Is Green Bay Packers CB Tramon Williams a Defensive Liability?
The Green Bay Packers are facing a lot of tough decisions going into this offseason. While the team did go 11-5 in the regular season, they fell short in the playoffs by losing in the divisional round for the second-straight year.
With the season over, a lot of important decisions will need to be made. Aaron Rodgers, Clay Matthews, Greg Jennings and others are in need of restructured contracts. The team is deciding what to do with Jennings and Jermichael Finley.
Perhaps one of the biggest questions to be asked is: What should the Packers do with the team's defense? Although Green Bay went from last to 11th in the league in total defense, the team collapsed in their loss against the San Francisco 49ers. The Packers allowed the 49ers 579 yards of offense, and simply couldn't stop Colin Kaepernick.
With a defense that is likely to look different in 2013, one player in particular should be looked at to see if he deserves to be a starter on this team.
Williams had previously been a very solid cornerback, especially during the Super Bowl run in 2010. He was a Pro Bowl reserve player that year with six interceptions. His postseason was more impressive: he had three picks, including one for a touchdown to end the first half against the Atlanta Falcons.
Over the past two years, his ability has declined at an alarming rate. His quickness and ability to frustrate receivers has seemed to fade, right along with his discipline.
His numbers have steadily declined as well. With six interceptions in 2010, he dropped to four in 2011 and only two this season. While his tackles increased in both years compared to his 2010 totals, it was because receivers were catching more balls on him, forcing him to take them down.
Williams was a big liability this season. He showed serious problems wrapping up, especially against the run. There were many times, including the two games against the Vikings, where Williams could have helped contain the run but was unable to bring the carrier down as he ran for additional yards.
Williams also made some bad mental mistakes. His attitude has cost him on some big plays over the years, but one play in particular this year was the biggest yet. On third-and-goal, the Vikings failed to reach the end zone. However, Williams was caught getting into it and was called for illegal hands to the face. The Vikings went on to score a touchdown, win the game and prevent the Packers from getting a first-round bye and the second seed in the NFC.
The truth is, Williams is now an expendable player for the Packers. Sam Shields proved that he is an excellent corner, and could likely win the starting job over Williams next season. Casey Hayward had a tremendous rookie year with six interceptions, and has a strong case to win the Defensive Rookie of the Year award. Other young players including Jerron McMillian and M.D. Jennings also showed some promise in the secondary.
Williams is beginning to struggle as a cornerback in the NFL. While he was an impressive player in 2010, he simply isn't cutting it for Green Bay anymore. If the Packers decide to cut him, it would likely be for the best.
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