Adding a speed cornerback — as receiver

Posted by Darren Urban on October 22, 2013 – 9:02 am

The news leaked out yesterday, that the Cardinals were going to be signing former Colts cornerback Teddy Williams, a player with a ton of speed. The Cardinals had cut linebacker Kenny Demens to make room for Williams on the roster. What hadn’t come out is that Williams was being signed as a wide receiver.

I’ll admit, the move raised eyebrows somewhat when I thought Williams was a cornerback. The Cardinals have a lot of them and I didn’t think any were doing that poorly — and to cut a linebacker to make room for another one didn’t make a lot of sense. But the idea of making Williams a wide receiver does make sense, because the Cardinals are continually looking for that burner who can take the top off the defense at deep routes. This will be another attempt in that area. Brittan Golden caught a 53-yard pass in his debut in San Francisco, but he’s battling a bad hamstring.

Now the Cards try Williams, who has the speed credentials (his Twitter handle is @Fast_Teddy.) He is a former track guy who did not play college football and originally tried to make it as a receiver with the Cowboys. That didn’t stick, nor did his attempt to play cornerback for Dallas. He did play in seven games last season for Indianapolis as a cornerback. He can return kickoffs as well.


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44 Responses to “Adding a speed cornerback — as receiver”

  1. By LadyBird04 on Oct 22, 2013 | Reply

    AT 6’3 200+lbs he would also fit as a bigger cb than Powers who is being beaten up at corner and be able to keep up with the receivers/tight ends that seem to be defeating our corners and db’s. Don’t know about his coverage skills but obviously not too good as he is available as both a receiver and db. Hope he works out and doesn’t get hurt on his first play.

  2. By John The Draft Guy on Oct 22, 2013 | Reply

    I go back to the pick of Ryan Swope.

    This guy was a 4.3 guy with size. I’m sure Arians envisioned him taking the top off defenses.

    Too bad he had the concussion problems. He really could have been a difference maker.

    Well, you can see when you have a plan and it doesn’t work out. You begin grasping at straws and hoping a track star can fill the void.

    This is why I have hope for this coaching staff.
    They thought Levi could be a LT, and once seeing him, realized they made a mistake. They knew they needed speed at WR and unfortunately, the guy they drafted didn’t come through. Once in the building and working with the guys, I think the coaching staff has got a good feel for what is needed. Tough thing is how can you address it in the middle of the year? Well, with bandaids till the next offseason. Golden and Williams are bandaids till next offseason. Just like Sowell is at LT.

    I still believe 8-9 wins are possible this season, but really believe that we make a big leap next year.

  3. By clssylssy on Oct 22, 2013 | Reply

    Just what we need…another receiver! It seems that the lionshare of our talent on the offense is being devoted to the position of WR, which is already loaded with talent. A big problem being that is a dependent position and only is a priority when you have Drew Brees or Tom Brady as a QB. What we need is some big linemen and TEs before add more WRs. After the Seahawks game, and too many years watching the same cycle, I have come to the conclusion that it isn’t the players or even the coaching staff that inhibits this team from succeeding but the problem lies higher up the food chain in the people doing the talent search and hiring, i.e. the GM. For a business to succeed, you have to have top flight management who are ultimately responsible for recruiting and hiring of middle management (coaches) and professional personnel (players) and “with great power goes great responsibility’. Someone made the observation that our team wasn;t physically a match for the Seahawks who were bigger, more physical and faster and while practicing in full pads can’t help but be useful, one can only battle the reality of age and the slowing effect it has. While Keim was signing these aging veterans to one and two year contract on the cheap, it appears that perhaps it’s like the old saying goes, “You get what you pay for”. But still, I have to question, when we have so many other needs that are more pressing, why another receiver…or is Arizona the new retirement center for recycled Colts?

  4. By John The Draft Guy on Oct 22, 2013 | Reply


    So much is about technique when playing corner. Speed is an added plus but not the only ingredient. I can’t believe a track star could play CB better than Powers.

    Aeneas Williams is a perfect example. This guy had perfect technique. This Track Star Williams would blow away Aeneas in a race, but who would you want out as your corner?

    Powers has enough speed. It is more about technique and the coverage the cards run. If he is in a trail position with help over top but the safety bites on the run, it looks like Powers got beat deep when in reality it was the safety.

    I see Patrick Peterson using a lot of the same techniques that Rod Woodson would use. He stays on top of the WR at all times and might give up a short out but rarely gets beat long. Yes he has great speed but it has more to do with footwork and positioning. Powers is solid at CB but I would bet, on plays he has gotten beat on, he was out of position, bad technique, or was suppose to have help overtop.

    So, what I am saying is, just because a guy can run doesnt make him a good CB. and Powers is not a bad #2 CB.

  5. By wnycardfan on Oct 22, 2013 | Reply

    I have to agree with clssylssy in this case. I get the “speed” factor is nice to have in WR and apparently NONE of our current crop can fit that bill . But crap, Palmer doesn’t have time to blink let alone drop a bomb. Say the guy can do the 40 in 4.1 seconds, when the heck has palmer had 4.1 seconds to throw the ball? I know, if he throws at 4.1, the guy has another 1 – 2 seconds to get to ball another 20 yards etc…. POINT is, he doesn’t have 4.1 or 2.1 seconds to throw the damn ball. Granted 7 games in, there is no one out there to save us (O line, LB, WR, QB, you name it). They are band-aids utnil next year. But this is like getting a sponge bob square pants bandaid when you need the special elbow bandaid. Palmer needs to get accurate too. The game plan of throwing it deep 6 times per game, you take what the DEF gives you, and we aren’t getting that. So figure out how to keep the ball moving and dinging the DEF.

  6. By erik on Oct 22, 2013 | Reply

    I would argue that the receiving core is not nearly as talented as people seem to think. I know people liked taylor, but he is solely a possesion receiver. Andre Roberts can run routes really well and has decent speed, but is inconsistent. I like Floyd, but he doesn’t offer much in the way of yards after catch. And Larry (Here come the thumbs down) is no longer in his prime. He doesn’t even look close, actually. I completely understand if he has gotten discouraged over the last four years, but with his salary increasing the way it does, I see no way he can be a part of the teams future plans. It seems most teams have that burner and the Cardinals certainly don’t and have not for awhile now. The Swope thing was really disappointing, because he most likely would have been that guy.

    Not getting down on the team, that is just my perspective.

  7. By shane on Oct 22, 2013 | Reply

    Daren, do you think that the cards are going to sign or look at Tony Scheffler who was cut today by the lions ? I think that would be a good signing. Pulse I hurd that they were looking at Jake Ballard but didn’t sign him..

  8. By Darren Urban on Oct 22, 2013 | Reply

    Shane —

    RE: TEs

    I am sure they will look into any decent TEs. Not sure if they sign any.

  9. By shane on Oct 22, 2013 | Reply

    @ Erik , yes Larry might not be what he was in 2009 but no he’s still one of the best WR in the NFL ! He showed that in week 1 but his hamstring has been bothering him almost all season he’s like 75 % he shouldn’t gave brobably played Thursday … hopefully hes almost 100% buy next week or this Sunday with the extra time off .

  10. By jakeplummersghost on Oct 22, 2013 | Reply

    Am I the only one that remembers that Larry has two injured hamstrings and no OL to give his not-that-great QB time to try and get him the ball in the first place?

    Lay off people, Larry ain’t gone nowhere.

  11. By Mike on Oct 22, 2013 | Reply


    Thins kid really ran/runs a 4.31?!

  12. By monzz on Oct 22, 2013 | Reply

    This move is looking very stupid. Another ex colt who hasn’t made it on several teams, just what we need another washed up player to add to the list. Palmer can’t get the ball to Fitz or anyone else with any degree of accuracy how will he get the ball to someone who hasn’t been playing , doesn’t know the system and is being converted to a WR. This proves BA will be a short termer with this club. We need good play calling not gimicks

  13. By Patrick Hoog aka Don't Take Losses on Oct 22, 2013 | Reply

    Keep churning that roster, diamonds in rough can be found. Go Cards.

  14. By Rich on Oct 22, 2013 | Reply

    I like the way this new staff keeps “churning” the bottom five guys.

  15. By Chuck 1 on Oct 22, 2013 | Reply


    Do you think that the Cards need a DB to stop TEs from chewing us up?
    If so, who do you recommend, FA or college, that can do that?
    And, in which round of the draft should that DB be taken i.e. after a LT and a QB?
    Or, do you think that a FA is available to fill the bill?

  16. By erik on Oct 22, 2013 | Reply

    I definitely get the injured hamstring, I guess i was overlooking that a bit. But I can’t help but look at someone like Justin Blackmon and see the numbers he is putting up on a team I’m sure everyone would agree has more issues than the Cardinals. Maybe Palmer is that bad, I don’t know. Is he worse than Gabbert/ Henne? Desean Jackson is another who puts up numbers no mattter who is QB, it seems. You just see other players put up numbers in bad situations and it makes me question it. Also, I think Larry’s cap is in the 15-18 million range next year, or something like that. That is a huge number for any player.

