Chris Williams' move from left tackle to left guard hasn't exactly been smooth sailing, but some bumps along the way were expected.
"He played good enough for us to win the other day (against the Buffalo Bills)," said offensive line coach Mike Tice. "But it's like going from quarterback to tight end, and I know a guy who did that, and it was really tough."
The 6-foot-7 Tice was a quarterback at Maryland before his 14-year career as an NFL tight end.
Williams was drafted as a left tackle and started the season there, but he lost that job to Frank Omiyale when a hamstring injury knocked him out for three full games and most of a fourth.
Learning the new position has been a project.
"It all happens faster, much faster (at guard)," Tice said. "Everything is short-stroke movements. Your footwork has to be short; your (hand) punch has to be shorter.
"It's a whole different body movement. You have to be more compact, you have to be in balance more, and you have to know when to be aggressive and when to get back. There's just a whole lot of nuances to it.
"It's like any of us that get into something new for the first time. Each week there are learning curves."
Minnesota Vikings coach Brad Childress says coming back to Chicago to play the Bears is just like any other road trip, even though he has a strong connection to the area, having grown up in Aurora and attended Marmion Academy High School.
"They're business trips for the team and for myself," said Childress, who remains on the hot seat with the underachieving Vikings.
"I don't have any interaction really with my family being from that neck of the woods. It's always nice to see the Chicago skyline, and head over to Soldier Field, where I used to watch the college all-star games.
"But it's NFC North football, and they happen to be an opponent. It's not like I get to spend a lot of time on Michigan Avenue or eating Chicago-style pizza or hitting any of the Italian places or anything like that."
More than stats:
Bears defensive end Julius Peppers remains stuck at 2 sacks, and he hasn't had one since Oct. 3 against the New York Giants.
But Peppers leads the Bears with 12 quarterback pressures, has forced 2 fumbles, leads the linemen by a wide margin with 28 tackles and has opened up opportunities for teammates because he demands double-team attention from opponents.
"I've been pleased," Peppers told Minnesota reporters on a conference call Wednesday. "The (sack) numbers aren't where we would like them to be, but those things will come.
"Other than that, I think it's been a great season. I think it's been one of my better seasons playing the position overall, rushing and playing the run and just being active on the field."
Center Olin Kreutz (hamstring) did not practice Wednesday but is expected to start Sunday. He has missed one start in 10 years, and that was a week after an appendectomy.
Cornerbacks Tim Jennings (knee), D.J. Moore (head) and Zack Bowman (foot) all were limited at practice.
For Minnesota, quarterback Brett Favre (ankle, foot, calf) and wide receiver Percy Harvin (ankle, migraine) did not practice. Offensive tackle Phil Loadholt (knee) and defensive tackle Pat Williams (elbow) were limited.Copyright © 2014 Paddock Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.