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Hoge's Notes: Briggs Says D.J. Williams Will Start

By Adam Hoge-

HALAS HALL (CBS) Bears head coach Marc Trestman was not ready to name his starting middle linebacker Thursday, but his defensive signal caller went ahead and did it himself.

"D.J. Williams got injured, which in turn gave an opportunity for Jon Bostic to not only showcase his skills but to learn," linebacker Lance Briggs said. "He got a chance to run with the ones. Now, D.J. Williams is back from injury and D.J. Williams is our starting Mike (linebacker)."

Williams was supposed to be the starter all along, but a calf injury early in training camp sidelined him for all the preseason. Bostic did well in his place, but the plan when the Bears drafted him was not for him to start this season unless he proved to be a better option than Williams.

"The good thing about Bostic is, whether he's ready or he's not ready, he doesn't have to be right now," Briggs said. "There are things that are going to go on this season and when his number is called, he'll be ready. It's not a situation where we're hurting and we need him to step up right now. When it naturally happens, it'll happen."

Williams looked good during the offseason program and gives the Bears' defense more experience, which is something they value. While Bostic "made a good name for himself in the preseason," as Briggs put it Thursday, he also made a few mistakes and allowed a couple of touchdowns.

Trestman said he wants to give Williams another day before making a final decision, but at least to Briggs, who will be calling the plays Sunday, the decision has already been made.

Bennett Expects To Play

Trestman wasn't ready to commit to Earl Bennett playing either, but the wide receiver who missed most of training camp with a concussion said he's on track to go Sunday and offensive coordinator Aaron sure sounds like he's expecting to have him.

"Earl Bennett will be working in," Kromer said. "He's not one of the two starters obviously, but he'll be working in and getting his reps and we'll see how he does. If he does well, he'll play more. If he doesn't, we'll see who else we can get."

If he doesn't, rookie Marquess Wilson will get the first crack, but it's also possible that if Bennett does play, there's a good chance Wilson will be inactive because he's not a core special teamer.


- Bengals left tackle Andrew Whitworth did not practice Thursday. If he can't go, Anthony Collins will likely get his first start at left tackle since 2008.

- Marc Trestman said he did not watch HBO's "Hard Knocks", which focused on the Bengals.

- Matt Forte said he expects Marc Trestman to stay committed to the run more than the Bears have in recent years when they would try to throw their way out of tough situations.

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