Williams, Bostic share first-string MLB duties in Chicago

Getty Images

The Bears have a proud tradition at middle linebacker, with all-time greats like Dick Butkus, Mike Singletary, and Brian Urlacher at the top of the list.  But the transition from Urlacher to the next generation hasn’t been seamless.

For now, a pair of candidates are vying for the starting job, and according to the officially unofficial depth chart, D.J. Williams and Jon Bostic are neck and neck as co-starters.

Williams, who signed as a free agent in 2013 and re-signed after the season, started last year until he tore a pectoral muscle in Week Six.  Bostic took over, and the 50th overall pick in the 2013 draft struggled enough to prompt the Bears to consider sliding him to the outside for 2014.

The depth chart in the secondary shows Ryan Mundy as the starting strong safety and Brock Vereen as the starter at free safety, but as recently as Monday the Bears had moved Mundy to free safety and had elevated Adrian Wilson to the starting unit at strong safety.  The depth chart nevertheless shows Wilson as the third-string strong safety.

M.D. Jennings, who signed with the Bears as a free agent from the Packers, is listed as the second-team free safety.

On offense, Jordan Palmer appears as the primary backup to Jay Cutler at quarterback, ahead of Jimmy Clausen.  Rookie running back Ka’Deem Carey, a much-hyped fourth-round pick, is buried on the fourth string.

And in the first year without Devin Hester since 2006, receiver Eric Weems shows up as the top punt and kickoff returner.

Much more will be known about the depth chart and the reps when the Bears host the Eagles to launch the preseason on Friday night.

7 responses to “Williams, Bostic share first-string MLB duties in Chicago

  1. The Jets do this with their running backs and everyone calls them clowns for trying to start 3 RB at the same time on a thread for what is clearly a derisive blog towards the Jets. What an amazing double standard there is out there.

  2. DJ Williams is under-rated as a veteran LB in this league. He’s been a solid and consistent tackler with occasional impact plays – and he was filling that leadership role/void left by Urlacher pretty well the first few games last season until his injury…couple that with the d-linemen dropping like flies all season, and the loss of veteran leaders like Briggs & Tillman to injury, and Bostic and Greene were put in a real bad position from the get-go.

    I think Williams is the better, more reliable answer for the short-term, but Bostic clearly has the higher upside. I’m excited to see what he brings this year.

    The safety position is the one I continue to worry about most – my hope is Wilson (former Pro Bowler) feels like he has something left to prove, and can bounce back to prior form, or something close to it.

    My second big concern for the Bears is the dramatic drop-off we may see in the impact of special teams play, losing guys like Hester and Mannelly.

    Otherwise (barring major injury again, of course), I fully expect this Bears defense to return to its usual status among the best in the NFL (top 10, at least).

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!