When the Washington Redskins had an opening on the active roster in early November, undrafted rookie wide receiver Nick Williams got the call he’d been waiting a lifetime for.
Answering the phone in shorts and a t-shirt in frigid weather, Williams listened intently as the voice on the other end told him he’d be getting his first NFL call up.
Returning a few punts against the Philadelphia Eagles, Williams saw game action for the first time just five days later.
But without a knock the socks off performance and the coaches wanting to find the right combination on a special teams unit that has severely underperformed this season, the diminutive UConn star transitioned over to full-time offensive asset.
While he’s continued to soak up the familiarity of the professional game from veterans like Pierre Garcon and Santana Moss, he reemerged on special teams yesterday.
He could care less how the cookie crumbles. He’s just happy to receive any and all opportunities to help the team win.
“I knew a couple days before because they weren’t sure what DY’s situation was so Niles was going to be taking a lot of reps on offense or other areas,” Williams told Redskins.com “So it was an opportunity for me to be a kick returner.”
In a facet that special teams across the board has lacked this season, Williams showed burst each time he lined up deep.
In fact, his 29-yard return early in the first quarter is the second longest return of the season by any Redskin. Paul had a 39 yarder a few weeks back.
Perhaps one of the biggest reasons for his success is his return mindset.
After achieving active roster status, Williams was swarmed by local media where he explained his aggressive mindset.
“My mentality has always been return until you can’t and that’s the way I go back there,” Williams said. “I have a score mentality and that’s how I’ve always felt about being back there as a returner; always be aggressive but not to a fault.”
With Cowboys place kicker Dan Bailey’s kicks failing to enter the end zone, Williams attacked open field.
“Unless he’s kicking it deep five yards into the end zone it doesn’t really change the spacing or anything like that,” Williams said of breaking out. “He kept getting unlucky with the direction of the wind and it was kind of changing and he was kicking into it for most of the game.”
“I think I did alright. I was hitting it, reading it. We didn’t break any big ones but we did a good job on kickoffs.”
Tags: Nick Williams
Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments »