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  • A homecoming brews for Williams

    By Jim Thomas
    Of the Post-Dispatch
    10/06/2004


    It was Seattle that gave Grant Williams his first cup of coffee in the NFL - and his first cup of Starbucks.

    "That's fairly addictive," Williams said, speaking of the coffee brand, not the Seahawks. "That is where I got hooked on it. It tastes a little better there."

    This season, Williams is getting a taste of what it's like to be a full-time starter for the first time in his nine NFL seasons. The closest he had come previously was the 1999 season in Seattle, when he took over in Week 2 and started 15 times for coach Mike Holmgren's first Seahawks squad.

    Because of Kyle Turley's season-ending back injury, Williams has been the starter at right tackle from Game 1 for St. Louis. This far along in his career, it's obviously a pleasant development. In his two previous seasons with the Rams, Williams had only three starts - all in 2002 at left tackle when Orlando Pace was sidelined with a calf injury.

    "It has been fun to be out there," Williams said. "It's nice to be more sore on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. It has been rewarding, but at the same time, I'm a team guy and if you can't win the games, it's all for naught anyway. We're 2-0 in the division and going into a big game. This is a week that means a lot."

    Williams spent his first four seasons with Seattle, after signing with the club as an undrafted rookie out of Louisiana Tech in 1996. The Seahawks liked his size (6-7, 300 pounds), and thought he had some potential. But when he became eligible for free agency following the '99 season, retaining him wasn't a high priority for the Seahawks.

    "It was a great group of guys," Williams said. "Good character. It seemed like we were always around .500. And then the first year when Holmgren got there, we won the division and made the playoffs. Which was a huge deal for Seattle - it was the first time they'd done that in forever. So it was a good time."

    Williams signed a two-year, $1.9 million contract with New England following the 1999 season. He spent two seasons with the Patriots, earning a Super Bowl ring for their victory over the Rams, then was traded to St. Louis in August 2002.

    Williams missed the Rams' 2002 game in Seattle because of an ankle and leg injury. He played only on special teams there last season in a 24-23 Rams loss. So Sunday's game marks Williams' first game in Seattle as a starter since that '99 season.

    "It was a good four years there," Williams said. "A couple of 'O-linemen' are still there. A couple guys on defense are still there. I still know a lot of the upstairs guys. So it does mean a lot."

    It will mean a lot more for the Rams if Williams can keep Seattle defensive end Chike Okeafor away from Marc Bulger and the Rams' running backs on Sunday.

    "He's a real active up-the-field speed guy," Williams said. "And he does have some power."

    In that sense, Okeafor's similar to the Seahawks' other defensive end, former Ram Grant Wistrom.

    "They just don't stop," Williams said. "You know you're going to be tired at the end of the day. ... And hopefully, it goes well."

    Things didn't always go well two weeks ago against New Orleans, when Williams gave up two sacks to Charles Grant. One was more the result of a breakdown on a pass route that caused Bulger to hesitate. But on the other, Williams got beat by Grant.

    "He definitely got me on a move," Williams said. "Inside fake and slapped my outside hand. From a physical standpoint, it was not my worst game. But as a lineman - a sack - one is bad."

    Until now, Williams hadn't played right tackle since his 2000 season in New England. He seems more comfortable at left tackle. But according to coach Mike Martz, Williams has made the adjustment to the right side.

    "He's playing very well," Martz said. "He's one of the reasons why I say we're playing better and better on the offensive line."

  • #2
    Re: A homecoming brews for Williams

    Okefor isn't Grant, but he does still possess some skills. The interesting matchup will be Pace vs Wistrom. My money is on Pace but we shall see.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: A homecoming brews for Williams

      RT again has again surfaced as a weak link in the play of the O. Williams has been bull-dozed and bullwinkled thus far. It has put more pressure on MB to either not drop back so far in the pocket or step up into it more quickly to allow Grant to use the DE's momentum against him and push him past the pocket. There is rarely any time in the NFL to learn on the job and be successful at the same time. Just one bad play at the wrong time can be the difference - just ask Pace.

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      • Guest's Avatar
        Stating the Obvious, Grant Williams is a Menace!
        by Guest
        You had to know it was only a matter of time before grant williams got bulger injured. We may have dodged a bullet if indeed the reports of the injury being only a bruise are accurate, but this was bound to happen. Its a miracle that bulger has not been killed by now.

        Williams is repeatedly beat every way imaginable. Speed rush, bull rush, Glendonn Rush, it doesnt seem to matter. As i have said for weeks, he is probably the best #3 tackle in the nfl, but with the deep patterns our offense runs, he is completely unworkable.

        The irony of course is that the play that got bulger hurt was by no means the hardest or most awkward hit he has taken. Its simply the law of averages. The more likely you get hit and slammed to the turf with a 300 plus pound guy falling on you, the more likely you are to get hurt.

        I thought the line protected very well today. The pressure came 99% over williams and sapamamliamula. Unfortunately, with tercero out for the year and sapamamliamula learing the position, williams is really the best option we have, which is a sorry situation and does not bode well for the continued health of our qb's whoever is in the game.

        I hate to beat a dead horse, but the turley injury just devasted this team from both a personnel and cap perspective. It has totally changed our offense.

        ramming speed to all

        general counsel
        -12-05-2004, 01:43 PM
      • Nick
        Williams talks good game; Rams hope he plays one, too
        by Nick
        Williams talks good game; Rams hope he plays one, too
        By Bill Coats
        Of the Post-Dispatch
        Monday, May. 16 2005

        Until Roland Williams returned to town a couple of months ago, Steven Jackson
        probably knew little, if anything, about him. Yet if Jackson prospers in his
        first year as the Rams' No. 1 running back, Williams just might become his new
        best friend.

        Williams is a 6-foot-5, 265-pound tight end who hasn't caught a pass since the
        2002 season. Still, if Williams can block the way coach Mike Martz remembers,
        he could fill a key role.

        "Roland was a terrific point-of-attack tight end for us," Martz said after
        Williams signed as a free agent March 9. Williams' presence "makes us bigger
        and stronger in the running game," Martz added.

        Williams, 30, began his NFL career in St. Louis, a fourth-round pick in the
        1998 draft. He moved up to the first unit about halfway through his rookie year
        after Ernie Conwell suffered a season-ending knee injury. Williams wound up
        with 51 receptions for 472 yards and 10 touchdowns in three seasons with the
        Rams.

        He was traded after the 2000 season and gathered 60 catches for 511 yards and
        three TDs in two years with the Oakland Raiders. He was cut in 2002 and spent
        part of the next season with Tampa Bay, where serious knee and toe injuries
        limited him to one game. He returned to the Raiders last year, playing 12 games
        and then becoming a salary-cap casualty after the season.

        Tampa Bay was interested in bringing him back, and Washington offered a
        three-year contract. But Williams accepted the Rams' one-year, $690,000 offer
        to replace Cam Cleeland as the No. 2 tight end behind Brandon Manumaleuna.

        "It's great to come back and have a rebirth in the place where I was born as a
        football player," Williams said. "I think it's always been a good fit,
        honestly. ... It's an offense that I love and had some success in."

        And he just can't wait to start blocking for the 6-1, 231-pound Jackson, who
        averaged just over 5 yards (673 total) on 134 carries last year as a rookie
        after the Rams made him their first-round draft pick.

        "The boy is big, and runs strong and hard," Williams gushed. "That's why they
        call him the 'Train.'"

        Williams is like a runaway locomotive himself when he gets rolling with the
        media. A graduate of Syracuse University's highly regarded S.I. Newhouse School
        of Public Communications, the orally flamboyant Williams consistently spews
        delectable quotes. A few examples from a recent interview:

        On the FieldTurf that will replace the 10-year-old Astroturf at the Edward...
        -05-17-2005, 12:24 AM
      • RamWraith
        Williams still teaching, working hard off field
        by RamWraith
        Ted Lewis New Orleans Times-Picayune June 12, 2008

        In his current role as the pastor of the church he recently founded in his adopted home of St. Louis, Aeneas Williams often tells the story of how at age 40 Moses found it in his heart to visit his brother Aaron, thus beginning the saga of Exodus.


        Williams usually uses the story in the context of how he and wife Tracy started The Spirit of the Lord Family Church in his basement last year when he was almost the same age as Moses.

        But it also refers to something that happened two decades ago - when Williams, after two years of attending Southern University as an ordinary student after graduating from Fortier High School in New Orleans, felt moved in his heart to walk on the football team just prior to the start of the season.

        "Michael Lindsay, a friend of mine from Fortier, asked me why I wasn't playing, and what he said really struck with me," said Williams, who had last played on Fortier's undefeated 1985 team.

        "And my uncle, William Whitson, was always saying to, 'Nikki, why are you not playing football?'

        "Before, I never would go along with them. But this time, for whatever reason, I said, 'OK.' "

        And unlike Moses, Williams at that point was not a reluctant warrior.

        "In other areas, when I get a desire to do something, I might question it," he said. "But in football, I didn't."

        Good thing.

        In just five weeks Williams was starting at cornerback for the Jaguars. Three years later, the Arizona Cardinals made Williams their third-round draft choice, launching an NFL that career that last 14 seasons, saw him named All-Pro five times, appear in eight Pro Bowls and selected to the league's 1990s All-Decade Team. Those are credentials sure to land Williams in Canton as soon as he's eligible.

        Already, he's scheduled for induction in the Cardinals' Ring of Honor this fall.

        But before that, Williams is about to be inducted into the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame in Natchitoches. He was elected by acclimation in his first year of eligibility.

        "All of this recognition is a tremendous honor," Williams said. "But my goal as a player has always to get myself better individually in order to assist my team getting better as a group."

        That wasn't always easy.

        As Moses did, Williams spent years in the wilderness - namely Arizona where in his 10 seasons the Cardinals lost nearly twice as many games as they lost, making the playoffs only once.

        Traded to St. Louis on draft day in 2001, Williams helped transform one of the league's worst defenses into one of its best.

        The Rams went to Super Bowl XXXVI in the Superdome where they lost to New England, 20-17.

        Williams' play that season...
        -06-14-2008, 05:21 AM
      • RamWraith
        A. Williams' injury was well-kept secret
        by RamWraith
        By Bill Coats
        Of the Post-Dispatch
        Monday, Nov. 15 2004

        If President George W. Bush is looking for new Cabinet members who can keep a
        secret, perhaps he should consider Aeneas Williams. The Rams' free safety was
        injured some three months ago in training camp, but ... who knew?

        Not even Rich Coady, who was told at Saturday's walk-through that he'd be
        starting in Williams' place the next day against Seattle. Coady, who needed an
        IV before kickoff because of a bout with the flu, said, "It really didn't
        change anything that I did, except that I played more snaps on defense."

        Williams, 36, was injured in the Rams' scrimmage with the Chicago Bears on Aug.
        7 in Macomb, Ill. The "stinger" has affected his neck and shoulder, and is
        especially bothersome when he takes on ballcarriers. With Seattle expected to
        lean on Shaun Alexander, the NFL's No. 2 rusher, coach Mike Martz decided that
        it would be a good time to give Williams "a bit of a break."

        Williams described his malady as "a significant injury. I'm the type I won't
        say anything, I'll keep going. But we needed to get somebody in there that can
        play, if they're going to be a big running game. ... Coach thought Rich would
        do a good job, and he did."

