As the Chicago Bears continued their roster cuts Monday, defensive coordinator Alan Williams met with reporters at Halas Hall to reflect on what he saw from his unit during the preseason and what’s ahead this week.
Williams said roster conversations can be “a big emotional swing” as coaches inform players of their status.
“Anytime you’re telling someone no and they worked as hard as they worked, that’s a big deal,” Williams said. “And anytime there’s not a big emotional swing for me, that’s a sign that it’s time for me to go.
“I do care about people. This is a people business. You do want to treat people well and you do have to say, ‘Hey, it may not be that you can’t play football. It just may mean that right now we’re telling you no.’”
Here are three other things we learned from Williams as the Bears head toward Tuesday’s 3 p.m. 53-man roster deadline.
1. Alan Williams wants Trevis Gipson on the roster — but then again he wants to keep all of his players on the roster.
Williams wouldn’t comment on the Bears giving Gipson, a fourth-year defensive end, permission to seek a trade. But he did say he likes who Gipson is as a player and a man and the energy and production he brings.
Rasheem Green, Dominique Robinson and Terrell Lewis are among the players competing for roster spots. Gipson had a productive preseason with nine tackles, two sacks, four quarterback hits and a forced fumble.
Williams said the Bears are doing a “full evaluation” of each player as they decide.
“Evaluate how they do in the preseason games, who they go against, who they go against in practice, where their production comes from,” Williams said. “Is it first, second or third down? Who’s across from him when they have that production? Is it production that’s hustle production or did they beat a guy and how good was that guy? It’s cumulative. How consistent are they with that part of it and their other assignments?”
2. The Bears like Rasheem Green because he’s dependable, physical and ‘does some dirty work that we like.’
As the Bears consider Green’s value in the roster conversation, Williams said the sixth-year NFL veteran still is “getting his feet wet” in learning how the Bears do things. But he operates in a quietly professional manner and does things that don’t necessarily show up on the stat sheet.
“He sets edges,” Williams said. “We have an adage: ‘No edge, no chance. Don’t let the ball get outside your defense.’ He does that. He’s a physical player. The run game, we like what he brings to the table in terms of setting edges, getting off blocks, taking care of his gap. Those are things people don’t always see in terms of the stat sheet, but he does (them) in a big way.”
As for the evaluation of Robinson, a 2022 fifth-round pick who still is developing, Williams said he has brought consistency and availability.
“We do know that he’s going to be available and he’s going to be steady,” Williams said. “The old adage that the best ability is availability? There’s some truth to that.”
3. Rookie cornerback Tyrique Stevenson has weathered the ups and downs of the preseason well.
As he competed for a starting outside cornerback role, Stevenson had 13 tackles, a tackle for a loss and two passes defended in three preseason games. But he also was called for four penalties and missed two other opportunities for interceptions.
Williams said Stevenson has “a short memory” and has been able to recover quickly from any mistakes.
“He does not lack for confidence,” Williams said. “I do like that. And he has the ability to take coaching, take correction.
“I love that he has mental makeup. I love that he has grit. I love that he can make a mistake and bounce back from that because in the NFL, you’re going to get some plays that don’t go your way. You’re going to get some plays when you’re in position, you’ve done everything right and the offense makes a play. You have to be able to move on to the next play.”