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Williams back 'home' for day
By Bob LeGere | Daily Herald Staff
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Published: 8/19/2009 12:01 AM

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BOURBONNAIS - With 13-year veteran offensive left tackle Orlando Pace taking a day off, Chris Williams moved over from right tackle to the left side where he protected Jay Cutler's blind side during Tuesday afternoon's practice.

"I haven't done it in a while, so I was just getting back into it, but I felt comfortable with it," Williams said. "It's like going back home I guess."

Williams was primarily a left tackle at Vanderbilt but played left guard as a sophomore when Cutler led the SEC with 3,073 passing yards and 273 completions as a senior.

The Bears drafted Williams in the first round a year ago with the idea of plugging him in at left tackle for a long time. But, with the acquisition of Pace, a seven-time Pro Bowler, Williams will get his feet wet on the right side after missing most of his rookie season following preseason back surgery.

"I don't care," Williams said. "I guess (left tackle) is where I see myself (eventually). But I just want to play. It doesn't matter where. Wherever I fit best in the scheme."

After several reporters approached him following practice, a surprised Williams said, "I thought Devin Hester was behind me or something."

Numbers game: In his last six games against the Bears as the Packers' quarterback, Brett Favre was 1-5, throwing just 2 touchdown passes while being intercepted 13 times, 3 of which were returned for touchdowns.

"It seems like that was a long time since we played him," Bears coach Lovie Smith said of the Vikings' new quarterback. "I'm sure he's anxious now to do something about it. He's the quarterback for the Vikings, the NFC North defending champions, and that's enough for our guys to get fired up about him. We know what he means to our game."

Big on returns: Special teams coordinator Dave Toub isn't ruling out the possibility of again using 6-foot-3, 260-pound defensive end Henry Melton as the deep man on kickoff returns.

The fourth-round draft choice picked up 20 yards on his one opportunity against the Bills. Melton has excellent speed for a lineman and he began his college career at Texas as a tailback, so he has some run skills. And he's got plenty of confidence.

"He told me that he was going to take it to the house if I gave him a chance," Toub said. "I told him 'If you get it to the 30, I'll be happy.' He got it to the 27, so that wasn't bad."

Walking wounded: Running back Kevin Jones (rest), safety Danieal Manning (hamstring), linebacker Nick Roach (concussion), center Olin Kreutz (rest), defensive tackle Matt Toeaina (concussion), offensive tackle Orlando Pace (rest) and tight end Kellen Davis (hamstring) were held out of practice. Cornerbacks Charles Tillman (back) and Zack Bowman (hamstring) continued to do individual work on the side. Defensive tackle Tommie Harris (knee) and long-snapper Patrick Mannelly (hip) were limited.