  17. By ored on Oct 22, 2013 | Reply

    stretch the defense,that allows more openings underneath,ideally swopes would have done that so this is a stab at doing that.anything that helps the offense,whether it’s improved o-line play or match ups on recievers,we need it all.with how ellington is working out,now this to allow more room for recievers,is showing that the coaching is looking at all angles.

    after watching peyton 1st half and a.petersons game against giants,it’s apparent that it still takes a team effort,every player has his role.interesting comment from u.c.l.a. players after the stanford loss,said they play old fashioned or football the way it used to be played,something to that effect,the coach then said basically,everyone just does their job and execute as a unit.

    i think this is a move in the right direction,speed can alter game plans and open up opportunities.everyone can block or tackle,it’s the elite that can do it quicker,faster,smarter,and depending on the position more elusively.

    anybody else getting amped for the draft,QBs everywhere,we need an early pick and a late round sleeper as insurance,either housler claims the spot or draft a stud at TE,get LT help in fa,we need help now not a year or two down the road,i still have faith in massie and the guards once all are healthy.

    some games coming up we should be right in the middle of.

    btw is swopes out permanently or is there chance he comes back at some point?
    watched the video of him catching eggs from 3 storys up without breaking them,speed and good hands,good combination.

  18. By ored on Oct 22, 2013 | Reply

    if all else fails,look into adding the oregon or baylor offenses,lol

  19. By georgiebird on Oct 22, 2013 | Reply

    The signing of Teddy Williams is worth a shot- the Cards are going nowhere this year. Not saying that Teddy is the answer but the concept is correct
    Most of the novice posters here don’t understand what a super fast WR can do.
    1) he can catch a 10 yard pass and go for a TD
    2) he can command a double team
    3) he may keep an extra guy out of the box
    4) he makes life easier for the other receivers
    5) he allows the QB to throw short and still get big yardage
    6) he helps the running game
    7) he stretches the field
    8) and on and on and on.

    This is the reason why Larry will have a long HOF career but Larry will never be the receiver that Roy Green was. Roy Green was all eight of the points above except #2- Roy was on occasion triple teamed.

  20. By georgiebird on Oct 22, 2013 | Reply

    The hope here is that a super fast WR will give the QB more time to throw. A super fast WR is dangerous anywhere on the field not just going after 50 yard bombs.
    Teddy Williams is probably not the answer but the concept is correct. I’ve been talking about the lack of speed on our offense for years now. Like with most things people begin to see things my way- better late than never.

  21. By John The Draft Guy on Oct 22, 2013 | Reply

    Chuck 1

    I had this conversation with jasonc a few blogs back. I loved Kenny Vaccaro, who can cover TEs.

    But since we missed on him, I would like to see a little more of Tony Jefferson. He seems like a guy with some playmaking ability.

    As for College, Ha Ha Clinton Dix from Alabama is very good. Other than that, no other safety has caught my eye yet.

    I haven’t looked at the FAs yet, so I am not sure.

    As for what round, there is so many factors. For instance, if we signed LT Jared Veldheer , we no longer need a LT. How does Moch, do and what are the thoughts about Okefer and Acho? Are we staying in this 4-3 (which is what we are running more than 3-4) or going primarily with a 3-4? Which FAs will we keep?

    I guess what I am saying is at this point, there is no way to know. But if Dix was rated as my top safety and I felt it was good value where I was picking, I have no problem with a first round pick, second or later.

  22. By BRIAN on Oct 22, 2013 | Reply

    Can he play left tackle? if not it won’t matter

  23. By cardsalltheway on Oct 22, 2013 | Reply

    9 teams have worse records than us. 3 teams have the same record as we do. Currently, we draft 10th – 12th. And with the 10th pick of the 2014 draft the Cardinals select(forgetting about QB’s and LT)…

    Sammy Watkins, WR, Clemson. Desperate need of a skill player. Tavon Austin, a first round pick last year, has been a disappointment through six games, and only played four snaps last Sunday. Watkins has top-end speed and would be a deep threat they currently lack. The Rams have big needs at running back and cornerback as well.

    We will have to replace Fitz whom we will trade in the coming weeks.

