Teddy Williams moves back to CB

Posted by Darren Urban on May 15, 2014 – 10:55 am

For a couple of weeks before the draft, wide receiver Teddy Williams heard the comments from cornerbacks coach Kevin Ross and defensive coordinator Todd Bowles.

“Oh, so you played corner your whole career.”

“You’re a big dude, we’d want you over here.”

“I thought,” Williams said, “it was just jokes.”

It wasn’t. During the draft, coach Bruce Arians called Williams and the two had a “nice, long conversation” about Williams moving from receiver to cornerback. It made a lot of sense, in part because the Cardinals drafted wide receivers John Brown and Walter Powell, and frankly, Williams’ chances to make the team on offense were probably shrinking given the additions. Arians even called Patrick Peterson (below, giving Williams pointers at a recent workout) about the Williams transition.

“Everybody wants me to do it and do it right,” Williams said. “(Arians) knows me as a corner because he met me as a corner.”

Indeed, this is not new ground for Williams. He did not play college football. Williams was a track guy, with excellent speed and a frame (6-foot-1 and 207 pounds) that figured to translate to football. So when he got to the NFL Williams bounced back and forth between positions. He originally signed with the Cowboys as a defensive back, only to be switched to wide receiver. When he went to the Colts, he was a cornerback, which is where Arians met him. But when the Cardinals signed him, they made him a wide receiver before he went down with a season-ending Achilles injury.

One of Williams’ strengths is his ability to play gunner on special teams. That does not change whether his given position is on offense or defense. But his 6-1 size does make him fit well into a cornerback group highlighted by the 6-1 Peterson and the 6-2 Antonio Cromartie and charged to play press man-to-man by Bowles.

“That’s my game,” Williams said. “Give ’em hell all day.”

Williams switched numbers, from 16 to 29. He said it took all of five minutes to sit in the defensive backs room and to have his comfort come flooding back. “I had a coach tell me when I was in Indy, ‘Same girl, different dress.’ ” Williams said.

The Cardinals have a lot of cornerbacks too, and Williams will have to fight for a spot on that side of the ball too. But he said he is on his way to getting back from the Achilles’ rehab and he expects to be ready for training camp. It’ll just happen to be on the defensive side of the ball.

“It’s not an uncomfortable switch,” Williams said. “The coaches were excited about it so I’m excited about it. It’s always good to be flexible. Maybe someone goes down during a game, you might need someone to run a (wide receiver) route, since Pat’s not going to be doing it anymore. Hey, the more you can do.”




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Posted in Blog | 14 Comments »

14 Responses to “Teddy Williams moves back to CB”

  1. By Mike in Gilbert on May 15, 2014 | Reply

    So… did I miss something? No Patrick Peterson on offense this year?

  2. By Darren Urban on May 15, 2014 | Reply

    Mike in Gilbert —

    RE: PP on offense

    Third note:

  3. By Big Ken on May 15, 2014 | Reply

    The quotes in this article make me chuckle. I hope he makes the team, certainly versatile. Tear it up Teddy!

  4. By Andy Kw on May 15, 2014 | Reply

    I hope that Tony Jefferson can play as a Nickel Cornerback. I would hate to see talent go to waste behind our future star SS Deone Bucannon. Playing corner could work for him.

  5. By Patrick Hoog aka Don't Take Losses on May 15, 2014 | Reply

    A real pro, fighting a dang good fight for a job. Go Teddy! I’m betting you make the active roster.

  6. By LadyBird04 on May 15, 2014 | Reply

    Glad to see Coaches stepping back from having Peterson play In all phases of the game. He is a very good CB and keeping him there will only enable him to improve those special talents. I know it’s “fun” to return punts and even pretend to be a WR but that isn’t why we have him….keep him healthy. Hope Teddy Williams works out, I’m so tired of seeing undersized CB’s out-reached for balls. As a former track athlete he also has the speed to keep up. Just hope his coverage skills and tackling hold up.

  7. By carlo milano on May 15, 2014 | Reply

    He has a chance to make a team if he become a solid special team players.
    Our gunners protecting kick the returner were terrible last year.

  8. By joe holst on May 15, 2014 | Reply

    Robert Tate come to mind.. longshot to make it- I like that catch he had as a WR when he went up in the air and came down, he beat the DB by 5 yards. 55 yard plus play,

  9. By shannon robinson on May 15, 2014 | Reply

    Teddy was an excellent gunner with Bethel when he tore his achilles. He’ll be an excellent corner. I was proud to see Ed Stinson standing next to Capt. Dockett – there’s another set of twins.

  10. By CN Punk on May 15, 2014 | Reply

    Re: Williams’ tackling and gunner skills.

    To those that don’t remember, it was Williams and Bethel that were our opening day gunners, and he was going a fantastic job until he got injured. He has great tackling ability and with his time at wide receiver should have an even better understanding of how to defend them as a CB now. I hope he does develop behind Cromartie this year and is able to slide into the starting line up next year so we are set with 2 young, fast, athletic corners that have an understanding of the WR position, making it easier for them to jump routs and read plays.

  11. By cardsalltheway on May 15, 2014 | Reply

    “But he said he is on his way to getting back from the Achilles’ rehab and he expects to be ready for training camp. It’ll just happen to be on the defensive side of the ball.”

    The side of the ball where it is MORE difficult to come back from an Achilles injury. He’s got 4 strikes against him…
    1)Recent serious injury
    2)New position with Cards
    3)Many CB’s to compete against
    4)CB’s must react to WR’s and a CB with an Achilles injury???

    He’ll need to have all the luck on his side, I wish him success! It would be cool to have a guy his size come through.

  12. By dan on May 16, 2014 | Reply

    Teddy and Bryan McCann will probably be duking it out for the last DB spot.

  13. By clssylssy on May 17, 2014 | Reply

    I have to wonder how much the Jimmy Graham contract controversy and pending grievance hearing has impacted the use of players as “hybrids” and in multiple roles. The Cards have probably the best secondary in the NFC West and it’s always important to have depth however, I have to wonder how much of this talent will be cut because we are becoming hip deep in corners, much as we have in receivers in the past. Part of what has made the Cards so much fun to watch is the versatility of the players being able to be cast in multiple roles and BA coming up with surprise schemes that create mismatches for our opponents. I think the talent on the Card’s team and the potential for this kind of unpredictability has created a measure of fear and insecurity in our opponents that I would hope we would continue to capitalize on. Love to see the team building depth and sort of dread seeing who gets cut as we will be no doubt be passing on some much improved talent to the waiver wire. Still seems like forever to opening day!

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