James "Big Cat" Williams

James Williams
Date of birth: (1968-03-29) March 29, 1968 (age 46)
Place of birth: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Career information
Position(s): Offensive tackle
College: Cheyney
Organizations
As player:
1991–2002 Chicago Bears
Career highlights and awards
Pro Bowls: NFL.com

James Otis "Big Cat" Williams (born March 29, 1968) is a former American football player. He played for the Chicago Bears throughout his 12-year NFL career. Williams was 6'7" and 330-pounds.[1]

Williams was signed as a free agent by Bill Tobin after the 1991 draft. He played defensive tackle on a 0-11 team at Cheyney State. Williams worked his way into the defensive line rotation his rookie season, substituting for Steve McMichael and William Perry when needed. As a rookie, he blocked a field goal at Buffalo, picked up his first sack at Green Bay, and helped with the "push" on William Perry's game-saving field goal block against the New York Giants.

Williams played sparingly on defense in 1992 and was inactive for five straight games. The second-year tackle did not make the starting lineup following the drafting of 1991 second-rounder Chris Zorich. He was moved to offensive tackle midway through November, then to right tackle. Soon after, Williams relieved Keith Van Horne against Tampa in September, then was inactive for the final 12 games of the 1993 season.

From 1994 through his final game with the Bears in 2002, Williams started 134 games at right tackle. He missed limited action throughout those seasons and played every snap in 1995. In addition to his starting duties, Williams blocked or deflected eight field goal attempts through 2001. He was chosen as a Pro Bowl alternate after the 1998 season and voted to his first all-star game following the 2001 season, during which the Bears finished 13-3.

Williams was a team ambassador throughout his career, and was the veteran recipient of the Bears' Brian Piccolo award following the 2001 season. He appeared in an E-TV Wild on Chicago episode prior to the 2001 season.

Williams was released by Chicago on February 26, 2003.

References

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