On Now
Coming Up
  • There are no Events to display in this category.

Monday, November 30: Edwin Williams Reflects On His First Pro Start

Posted by Matt Terl on November 30, 2009 – 2:02 pm

This hasn’t been the greatest start to a week in Redskins history. To compound yesterday’s loss — which was disheartening enough in itself — came the news that rookie defensive lineman Jeremy Jarmon suffered an ACL tear and is joining the growing list of players on injured reserve. And — later — that Chris Cooley has joined that list as well.

(The only guys who could be remotely happy today would be Alvin “Ace” Bowen, the Compliance Linebacker, who is expected to be signed to Jarmon’s spot on the active roster, and defensive end Rob Jackson, who takes Cooley’s spot.)

One guy who might have been happy is offensive lineman Edwin Williams. He’s the undrafted rookie out of Maryland who got his first NFL start yesterday, which is a pretty big deal. And to look at the stats and see that Jason Campbell was only sacked once, you might think that the offensive line had a good day today. Unfortunately, that number is more a testament to Campbell’s underrated elusiveness than to the offensive line keeping him clean.

“I thought Edwin did … okay,” head coach Jim Zorn said during his press conference today, and that ellipsis indicates a hesitation on his part, not missing words. He didn’t sound thrilled, to be honest, and immediately turned to discussing the possibility of Mike Williams getting the start next week against New Orleans.

This somewhat disappointing review would be hard on Edwin Williams, except that his own assessment of his performance wasn’t really much more favorable.

“I don’t know,” he told me. “I kinda felt like, by my personal standard, I didn’t play very well. Pass protection was a big issue for me. As far as going against [Eagles defensive end Mike] Patterson, and the power guys, I think I was fine. But the athletic guys, [Victor] Abiamiri and [Juqua] Parker … I just don’t think I fared well against them. They were beating me with a lot of quick inside moves, moves that I know I should’ve been prepared for [but] that I didn’t do well against.”

Even what should have been his most exciting play didn’t go the way he might’ve hoped. “The goal line play,” he said, “on Jason’s touchdown run, I was supposed to be the lead blocker. I tripped on Casey Rabach’s foot and couldn’t even get out there.”

Read more »

Tags: , , ,
Posted in General | No Comments »

Edwin Williams Gets To Live His Dream (But Can't Understand Casey Rabach)

Posted by Matt Terl on November 23, 2009 – 5:02 pm

Getting to live your childhood dream isn’t the kind of thing that just happens to people. Say, as a purely hypothetical example, that you’re a kid who went to school at DeMatha and grew up rooting for the Redskins. You played football at the nearby University of Maryland, but went undrafted in the NFL.

Even if some team wants you, there’s no guarantee it’ll be the one you rooted for as a kid.

Even if that team does want you, there’s no reason to assume you’ll make the roster.

Even if you do make the roster, you probably won’t ever be active on gameday.

Even if you are active on gameday, the odds against you actually playing are still pretty slim.

And even if you do play, it’s probably not going to be against your favorite team’s biggest rival on the turf of their brand new stadium. I mean, that kind of thing just doesn’t happen.

Except to Edwin Williams, I guess.

“I feel like sometimes somebody’s writing my story for me, you know,” Williams said today. “The only thing that could be different is that I just wish we could’ve won that game yesterday. It’s different watching the game, but when you get into it, it hurts even worse.”

Much to his surprise, Williams even managed to avoid butterflies when he was called into action, at least initially. “To be honest, I wasn’t nervous at all, strangely enough,” he said. “I’m usually Mister Anxiety, but I wasn’t nervous at all until I got to the huddle and everybody was like, ‘You got to go out there and punch people in the face!’ all this, ‘play hard, keep your head back!’ All this stuff.”

He stopped for a beat, remembering. “Then I was like, ‘Okay, I’m nervous now.'”
Read more »

Tags: , , ,
Posted in General | No Comments »

Tuesday, October 13: Edwin Williams Feels Your Pain

Posted by Matt Terl on October 13, 2009 – 9:43 am

Rookie offensive lineman Edwin Williams –a former Maryland Terrapin — grew up a Redskins fan. One of his childhood idols was Chris Samuels. So Williams is as familiar as anyone with the enthusiasms and frustrations of this particular fanbase. Now, though, he’s part of the team, active roster and everything. So, I asked him — not at all from personal experience, really — does this double the pain and frustration of losing games?

Read more »

Tags: ,
Posted in General | No Comments »

NFL China Comes To Redskins Park

Posted by Matt Terl on September 8, 2009 – 3:11 pm

International media crews are not an entirely unexpected sight at Redskins Park. Even though NFL Europa is now defunct, the NFL still works to expand the brand overseas, and every once in a while a foreign broadcast network will send a crew to see practice, talk to the players, and so on.

