Bears Re-sign NT Terry Williams
I don’t know how I missed this, but on Wednesday the Bears brought back one of my favorite players from the preseason, NT Terry Williams, aka The Swamp Monster. I posted about Williams multiple times in the preseason: here, here, & here. The Bears also signed DE Greg Scruggs this week, who I will cover later in the post.
With the Bears transitioning to a 3-4 defense this season, few players on the roster who were a natural fit for the 3-4 nose tackle position, and a dominant performance by Williams in the Bears last preseason game (4 tackles, 3 TFLs, 2 QB hits)… I figured the Swamp Monster was a lock for the Bears final 53-man roster. He didn’t end up making the final cut, but was signed to the Bears practice squad after clearing waivers.
In my pre-draft scouting reports I had Williams as a 5th-6th round talent. A player who was raw and needed to improve his stamina, technique, weight, and ability to pass drug tests… but also had unique athleticism for a 350-pound player and had stretches of dominance in college against high profile teams like Virginia Tech and North Carolina.
I was surprised when Williams wasn’t drafted, ecstatic when the Bears signed him as an undrafted free agent, disappointed when he didn’t make the final 53-man roster, happy when he cleared waivers and was signed to the Bears practice squad, and then crushed when the Bears cut him from the practice squad for undisclosed reasons back in October. It’s been a roller coaster of emotions for me and the Swamp Monster this season.
With the loss of Eddie Goldman for the season finale, the Bears not only signed Williams but also placed him on the active roster for week 17, so we may get to see him on the field this Sunday. I hope Williams, the guy with the best nickname on the team and legitimate NFL potential if he can keep his weight under control, can make enough of an impact to stay on the Bears radar for next season. The talent is there for Williams to be at least a solid backup for Eddie Goldman at nose tackle next season.
As I mentioned above the Bears also signed defensive linemen Greg Scruggs, a former 7th round pick in 2012 by the Seattle Seahawks who showed some potential as a rookie with 2 sacks. Scruggs was unable to build on his solid rookie season due to an ACL tear in 2013 that put him on the injured reserve list for most of the next two years. He got some snaps late in the 2014 season, but was released by the Seahawks in final cuts of 2015. Scruggs is an athletic 5-tech DE who ran a 4.77 40 at 6’3, 284 pounds coming out of Louisville in 2012.
The Bears OLB coach Clint Hurtt coached him at Louisville back in 2012 and may have put in a good word for Scruggs, who has been out of the league since being released by Seattle back in August. He hasn’t gotten many NFL snaps since his rookie year in 2012, but Scruggs is an above-average athlete, with good size, long arms, and the versatility to play both the 5 and 3 tech positions. If anyone can find a way to utilize Scruggs athleticism, it’s Bears DC Vic Fangio. Sometimes a player just needs a chance and hopefully both Williams and Scruggs get one this week against the Lions.