  24. By tn2389 on Oct 22, 2013 | Reply

    I wish there were statistics detailing our yards gained on first down, because I believe our play calling is the primary cause of our offense doing poorly. We always put ourselves in difficult situations because we try to throw deep on 1st and 10 or we run it with Mendenhall. There was a time in the game against the Seahawks that I counted 13 runs IN A ROW on first down. They all gained 2 yards if not less. I remember three passes on first down. On one Carson was pushed out of the pocket, but two were play action which he completed for first downs. I suggest we try more passes on first down even if they’re dump screens, because our run game on second down is very effective and our passing on first down is much more successful than a predictable 2 yard Iso.

  25. By Chuck 1 on Oct 22, 2013 | Reply



    I realize that It’s early in the college season to make a definite decision about a player. However, if the DB who can cover a TE isn’t on the current roster (and, it doesn’t seem that the Cards will let Jefferson try to do the job), it seems essential that a FA must be signed or a high draft pick used. Otherwise, the Cards will continue to be burned in 2014 by TEs

    If Keim believes that it is critical that the OL must be THE TOP PRIORITY (as many fans and analysts believe), I would think that he would have to trade up to get a “franchise” LT e.g. giving up a 1st and 3rd (?) (use the 2nd to take a QB). Unfortunately, there are probably several teams that will have worse records than the Cards that need a LT.

  26. By TucsonTim on Oct 22, 2013 | Reply

    Don’t you have to have a QB that can throw him the ball???

  27. By TucsonTim on Oct 22, 2013 | Reply

    And a corner back will recognize the defensive scheme and run the correct route…LOL

  28. By TucsonTim on Oct 22, 2013 | Reply

    He didn’t play college football…so the answer for the Cardinals is to go to a college track meet. Well, when the rules committee mandates receivers wear flags to be pulled rather than be tackled or hit, I think that might work.

  29. By Coach K on Oct 22, 2013 | Reply

    Well worth taking a chance. Speed kills and with some good coaching, speed wins!

  30. By Coach K on Oct 22, 2013 | Reply

    I really like Jake Mathews and Taylor Lewan in the draft, but they will be gone before we pick most likely. But there is a tackle I feel is just as good, his name is Antonio Richardson of Tennessee. He could have a bigger upside athletically than any tackle in next years draft. I hope he falls to us. I also believe we will take either Zach Mettenberger or Sean Mannion in round two. We must grab a Quarterback in this deep draft. Mettenberger reminds me of Phillip Rivers , and Mannion reminds me of Matt Ryan. Mannion is the most accurate passer in college football this year.

  31. By blue pitt on Oct 22, 2013 | Reply

    Don’t feel bad brother I know Fitz is on his last leg.. I don’t judge it from this year but do judge it from the last 3.. Yards do not matter in the evaluation it is the balls that the stat keepers deem catchable that he has dropped in the last 3 years.. they (if you look) almost double his career prior to the last 3 years. And people will say look at what was throwing to him. To that I say look what was throwing to him in his first 3 years…McCown, Blake, King……Point proven! And he caught almost every thing thrown his way!

  32. By NJAzCardsFan on Oct 23, 2013 | Reply

    The Cards would be better served signing a “real” left tackle and finding someone who can play QB. The Cards have some of the best WR’s in the NFC. Signing another WR won’t solve the Cards current offensive problems….

    HINT: Hey BA find a real QB who can complete passes to the Cards current WR’s and you might win a game….

  33. By joe67 on Oct 23, 2013 | Reply

    Do we lead the league in hamstring pulls. seems like a prerequsite to play here. Are the coaches emphasizing stretches enough??

  34. By D on Oct 23, 2013 | Reply

    I like BA still dreaming of Andrew luck throwing deep to R. Wayne, but until Palmer has the time to set up and throw deep to the latest speed WR, it won’t matter. It all starts up front and right now, this team needs another good draft that includes a stud Left Tackle and a healthy Cooper next year.

    This Sunday the Defense faces another good TE, will the D Coordinator put DWash on MR. T. Gonzalez? If not, be ready for Tony to have a good day.

  35. By Coach K on Oct 23, 2013 | Reply

    We are in great shape next year. There are five “elite” left tackles in this draft class. One will definitely fall to us in the middle of round one. This is great news and another block in the foundation. There is also a good chance a quality Quarterback will be on the board late first round should the Cardinals choose to make a move up. I personally like either Zach Mettenberger (reminds me of Phillip Rivers), or Sean Mannion (reminds me of Matt Ryan). I actually prefer Mannion because he has better feet and he is the son of a football coach. That’s a big bonus for me.