Still, a contingent of 32 people is always going to raise some eyebrows, doubly so when they hail from NFL China and include not only cameramen, producers, on-air talent, grips, and so on, but also an entire Chinese rock band.

Rookie offensive lineman Edwin Williams, for example, was approached about speaking to the crew, and responded, “NFL China?”

Yep. China.
Read more »

Tags: , , , , , , , ,
Posted in General | No Comments »

Edwin Williams Keeps On Working

Posted by Matt Terl on August 7, 2009 – 12:34 pm

It’s been a while since I’ve checked in with Edwin Williams, the undrafted center out of Maryland. But whatever he’s been doing in the meantime, it’s certainly been working.

Offensive line coach Joe Bugel, talking to the media the other day, had good things to say about Williams. “I like Edwin Williams,” he said. “Over the summer he did a great job of weightlifting and … I’ll tell you what, he’s a smart kid. He comprehends a lot between what’s good and what’s bad. I think in the long range he’s going to be a good football player.”

And that may very well be, in the long range. At the moment, though, he’s a rookie. And when I caught up with him the other day, he was doing the traditional rookie task of carrying other people’s helmets. I was tempted to pester him with questions while he was lugging four helmets and an extra set of pads, but instead waited while he dropped them off in the locker room.

Still, the first question I asked was about the helmets.

“I had Dockery’s, Stephon’s, I want to say Jeremy Bridges’s. I think it was Jeremy, anyhow — I had three. And I had Stephon’s pads, and of course mine.”

Is that as bad as its gotten as far for hazing?

Williams: “Yeah, pretty much. I don’t think that’s a negative in my perspective. It’s a little tough because of the situation we’re in [on the offensive line], we only have two rookies. So they’re going to give us the burden. It just comes with the territory, it’s fine. It’s not like they beat me up or anything.”
Read more »

Tags: , , ,
Posted in General | No Comments »

Edwin Williams Climbs The Ladder

Posted by Matt Terl on June 2, 2009 – 5:01 pm

If there is one sportswriting device that I’ve really grown to dislike over the years, it’s the extrapolation from the way a player performs one unrelated activity to the way he handles his sports career as a whole. Here’s a completely fabricated example of the kind of thing I’m talking about:

Brett Favre does not mow his lawn in neat rows like you or me or your next-door neighbor. No, he rides his mower in haphazard patterns, zig-zagging from one corner to the other, sometimes stopping for three days as if he’s done before changing mowers and starting again. It’s the way he mows his lawn, it’s the way he plays the game … and it’s the way he lives his life. It may look crazy to you, but as I sit behind Brett on this rumbling John Deere, it all starts to make a certain kind of sense.

That kind of thing. I find it contrived at best, insanely overwrought and pointless at worst.

And yet it’s all I could think of when I found undrafted rookie center Edwin Williams doing the rope ladder climb at Six Flags last night. The game is simple, like all good carnival games: climb the shaky rope ladder to the second-to-last rung, ring the bell, and win the big Redskins bear. And, like all good carnival games, the barker can do it again and again and again as if it’s the easiest thing on Earth, while the marks fail and fail again.

As with any failure, there are two ways to view it: each time, you’re a little closer to the time you’re going to succeed; or each time, it just goes to prove that the barkers know a trick that you don’t. Read more »

Tags: ,
Posted in General | No Comments »

Thursday, May 7: Even More On Edwin Williams

Posted by Matt Terl on May 7, 2009 – 9:18 am

I’ve been talking to undrafted free agent center Edwin Williams about his ongoing experience moving to the NFL from from the University of Maryland. We’ve been focusing mostly on the on-the-field and immediately-off-field aspects of his life, and there’s a bit more of that below — a brief post-minicamp wrap-up.

But Washington Post Maryland beat reporter Steve Yanda profiles a very different element of Williams’s life in a recent profile: his struggles growing up as a born addict, the child of two cocaine addicts. An excerpt:

Those who raised Williams during his formative years — the period in which his parents traveled up and down the East Coast in search of cocaine — take his perceived ignorance as an affirmation of their diligence. Williams’s grandparents, aunts and older sister shielded him as best they could. Had the family taken any other approach, he likely would not have graduated from the University of Maryland in 2008 with one season of eligibility left as an offensive lineman on the school’s football team. The chances of him being signed by the Washington Redskins as a 6-foot-3, 315-pound undrafted rookie would have been equally slim.

