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On Being a Team Player: Jaguars Defensive Back Brian Williams

"I’m definitely excited to be here," Williams said. "I’m looking forward to contributing to the great defense here. This is a playoff team on the rise, and I want to help take it a step further." - Defensive Back Brian Williams, 3.11.2006

"Our defensive coaches loved Brian’s physical style," head coach Jack Del Rio said. "He has good size, and he has played a lot of man-to-man coverage which will enable us to open up the blitz. Mike Tice confirmed what we saw as we studied this player, and he spoke highly of Brian’s quality character."- Jack Del Rio 3.12.09

Who is this kid to whom the Jaguars just gave $10 million? Simply put, Williams is the long-term fix at right cornerback after two consecutive years of temporary solutions. -Vic Ketchman, 3.13.06

[Note by River City Rage, 08/09/09 10:09 PM EDT ]: Sometimes I write an article and realize that I've gotten away from my whole point.  Here's what I'm saying in a nutshell.  I like Brian Williams at right cornerback, I think we've got enough guys at FS/SS to fill the void, and people who are calling for B-Dub to move on are making a shortsighted judgement.

Going into his third training camp with the Jacksonville Jaguars, Defensive Back Brian Williams faces a challenge from every direction, despite being a flexible, reliable, and dedicated player.  When the Jaguars brought in Drayton Florence, Williams learned the safety position, when Florence burnt out, Williams went right back to Corner.  He's a player that's done exactly what's asked of him without complaining, demanding a trade, or becoming a locker room nusance.  Yet it feels like he's universially deemed the "odd man out" in the Jaguars secondary this season.

Look closely at the situation that Williams faces as he goes through camp.

Derek Cox: Picked in the 3rd round for the price of a 2010 2nd, to justify that cost, he must become the eventual starter opposite Mathis.  A "best case" situation for Williams at cornerback is for him to hold off Cox while the rookie learns to not break his ankles defending a top receiver.


In all seriousness, the most logical formation for the Jaguars would be to have Mathis and Williams on the outside with Cox learning the position in nickel situations. 

Sean Considine, Gerald Alexander, and Marlon McCree: Would the Jaguars bring these guys in if they were comfortable with the situation at Strong Safety last season?  Considine has played his way into the probable starting spot at SS, with Alexander gunning for Reggie Nelson.  Let's not forget that Alexander isn't far removed from being a 2nd round pick.  McCree adds veteran depth and not much else, but he's still another body competing at a postion that Williams used to have a hold on.

The 6 million dollar man:  Brian Williams has the 2nd highest cap hit of any player this season, second only to David Garrard.  (Interestingly, many of the top cap hit players are facing challenges this season, see Pashos, Tony, Hayward, Reggie, and Henderson, John).  Brian is under fire from every angle and has a heavy cap hit compounding the issues.

Editoral: Yes, Brian did have an unforutnate legal misstep that embarassed him and the team.  However, other than this incident, he's been a fantastic team player, accepting challenges and doing exactly what Del Rio asks him to.  He's a solid player who has the skills to compliment Mathis at cornerback.  While I'll concede that his time with the team is probably short (2010 would be my guess), for 2009 he's the 2nd best Cornerback on the roster. 

Why in the world the team (and its fans) would be so willing to quickly count him out is mind-boggling.  Sure, the Jaguars secondary was horrible in 2008, but to cut ties with a proven asset at the position would be foolish.