Moving Chris Williams to Center a Risky Business

Neil Hayes at the Chicago Sun-Times says that there have been discussions at Halas Hall about moving offensive tackle/guard Chris Williams to center. Its an interesting idea but I really question whether it will work.

As we consider this possibility, its worth noting the comments that Dolphins head coach Tony Sparano made about moving guards to the center position last month:

“It legitimately is the hardest position up front to play. People are going to tell you left tackle because of who they are going against, but if you draft the right left tackle, which we’ve been fortunate to do, that really isn’t the case.  If you’re trying to put a squad peg into a round hole then that makes left tackle a hard position. Not many of us try to do that.

“With center, everyone has this guard and can make him a center, or you can take this undersized (guy) and make him a center. That really isn’t the case. It doesn’t work in a lot of situations.

“You have to have some kind of center background in their history, in their past, for that to work well.”

“From a mental standpoint it’s challenging. Practice is one thing. In the game it’s a completely different, much like the quarterback. When it starts to hit the fan out there at that position things speed up and you need it to slow down.”

I’m not saying that the Bears shouldn’t try Williams at center. But I’m very wary of the idea.

Williams didn’t make the transition to guard very well and the move to center would be tougher. He really needs to be settled into a position and allowed to develop.  This kind of change would set his timetable back even further.  Williams may never reach his potential as the Bears shuffle him from position to position.

Its a big risk.

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