One of the reasons why the Baltimore Ravens signed Cary Williams off the Tennessee Titans‘ practice squad last season was because the Ravens had injury concerns with their corner backs.
Flash forward almost a year, and Cary Williams is still on this team because…the Ravens have injury concerns at the corner back position.
But Williams, if he continues to play like he has in first two Ravens preseason games-both Baltimore victories against the Panthers and the Redskins-, he might find himself a roster spot in the Ravens crowded secondary when the 2010 season starts on September 13th against the Jets.
Williams has recorded interceptions in the first two games of the season, intercepting Panthers second-round pick Jimmy Clausen in the Ravens opening round victory, and on Saturday, he did one better, intercepting Redskins starter Donovan McNabb on a pass intended for Santana Moss.
He returned the interception 37 yards.
Williams got both interceptions not seeing starting action.
“The ball was a little under-thrown,” Williams told the media after the game. ‘I guess Donovan was trying to give the guy an advantage on the ball because of my position on top of his outside shoulder, but I just came down and saw it and tried to run as fast as I could.”
Williams played well on special teams down the stretch last season as the Ravens made their way into the playoffs, and now going into the 2010 season, Williams is still trying to prove to the Ravens that he is worth a taking a flier on in a more active-role when it comes to being a part of this defense.
“I just relish any moment that I can go out there and show my abilities,” Williams told Drew Forrester Monday morning, fresh off the weekend victory over the Redskins. “I really want to take advantage of the opportunity that Ozzie and the Baltimore Ravens have given me.”
Since Williams joined the Ravens last November after being signed off the Titans practice squad, Williams said he has taken each day as a way of improving his play as NFL corner, hopefully as a Raven.
“I just want to take it one day at a time really and just continue to get better each week. I want to show the guys that I’m a dependable corner and that I’m a guy who can really help this team out.”
Williams was originally a seventh-round pick by the Tennessee Titans in the 2008 Draft out of Washburn College in Topeka, Kansas. He became the fifth player in school history to be drafted into the NFL.
Listed at 6’1”, 185 lb, Williams is a bigger, physical corner who can leap and compete with bigger wide receivers.
In his senior season as a Ichabod, he nabbed seven interceptions, good for second in school history, while also recording two kickoff returns for touchdowns.
But that was Division-II football. He now is playing in the NFL, but through the ten career games that he has played in, not including the likes of the preseason game on Saturday, he says the game is slowing down for him a bit.
“To me, it really didn’t feel any different,” Williams told Forrester. “But I guess with the starters, McNabb came out on fire, completing passes left and right. I guess it felt like a regular season game with the tempo and things like that.
“But when I got out there, it didn’t feel like that. It felt like football. And you just try and play football at the best of your ability just like any other game, and try to perform and put your best foot forward.”
Williams is stepping forward as an option to help solidify the secondary when it comes to the corner back position. And he knows what he is capable of in this league.
“I feel like I’m capable to go out there and play against anybody. I just want to become a sponge this off-season and try and learn as much as possible from Coach [Chuck]Pagano and from the rest of the guys like [Lardarius] Webb. I want to try and get their perspective on things and try to soak in as much as possible…and learn the game, and each week get better and better gradually.”
Unfortunately, even if Williams does continue to progress week-by-week in the preseason, there will be a hiccup in that process as he will miss the first two games of the regular season after being suspended by the league for violating the NFL’s conduct policy.
It stems from an incident that occurred when he was with the Tennessee Titans last year, an issue that Ozzie Newsome and the Ravens staff knew all about before bringing him in.
Williams was suspended twice in his college career while at Fordham University before being kicked off the team, forcing Williams to play at Washburn.
And while Williams and the rest of the Ravens defense shut down the Skins offense Saturday to a total of three points, Williams-along with the rest of the Ravens defenders-will tell you that they were far from perfect.
“I think we have some things to work on,” Williams said. “Obviously today we’re going to go out and review the film, and do the corrections through practice. But as a unit, I think we did alright. I don’t think we did too bad at all.”
And Williams said he has been around one of the best game-film studiers of them all in linebacker Ray Lewis.
“You’re playing with one of the greatest in the game. In my opinion, he is the greatest field-general to ever play the game,” Williams told Forrester. “Ray is a great guy off the field, but he’s even better on the field. It’s almost as if he knows every position and every scheme that we have. He knows everyone’s responsbillites.”
“He can help you out in any aspect of the game, and it’s just a wonderful experience, and its the greatest experience of my life.”
But, since Williams has become a member of this organization, he has learned the importance of winning games to the Ravens coaching staff.
“Winning is a big part of this organization,” Williams replied.”It’s already known when you put on a Raven uniform what is expected of us, and we have to go out there with high intensity. And every week, we’re going out there trying to put our best foot forward trying to win games.”
Tune into WNST and WNST.net for more information regarding Cary Williams and his chances at making the Ravens 53-man roster. WNST-We Never Stop Talking Baltimore Sports!