“We beat it into his head,” Cheron Williams said. “You don’t want to end up like your mom and dad. You don’t want to end up like your mom and dad. You don’t want to end up like your mom and dad.”

It’s a really excellent read, even if you think you’ve heard the story — or one just like it — before. Meanwhile, on the much less serious side of things, I talked to Williams as he prepared to leave the facility after the minicamp and got his thoughts on how things went and what it was like suiting up for the team he’s rooted for his whole life.

“Everything went well,” he said. “There’s just some things I need to polish up in my fundamentals and my technique. Their technique is not the same that I learned, so it’s gonna be some extra effort on my part in the upcoming days, weeks, and months to get that down.” Read more »

Tags: , ,
Posted in General | No Comments »

Saturday, May 2: Edwin Williams On His First Practice With The Redskins

Posted by Matt Terl on May 2, 2009 – 9:50 am

With something like 120 guys in for the first minicamp, it’s easy for certain positions or players to get lost in the shuffle. So one of the things I’m following is the progress of center Edwin Williams, an undrafted free agent out of Maryland.

I had already spoken to him after the first day of physicals and headshots, and I caught up with him again yesterday before lunch, just after his rainy first practice wearing number 50 in the burgundy and gold.

So? One practice in the books. How’d it go?

Williams: “It wasn’t too bad. I got more reps than I expected — that’s obviously a positive thing. Still getting the technique down. Nowhere near where I need to be or where I want to be, but as far as a first day I think it was very productive.”

What is it out there that lets you know if you’re doing well? Especially with the pass rush coming at half-speed….

Williams: “Well, it’s all about effort, man. That’s what it is when you get to this level. Everybody’s talented, everbody has the necessary tools, so it’s about effort. I just try to use the enthusiasm that I’ve had, you know, my whole football career, and just try to be a cut above everybody else, try to execute with the most technique in the best position I can. That’s all I can do.”

Has the rest of the offensive line been welcoming to the new guys?

Williams: “Mostly, yeah, they definitely are, but it’s still that, you know, freshman/senior type thing. But they’re very welcoming, they’re not hazing or anything like that. Of course, this is the first day that I’ve met ’em, so I really don’t know what’s in store.”
Read more »

Tags: , ,
Posted in General | No Comments »

Friday, May 1: Meet Edwin Williams

Posted by Matt Terl on May 1, 2009 – 9:11 am

This is Edwin Williams, undrafted free agent center out of Maryland, set to take the practice field today as one of the newest members of your Washington Redskins.

With minicamp finally here, I thought it might be interesting to focus on one undrafted guy as he goes through the NFL experience for the first time, from his arrival yesterday through … whatever happens next. As I reviewed the list of undrafted free agents Williams seemed like a good choice for a few reasons:

First, he plays what might be a position of need: center. It is beyond unlikely — just short of impossible, actuallly — that an undrafted guy could unseat starting center Casey Rabach, nor would anyone here want him to. But there’s no firm backup at the position, which creates a perfect opportunity for Williams. He was a three-year starter at Maryland

Second, he’s a local guy — grew up in D.C. and attended DeMatha before heading around the Beltway to College Park — and that always adds intrigue to a prospect.

And third, since he was a two-time Academic All-ACC guy and had all sort of favorable comments about his attitude and leadership in his pre-draft scouting reports, I figured he’d be the kind of guy who had given some thought to his situation and what he needed to do to make the most of it.

That last one turned out to be an understatment — when I talked to him late yesterday, it almost felt as if he was directly responding to his scouting report. Here’s what they had to say about his draft prospects on NFLDraftScout.com:

On a line that was inconsistent for most of 2008, Williams was one of the more dependable starters. He should be one of the first centers taken, though because that position tends to be less desirable than other spots on the line, he may be a later pick than he’d like.

And here’s what Williams said on the subject yesterday: “I was very optimistic but also very realistic. Because, you know, centers don’t really get drafted a lot — last year I think they drafted four centers. I kinda glanced at the draft, but I didn’t really watch it. I’m not really about — I feel like there’s so much hype around it, but you’ve really just got to come in and do your thing.

“So I didn’t really watch too much,” he continued, “but then I would hear through the grapevine that centers were getting picked up, so at that point I was getting a little more optimistic. But at the end of the day, I didn’t get drafted. At the same time, now I have a great opportunity with the Redskins, a lot of teams told me that they wanted me, and now I’m here ready to get started.

“The draft thing was cool, you know? That was a good weekend. But now it’s time to do the real work.”

So why did you choose the Redskins? Read more »

Tags: ,
Posted in General | No Comments »
%d bloggers like this: