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Deemed a bust in Dallas, Williams determined to thrive with Bears

Roy Williams was playing it coy.

If the former Pro Bowl receiver had any frustration left over from his time in Dallas, he wasn't saying too much. Instead, he smiled and gave short answers.

He also made it clear he's excited to join the Chicago Bears and be back in the system where he enjoyed his greatest success.

"It's good to be out here," he said Saturday after watching the first practice. "It's good to get back into the swing of things, hearing the terminology what I've been used to. It's just good to see football again."

A high-profile bust in Dallas, Williams hopes to show some of the form that made him a Pro Bowl receiver in Detroit and help Chicago build on its run to the NFC championship game. With the Lions, Mike Martz was his offensive coordinator, and they're together again in Chicago. He's also reunited with Darryl Drake, his receivers coach at Texas and someone Williams said is "like a father to me off the field."

As for his time in Dallas? Well, Williams mostly smiled and said little.

Was he relieved to get out of Dallas?

"Relieved? I'm happy to be in Chicago," he said.

Were you happy with the way they used you in Dallas?

"No," he said.

Do you have to be on the same page with the quarterback?

"I'm new to this team," he said. "The leader of the football team is the quarterback. For me to talk to the quarterback and get to know him, that's good for our football team and for myself. A lot of quarterbacks don't like their receivers."

Has that happened to you before in your career?

"Oh no," he said. "That's never happened."

In Dallas, Williams and Tony Romo never really seemed to click after the Cowboys traded for the receiver during the 2008 season, and salary-cap issues ultimately led to his official release Thursday. A day later, he had a deal with the Bears.

No shocker there, given his history with Martz and Drake, and Chicago's need for a bigger receiver. The 6-foot-3 Williams fits that bill even if he's not necessarily known for his physical play, and he seems to be off to a good start with quarterback Jay Cutler.

"I sat down and had lunch with him today," Williams said. "He didn't ask me to get up and leave the table, so maybe I'm in."

He'll really be in if he recaptures some of his old magic.

In Dallas, Williams will be remembered more for what the Cowboys gave up to get him than for anything he did on the field. They sent three draft picks, including a 2009 first-rounder, to Detroit in a midseason deal and gave Williams a $45 million, five-year contract extension, thinking he would be their big-play threat and first-down machine.

Instead, he caught 94 passes for 1,324 yards and 13 touchdowns over 40 games. He had almost as many yards (1,310) while making the Pro Bowl in 2006 under Martz. Since then, he has not finished with more than 838 yards receiving.

"I was just in the right place for the quarterback," Williams said. "It goes back to that rule that (Martz) always says: Be where you're supposed to be when you're supposed to be there and don't fool the quarterback. I never fooled the quarterback."

Can he get the job done in Chicago?

"If I'm where I'm supposed to be when I'm supposed to be there and don't fool the quarterback, I have a good chance," he said. "Just because of this offense -- not just the passing game, but teams have to worry about (Matt) Forte in the backfield. It's not just me. We still have (Devin) Hester. We still have little Johnny Knox. We have a good group of wide receivers that can get the job done."

They also have a big issue at center.

Six-time Pro Bowl selection Olin Kreutz could be on his way out of Chicago after 13 seasons with the Bears because contract negotiations are going nowhere.

Kreutz is a free agent and agent Mark Bartelstein said, "Right now, it doesn't look good."

Bartelstein and Kreutz had made it clear they prefer Chicago, but the odds are dwindling. They were initially looking for a multiyear contract, but Bartelstein says they "made that clear" they would be willing to accept a one-year deal.

Now, it appears Kreutz might be on the way out.

Although he might not possess the skills that made him a dominant lineman, Kreutz is as healthy as he's been in recent memory after being limited for much of last season following Achilles' tendon surgery. He's also one of the team leaders, and players and coaches made it clear they want him back.

Breaking in a new center at this point would be difficult.

Without Kreutz, the Bears were initially thinking Edwin Williams would work with the first team at center at least for the first few days of practice, but he can't because of the new rules for restricted players who signed tenders. Instead, Roberto Garza moved over from guard on Saturday, and Chris Williams got some work at center, too.

Asked if his unit can succeed without adding anyone, offensive line coach Mike Tice said, ""Soon to be determined. That's why they pay me the big bucks."

Notes: The Bearsalso added running back Marion Barber and nose tackle Amobi Okoye on Saturday. ... DT Marcus Harrison showed up out of shape and was held out of practice. It's not the first time his conditioning was an issue. The Bears held him out the first few days of practice in 2009.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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