        Williams had been in the lineup for 210 of 212 games in his 14-year NFL career,
        and he started again Sunday - but only because the Seahawks opened with three
        wide receivers, and Williams hustled out as an extra defensive back. He was in
        for about 30 snaps, mainly as the nickel back, and he made a crucial play in
        the 23-12 victory at the Edward Jones Dome.

        With the Rams leading 20-12 in the fourth quarter, Williams tracked down
        Alexander from behind after a 35-yard run and punched the ball free. Coady
        pounced on it at the Rams' 9-yard line.

        "You can see that we need him on the field. He makes plays," Coady said.
        "Whether he plays one play in a game or he plays 70, he's a special player, and
        he makes plays to help us win the game."

        Tinoisamoa is promoted

        The play of linebacker Pisa Tinoisamoa has prompted Martz to make a departure
        from how he normally deploys his captains.

        Williams and running back Marshall Faulk are captains "in perpetuity," with
        quarterback Marc Bulger (offense), end Tyoka Jackson (defense) and kicker Jeff
        Wilkins (special teams) designated as captains for the season. Then a sixth
        captain has been added each game, based on the previous week's performance.

        But not anymore. Martz has tagged Tinoisamoa as the sixth captain for the rest
        of the season. Tinoisamoa, a second-round draft pick, last...
        -11-16-2004, 05:42 AM
      • RamDez
        Tight end Williams glad to be back with Rams
        by RamDez



        Associated Press

        ST. LOUIS - Roland Williams says he's glad to back with the St. Louis Rams, a team he helped win the Super Bowl in 2000.
        St. Louis signed the 6-foot-5, 265-pounder in the offseason.
        Williams, who played with the Rams from 1998 to 2000, was traded to the Oakland Raiders before the star to the 2001 season. He stayed with Oakland for two years, then went to Tampa Bay, then returned to the Raiders.
        "It feels great to be back," Williams said Saturday after the morning practice at Rams Park. "This is where I started playing my career. I'm going into year eight. This is great to come back and have a rebirth after going through injuries and that stuff.
        "It's great to come back to a place I love so much to get it going again."
        Williams has impressed coach Mike Martz in the early days of camp.
        Martz said Williams will be the starter. Brandon Manumaleuna, who started 15 games last season, will back up Williams, although he'll still see playing time.
        "We're kind of moving in a different direction," Martz said. "We're going to do a lot of two tight end stuff. In essence, they are both starters."
        A solid blocker, Williams has shown he can also catch the ball.
        "Roland Williams is probably the most pleasant surprise of the offseason," Martz said. "When we brought him back here, I felt like he was going to be a solid player.
        "What Roland did in the spring is much more than I anticipated. He deserves the opportunity to step and battle."
        Sharing the spot with Manumaleuna is fine with Williams.
        "I feel like we're the best tight end tandem in the league," Williams said.
        Receiver Torry Holt said he is glad Williams is back wearing the blue and gold of the Rams. Williams is a positive presence in the locker room.
        "It's good," Holt said of his gregarious teammate who often wears a smile and loves playing football. "Roland is good for our football team because of the energy and the passion that he has for the game of football. It's so big and critical for the young guys to see his energy and passion day after day."
        A fourth-round pick by the Rams in 1998, Williams appeared in 14 games as a rookie and earned Offensive Rookie of the Years honors. In 1999, Williams played in 16 games, starting 15, and caught 25 passes for 226 yards and six touchdowns. He caught one pass in the Super Bowl win over the Tennessee Titans.
        After the 2000 season, the Rams traded Williams to Oakland for a fourth-round draft pick in the 2001 draft. In two years with Oakland, Williams caught 60 passes.
        He was placed on the physically unable-to-perform list by the Raiders at the start of training camp in 2003. After healing several injuries, Williams signed with Tampa Bay and played in one game. He rejoined the Raiders in April 2004 after spending most...
        -07-30-2005, 04:03 PM
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