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An Ideal Fit for Scheme and Purpose

Damien Williams has experience in the Matt Nagy style of offense and has worked for Bears offensive coordinator Bill Lazor.

It would be difficult for Matt Nagy to have a better running back to bring in as a backup to David Montgomery unless the Bears somehow obtained Kareem Hunt.

The Bears agreed to sign Super Bowl LIV hero Damien Williams to a one-year contract and the 28-yard-old has obvious knowledge of their offense as a former Kansas City Chiefs back. NFL Network reported the signing.

Williams opted out last season because his mother was dealing with stage 4 cancer during the pandemic, and the Chiefs cut him for salary cap purposes a little over a week ago to save $2.2 million.

The Kansas City offense isn't Williams' only tie to the Bears. Williams also has good knowledge of what offensive coordinator Bill Lazor likes because his career started as a running back splitting time in the Miami Dolphins attack when Lazor was the OC.

Williams ran 17 times for 104 yards and caught four passes for 29 yards in the 31-20 win by Kansas City over San Francisco in February of 2020.

His 5-yard TD catch on a Patrick Mahomes pass put the Chiefs ahead for good with 2:44 left in the fourth quarter, then he clinched the game with a 38-yard run for a TD with 1:12 remaining.

At 5-foot-11, 224 pounds, Williams is big enough to break tackles but shifty enough to avoid them. He has always been a secondary running option with the Dolphins and Chiefs and has never had more than 111 rushing attempts like he had last year in Kansas City, so he would fit in well with Montgomery as a relief back.

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This was something the Bears needed badly last year when they faced the Minnesota Vikings at Soldier Field in November but lost 19-13 on a day when Montgomery was out with a concussion and Cordarrelle Patterson had to play running back. They managed 41 rushing yards in the loss.

Williams has always had the ability to be a receiver, as well. He's had 138 catches for 1,106 yards and 10 TDs in his career. He's run for 1,231 yards on 294 attempts in a six-year career, with 498 yards on 111 rushes in 2019 as career highs. This included a 91-yard TD run, the longest running play in the NFL that season.

Williams started out in Miami as an undrafted free agent out of Oklahoma in 2014. He had 36 attempts for 122 yards that year, then made just 16 rushes for 59 yards the next season.

Besides being a multithreat with the ball, Williams also is regarded as a solid blocker in the passing game.

Until 2019, Williams had been a big special teams contributor, as well. He could even be involved on kick returns for the Bears if they do not bring back Patterson. Williams has 30 kick returns for a 19.5-yard average but really hasn't done it much since 2015, although he has played on other special teams units.

This was an area the Bears might have needed to explore in the draft. Without Patterson, and with Tarik Cohen coming back from a torn anterior cruciate ligament, the Bears would have been relying on Ryan Nall and Artavis Pierce.

Williams, before being cut by the Chiefs, had a contract for two years and $5.1 million, with a $1.6 million bonus. With Williams out of the picture last year, Clyde Edwards-Helaire stepped forward and gained 803 yards on 181 carries with the Chiefs.

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