Cary Williams is fed up

NFL 2010 Dec 19 - Ravens vs Saints

When it comes to friendly fire between a fan base and players within the franchise, very few are treated like a punching bag more than Ravens cornerback Cary Williams has been in Baltimore.

First, let me bite off a piece of humble pie and say I was wrong about Williams. At one point during the season, I was one of his most vocal critics.

But as the season has progressed, I’ve come to the realization that the Ravens defense has a bend but don’t break mentality. Safety Ed Reed isn’t what he used to be, and without that security blanket consistently on the back end, Williams is unable to take too many calculated risks and therein lies the bend.

Keeping that in mind specifically about Williams and being fortunate enough to have access into the Ravens’ locker room has given me an insider’s perspective — a perspective that allows me to dial into the dynamic personalities. Soon thereafter, I’ve learned more about the way the players are wired and the people they are.

Williams is a perfect example. I rarely speak with him but through observation, in that locker room, Williams has made a lasting impression.

Sure, like any player does, Williams has had his ups and downs professionally but he’s also begun to really prove his worth in a thin cornerback unit. At times, he’s been exposed and bullied by offenses, but no matter how he plays, Williams always stands up to reporters and answers questions each and every time I’ve seen him.

After the Ravens played their final regular season game, I participated in the annual media Team MVP and Good Guy balloting. For the Good Guy award, defensive end Arthur Jones ended up winning (my second choice) but I voted for WIlliams, solely based off how he has always stood up to critics.

Most don’t make it to the NFL without being a competitor but Williams takes it to the extreme. His self confidence is off the charts, which is why I’m not shocked he turned down a reported three-year, $15 million contract extension, which he left on the table during the offseason.

It may sound cliché-ish but Williams loves being an underdog and if you’ve familiarized yourself with his life story before he reached the NFL, you’ll understand that he’s been that way his whole life.

On Wednesday, Williams flaunted that self confidence again and it captured my thoughts as I drove home that evening.

Met by the usual crowd of reporters by his locker, as I walked over, Williams said, “People are counting us out, and I like that.”

After that Williams was asked if he was sick of talking about Broncos’ quarterback Peyton Manning.

“I’m tired of talking about every quarterback every week,” Williams said. “It’s the same questions over and over and through 17 weeks, it’s the same thing. This is the NFL, we play great quarterbacks, we play great wide receivers and it’s great entertainment for people at home.”

“This week is a different mindset.”

Clearly Williams’ mindset was different as the soft spoken player began to show his frustrations and competitive edge as some questioned his chances against a future Hall of Fame quarterback.

“I’m tired of talking to the media, straight up,” he said as the reporters on hand began to chuckle.

However, Williams was dead serious.

“I love y’all but there’s only but so much can be said, you’ve got to go out and play. It’s goes down between the white lines; you can say that I’ve got a chip on my shoulder, yeah.”

It was then that most of the media members began to turn their recorders off and walk away. But with a few still hovering near his locker, Williams continued to talk.  He spoke of his frustrations that his team has been labeled underdogs, especially in the confines of their own stadium and how no one gives them a chance.

Williams turned and walked towards some large bins in the middle of the locker room to discard his towel in a laundry pile, and as he did he muttered, “You better believe that 29 will show up on Saturday.”

At a time where many players will say that naysayers don’t affect their attitudes, clearly Williams uses that negativity as fuel to ignite his rage on game day.

Certainly, there will be times where Williams is overmatched in his career.

Yet, each day in that locker room, the Ravens’ oft-criticized corner makes another positive impression upon me. Each day he’s committed, focused and accountable.

And each day he reminds me why I was wrong about Cary Williams.

This entry was posted in Blog View, Featured by Kris Jones. Bookmark the permalink.

About Kris Jones

Kris Jones
Kris - or "Goob" as he's widely known - has turned an obsession into a career. As a media member by day and super fan by night, he reports from the Under Armour Performance Center twice per week and brings Ravens news from a fan's perspective. His popular YouTube series...more

7 Raves on “Cary Williams is fed up

  1. GReg on said:

    agreed, nice article. For my part, I have never understood the hate directed at Cary. When i watched his play closely this year I saw a guy who was very technically sound. Occasionally he gave up a big play and certainly he’s not at Webby’s level but Webby of course if a Pro Bowl talent even if he hasn’t been recognized as such yet. Cary does a good job getting in WRs faces and doing the Ravens intimidation thing though sometimes gets bested. his TD to Decker in Wk 15 appeared more of a byproduct of poor safety help than his own fault. Cary is a ravens type of player and hopefully we can afford to keep him and our other FAs.

  2. Anonymous on said:

    Wow! Cary Williams is fed up. Then I hope he plays like he is fed up. I keep hearing a lot of his supporters say he is doing a good job. What I see is that he is constantly getting beat. If he can be a good corner I would love to see it. I just don’t. He can’t tackle; can’t cover and he plays corner back not Safety. Yet.. he plays so far off of a receiver it looks as if he is playing safety or prevent. Count the ratio of plays given up to the plays he makes. The young corners that have been given an opportunity are playing better. To say he gets beat because of poor safety help is CRAZY! He consistently gives up 20 yard catches a game. Reed production has fallen due to poor corner back play! Receiver’s constantly catches the ball in front of Cary Williams and he is 5 or 7 yards off of them before he can push them out of bounds. I would like to see him improve. Maybe challenge the receivers a little more. Don’t blame Reed when the Receiver’s are catching the ball in front of the Corners.

    • Kris JonesKris Jones on said:

      Anonymous,

      Everyone is clearly entitled to their opinions and I’ve shared many of the same concerns that you’ve expressed above.

      One thing I did want to point out is that aside from Lardarius Webb, Cary Williams is one of the best – if the the best – fundamental tackler on the defense. Cary is great at what they call “grabbing cloth” and even if he’s out of position to make a tackle or can’t get momentum, he’s able to hold the guy until his backup arrives. Even when I was heavily criticizing his play, I always complimented his tackling.

      As for playing off, yes, I don’t understand it where we’ve have very physical corners like Chris McAlister who loved jamming WR’s at the line and throwing off their routes. Does it do the defense a disservice? Absolutely. However, Reed’s lack of production and injured body has made Cary even more important because his job is to eliminate the big play, and not let anyone get behind him. Even though he gives up 20+ yard plays and looks lost from time to time, he has essentially been isolated. If he was always playing close, he would get beat plenty 1 on 1 and have given up plenty of 50+ yard scoring plays instead.

      Even though we all want shutdown corners on both sides of the field, that’s just not possible in the NFL. The defense is in a “bend but do not break” mentality and Cary may bend with 20+ yard gains at times because of Reed but doesn’t rarely break when he’s hung out to dry alone on his side of the field for a 50 yard TD.

      Thanks for your opinions though, I have shared plenty of the same. I just wanted to further explain myself.

      • Bob on said:

        Kris good point about bend don’t break…..but, 5×20=Touchdown!
        The idea of jamming the receivers accomplishes two things…throws off QB and WR timing and also doesn’t allow him to get a smooth running start off the line. You just cannot let good WR roam free, and if he can’t keep up with a faster WR, then we need to structure our defensive scheme to account for that.

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