Football is the ultimate team sport. It's almost impossible to single out the most important player on any team, unlike basketball. In hoops, you need one superstar player to make a team relevant. What makes football the greatest team sport is that each position is interdependent of each other.
The Bears quarterback carousel has been well document. Finding a franchise quarterback is rare and the Bears struck gold with Jay Cutler last year. Lovie Smith and Jerry Angelo's careers depend on Cutler's success. It's important the Bears do everything they can to protect their investment. The Bears have a decent core of young skilled players but everything starts with the offensive line and their ability to protect Cutler.
The most important player on offense, other than Cutler, is Chris Williams. When Williams replaced Orlando Pace at left tackle late last season, we saw flashes of his talent. In the last four games of the 2009, other than the game in Baltimore, Cutler threw for 10 touchdown passes and only 3 interceptions. Cutler's production can be attributed to the protection he was getting.
This offseason and during training camp, Williams was often going head to head against Julius Peppers. From all accounts, Peppers owned Williams, but who doesn't Peppers owned. Facing an elite pass rusher like Peppers will only help Williams progress. In addition to facing Peppers every day, Williams is learning from the one of the best offensive line coaches, Mike Tice.