Chris Williams injured: Chicago Bears familiar with first-round let downs

Christopher Bremner@bremquestCorrespondent IAugust 27, 2008

It is of no surprise for Bears fans to hear that their first-round selection Chris Williams will miss at least the first half of the season with an injury.  Williams, who has a history of back problems, underwent surgery to repair a herniated disk in his back on July 24th.  With the time-table on his return unknown, the already questionable offensive line becomes that much more depleted. 

Williams was drafted with the intention of bolstering pass protection as well as run-blocking, which has been absolutely awful.  Age is working against the O-line, and they could really use a young spark-plug to get them motivated.  Williams, as so many other first-round draft picks before him, will be unable to contribute.  For now at least.

 Bears fans should know by now that this was inevitable.  What staggered those fans, were the statements from Chris Williams that insinuated the Bears understood the severity of his injury when they drafted him; "I had a herniated disc before I got here," Williams said. "We knew that. Everyone knew that. It just was a thing where most people it doesn't affect. It wasn't affecting me so if nothing is broke, you don't fix it. Then something happened in practice that second day, the disc started moving and that caused some problems." GM Jerry Angelo denies knowing the injury was this serious.  The rookie also stated any further medical questions should be directed to team doctors.  That sounds great Chris, but we don’t need the team doctors to figure out that we’ve been conned.  It does not take an expert to see that the rookie waited until after selected to address his back injury.  Sure that was the smart thing to do, for himself, but as far as the city of Chicago goes, he walked all over us; or should I say hobbled.  We needed help on the O-line now! Not whenever (if ever) you heal.

The Chicago Bears have had a horrible track record when it comes to their first-round draft picks.  Do we need better scouts? In the past twenty years less than 23% of players picked by the Bears in the first-round have met expectations, and that is pretty pathetic.  Let’s take a fun little trip down memory lane.  I will start with 1991 when the Bears selected defensive tackle Stan Thomas.  Who? ‘Tackle’ Stan Thomas, well at least he claimed; Thomas missed so many tackles I can’t even fathom how he was ever considered to be a good idea.  1992, Bears select Ohio state’s outstanding defensive-end Alonzo Spellman.  Well, I guess if outstanding is defined as un-medicated, crazy, monster that ended up in an armed standoff with police, then fine, “outstanding”.  Because I don’t have the patience I will cruise past a decent, but overrated Walt Harris and a huge no-talent tease Rashaan Salaam.  I will even exempt an injury plagued Curtis Enis, but Cade McNown, you were the biggest flop ever.  1999 brought us a “prize QB” first-round pick, whose horrendous play would chase him out of town after just two seasons.  This pick would set the Bears back half a decade.  Thanks Cade, I hope you’re burger-flipping abilities are better than you’re football skills.  2000 gave us offensive lineman Marc Colombo who was always hurt.  2001 brought us Wide receiver David Terrell who was hideous as a WR but a great distraction. Defensive end Michael Haynes, drafted in 2003, couldn’t even make it to the starting lineup and Cedric Benson; well I think everyone remembers that little chest-nut.  Grossman isn’t gone yet, so he is safe, for now.

All in all Mr. Williams, it is way too early to call you a bust, or add you to this list of losers, but you are flirting with disaster my friend.  You have not had a chance to prove yourself yet, and I hope you turn out to be terrific and “win a lot of games” as you claim but if Chicago history is any indication, this is the start of yet another great first-round flop.