BOURBONNAIS, Ill. -- Offensive tackles rarely block Julius Peppers without any help.
But welcome to the life of Bears starting offensive tackle Chris Williams, who by design, faces Peppers one-on-one every day in practice.
"Julius has made him a better player; there's no question about that," Bears offensive coordinator Mike Martz said of Williams. "He's had an impressive camp; not just in the passing game. Some of the things he's done in the running game have just kind of taken me back. We could go over there and help and chip Julius, but that would be the wrong thing to do. We've tried to leave those tackles alone on Peppers as much as possible. They've embraced that, and it's going to make them better."
To the casual observer, Peppers wins most battles against Williams, whether they occurred in individual or team drills. But according to the five-time Pro Bowl defensive end, the rivalry isn't nearly that lopsided.
"He's staying within himself a little more," Peppers said after Wednesday's practice. "At first, he was kind of all over the place getting out of his game trying to adjust his game to what I was doing. But now he's doing what he does well, and that's the key. Don't try to adjust to anybody else, play your game and make the other person adjust to you."
The hope is for Williams to one day become one of the better tackles in the NFC, perhaps in the mold of Carolina's Pro Bowl caliber tackle Jordan Gross, a former teammate of Peppers.
"They are really two different kind of players," Peppers said while comparing the two. "Jordan is more of an athletic player [that] has great feet, which Chris does also. Chris is a little bigger, a little stronger. He can absorb that bull-rush better so it makes you do other things and work on other moves."