisky) hasn’t worked out exactly the way they had planned, so they went out, they got Foles this offseason. Foles is a guy that with this pandemic not having the ability to show exactly what he has on the field, he’s almost their perfect backup,” Williams said. “It’s a great team for Mitch to start against, but we have to see if he has really changed (or) if the bright lights are still a little too much for him, and we won’t know that until after the game starts.”

Williams says playing in stadiums will few or no fans could make things tougher for players, as will not having had any preseason games.

“Usually at the beginning of the season you see offenses a little bit behind defenses,” Williams said. “I think this year, it’ll be a little bit of a different story, because I think the defenses will be a step ahead of the offenses. Not as much to learn, more ‘see ball, find ball, get ball’ as far as defense goes. It’ll be interesting. I think it’s going to affect both sides of the ball, but I think it’ll affect offenses more.”

Williams thinks the Bears have the edge over the Lions in Sunday’s opener. As for whether they can improve on last year’s 8-8 record – and maybe even make the playoffs – Williams says they certainly have the ability to.

“When you talk about the Bears division right now, they have the ability to be better than the Packers, they have the ability to be better than Detroit. I think it’s between them and Minnesota, depending on how the Bears offense plays,” Williams said. “If (wide receiver Anthony) Miller can step up, if (running back Tarik) Cohen can be better than he was last year – these guys have to shine. It can’t just be the (wide receiver Allen) Robinson show. These other guys have to step up.”


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