  36. By Eazy E on Oct 23, 2013 | Reply

    Yeah I remember him in Dallas seeing as I live in Dallas. He was super fast and quick but didn’t play a great deal in Dallas, so it’s hard to get a beat on him. We’ll see as a WR. Lastly though, I hate the notion that it is like we don’t have WRs that can get deep, Larry ran a 4.4 coming out and routinely gets deep, Floyd also ran in the 4.4, 4.5 range, along with ‘Dre with a 4.45 and Brittan is a speedster we saw that and of course Patrick so he’ll add more speed but not just him. Swope also ran well at 4.34.

  37. By Rev. B on Oct 23, 2013 | Reply

    To be honest with all who done a blog here, we need help this player coming in might just be the answer, I pray. However tho, not on one occasion but several different play, the QB focused solely on one receiver, when in fact, if he had taken one moment he would have seen a running back,,TE, wide open,etc. yes we do need more on the O line to protect the QB. I am not a pro like you guys, however I did play some football. LoL LoL

  38. By jstn on Oct 23, 2013 | Reply

    Cards are in a good spot, i see going 5-1 then 1-2,In the end both niners 11-5 and cards 9-7 get a wildcard, 3 NFC west teams in playoffs!!!!

  39. By John The Draft Guy on Oct 23, 2013 | Reply

    Chuck 1

    The problem at looking at FA this early is, will their team resign them or franchise them.

    But just for fun, the two safeties that would be at the top of my list for 2014 FA are Donte Whitner and Jarius Byrd.

    Again, I don’t think either hits the open market but I guess we can dream till March.

    I still believe there might be 3 LTs hitting the market in 2014. Jared Veldheer, Eugene Monroe and Brandon Albert. If there is someone to throw caution to the wind and spend for, it would be these three.

  40. By John The Draft Guy on Oct 23, 2013 | Reply

    Easy E,

    I agree that Fitz , Roberts and Floyd can get deep.

    But, Arians had Mike Wallace and Antonio Brown in Pitt and T.Y. Hilton in Indy.

    Those guys have a different kind of speed. Crazy speed. With a guy like that, safeties back off and Fitz and Floyd have more room to work. With a guy like that, how can you double Fitz and Floyd. He changes this offense.

    Golden seemed like a guy but got hurt, No doubt, Swope was the guy but retired, so we will see if this track star is the guy.

  41. By sara on Oct 23, 2013 | Reply

    bring Charles Hawkins back he has the speed the separation & he can turn 5 yard into 20

  42. By Chuck 1 on Oct 23, 2013 | Reply

    I probably shouldn’t be looking ahead to the FA/draft period.
    But, at 3-4 and the apparent needs in the roster, I can’t help myself.
    For those fans who believe that the Cards can still make the playoffs, I wish I had your optimism.
    Before the season started, I saw 8-8. Now, i doubt that the Cards can win five of the remaining nine games.

  43. By ored on Oct 24, 2013 | Reply

    with all the new faces and schemes,we’re probably right where we should be,good enough for hope and poor enough for a good draft pick,get a veteran LT,young QB,safety,TE,redo a couple of contracts,get production from bpa’s,and i think next year warrants optimism.i think if we just get the o-line fixed,it will be huge,then we’ll have the building blocks,just some fine tuning and look for the next playmaker.

  44. By azcheesehead on Oct 25, 2013 | Reply

    What I see the issue is not just a O line issue is where we have our current WR. Fitz is a great receiver and he still commands respect. But to play Fitz on the inside (slot ) isn’t his forte. What I have observed is if you can get Fitz into space and the ball is delivered accurately ( not high ) majority of the times Fitz will get it . Football is about north south movement of the ball not east to west.

    How can you expect to have pas blocking when we are going 4-5 wide with a little back and it taken a LARGE AMOUNT of time for the play to develop. Look at the college ranks ( where all these players are coming from ) Yes the game is FAST but look at Big 10 football ( hard nose ) run / run . Oregon on a spread offensive has great speed backs … Baylor is the same way …

    Palmer needs to be more accurate not place the receivers into situations that they can get hurt ( going high to make the catch. I think Stanton might be an answer for us as a change of pace QB. But quick hit inside passing to get 3-4 yards does work. This is taught in all levels of football . Its better than a 3 and 8yards situation. So stop the gimick play calling get down to basics and play ball.

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