Philadelphia Eagles CB Cary Williams has made the headlines again for his words rather than his play on the field. He is quickly becoming a lightning rod for mixed reactions by saying things that on one hand you can respect, but on the other hand you find annoying.
Allow me to explain…
I’m sure you remember when he missed several voluntary camps for reasons of dental work and the uber importance of picking out sconces for his new house. The camps were technically “voluntary”, but those reasons for not attending were met with criticism by some.
However, he cited attending his daughter’s recital as another reason to miss an OTA as well. He claimed he wanted to be there for his daughter because people in his profession miss a lot in regards to their children.
That was a reason we could all respect: family man and father. But picking out things for your new house? You really had to be there for that?
Voluntary camps are just that: voluntary. However, most players attend them because it shows a commitment to getting better as a team. And if they don’t attend, there is usually a better reason than picking out house decorations.
Fast forward to now.
Williams has struggled to stay healthy enough to participate in most of the training camp practices and was then ejected from a practice with the Patriots last week for mixing it up with another player.
That was followed by not being healthy enough to play in the first preseason game.
And now, he has made more comments that can be taken as “truth”, but are also controversial and come from a guy that hasn’t proven jack-squat in an Eagles uniform and is already on shaky ground with the fans…
(Quotes courtesy of Tim McManus at Philly Mag)
“I feel like we need the nasty, no question. I feel like we need to establish a tenacity, a hard-nosed defense, something that is to be feared when it comes out there each and every week. I think Brian Dawkins alluded to it a couple times when I spoke to him, he’s talking about, ‘Bring that fear back here.’
Right now, I don’t know if there’s anybody out there in this league that fears this defense, especially after last week. So I think we have to come together, find a way to get back to those old days when Brian Dawkins was here and strike the fear in individuals, and teams.
“I’m just used to a certain way of life, a certain way on the field,” Williams continued. “It’s just different. It’s not necessarily a good different or a bad different, it’s just a different situation. Those guys I play with, whether it be on offense, defense or special teams, those are my brothers.
Every time I strap up, that’s my family. When I see guys getting blocked in the back in practice, when we get told not to retaliate, be the bigger person, it’s hard because I come from a different background. Me just relaxing and being cool and letting those people do what they do to me and me being a doormat, that’s something I’m not used to.”
So again, here we go. Does anyone fear this defense? No. Do they need “the nasty” and develop a hard-nosed attitude? Yes. Should he stick up for his teammates on the field? Absolutely.
That’s all true and I don’t think anyone would disagree with that.
However, the problem is that this is coming from a player with borderline coverage skills as a cornerback and he has yet to show any value on the field as an Eagle. Words like that resonate more when it comes from someone who has been a leader on the field for the defense he is referring to.
Furthermore, he basically disrespects his head coach in the last part of that quote.
His reference to “being a doormat” alludes to Chip Kelly not wanting his players to retaliate with on-field altercations. In a round-about way, he’s saying Kelly is soft and would allow his team to get pushed around and be disrespected.
The funny thing is, Williams is complaining about Kelly allowing his team to be disrespected, yet he basically disrespects Kelly by saying what he did.
Kelly responded to Williams’ comments with this:
We can get in a street fight, but that’s not going to help us. There is a certain way you’re supposed to play this game and it’s between the whistles. The stuff after the whistles is not what you’re looking for.
Our players knew that and Bill [Belichick] was the same way, one of the reasons we wanted to participate against the Patriots is we knew this wasn’t going to turn into a WWE brawl. Because that’s not what it is. It’s a game of football.
This is also true. And let’s be sure to draw a clear picture here…
Make no mistake, Kelly wants his team to be aggressive and physical. He just wants it to be in between the whistles like he said. In other words, prove it in your play on the field.
Williams appears to be talking about retaliating against players who are perceived as being disrespectful towards him or his teammates. I can agree with that to a point, but you have to be smart about it.
Most of that stuff Williams is talking about happens after the whistle when it can cost your team with a killer penalty or even be ejected. Williams wants “street justice” while Kelly wants the justice to come via the final score.
While I want to see the Eagles’ defense become more scrappy, we can’t afford unnecessary penalties that would cost them either.
Any which way, Williams needs to zip his lips until he actually does something meaningful on the football field. Words are hollow until you back them up with substance.
And while we’re at it, don’t disrespect your head coach. Williams already has his Super Bowl ring, let’s not throw the guy who will try to do the same for the players in Philadelphia under the bus.