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Kyle Williams hears from other famous fumblers

NFC Championship - New York Giants v San Francisco 49ers Getty Images

Kyle Williams has been dubbed one of the five No. 1 receivers on the 49ers, although he still seems to be fighting to hold onto his roster spot.

The aggressive moves the Niners made at receiver this offseason have something to do with that, but you can’t discount the lingering memory of Williams’ two fumbles in the NFC Championship Game. Not so much the 49ers’ response to the miscues, because they’ve been uniformly supportive of him since the loss to the Giants, as any doubt that might have creeped into Williams’ mind as a result of the way things went down in January.

Williams has heard from a couple of other famous fumblers who don’t want to see that happen to him. Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that Earnest Byner and Roger Craig both reached out to Williams in the wake of his rough day. Byner’s fumble near the end zone against Denver in the 1987 AFC Championship Game was so big that it is referred to as The Fumble and Craig’s fumble late in the 1990 NFC Championship Game set up the Giants’ winning field goal.

Both men told Williams that he needed to forgive himself and that couldn’t let the fumbles define his entire career. Williams said he took the encouraging words of both men to heart.

“His main message was, ‘Don’t let this hang around,’” Williams said of Byner’s message. “Those words, coming from him, they really meant something. They definitely hit home. He’s been there. He’s dealt with the criticism. He was telling me that he let it hang around too long. It was definitely something that hit somewhere close. I’m taking those words and I’m moving on.”

Branch says that Williams’ work in training camp has been very good and speculates that he may have already nailed down a roster spot. If so, he’ll get a chance to show how much he’s moved on when the season gets underway.

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12 Responses to “Kyle Williams hears from other famous fumblers”
  1. niners816 says: Aug 9, 2012 9:15 AM

    We forgive you, Williams. Just don’t ever touch the ball unless you’re in the endzone. Go Niners!!!

  2. ytsejamer1 says: Aug 9, 2012 9:16 AM

    He definitely had a bad day at the office and so be it…it happens to everyone now and again. If he can try and put it behind him and go out and make people forget about it, he’ll be stronger for it.

    Wishing him luck…as a Pats fan I was really rooting for the 49ers even though they had a real mean defense. It’s good to see that organization turn around again. That would have been a great SB. (I already knew we were going to lose against the Giants…they have had our number for years)

  3. truthfactory says: Aug 9, 2012 9:22 AM

    Eli Manning went 3 and out like on their last 4 possesions of that game when it was tied in the 4th. Thanks to Williams fumble near their own 20 yard line, the media nicely lables it as another “clutch” performance in the postseason by Eli. Oh how one play can destroy a players reputation while artificially inflating anothers…

  4. sisqsage says: Aug 9, 2012 9:26 AM

    Right now he’s like their No. 4 receiver, so he should make the roster. Not a bad receiver at all, really. Just don’t let him get anywhere near a punt return. He messed up a few big ones at ASU too. Can’t believe we let him stay back there in the NFC title game after he used poor judgement on the first few returns, including the first turnover. He had his head up his ass the whole game.

  5. jpb12 says: Aug 9, 2012 9:38 AM

    Waiting for Bill Buckner

  6. suhdidntstompanyone says: Aug 9, 2012 9:41 AM

    Mark my words:
    San Fran is going to start the season 0-2 with losses to Green Bay and Detroit and they will never be able to recover on their way to a mediocre season.
    Harbaugh will be exposed as a fraud and Alex Smith will still be terrible.

  7. travisblink619 says: Aug 9, 2012 10:03 AM

    I just wonder when these writers are ever going to stop kicking the dead horse. So, Harbaugh is a little eccentric, and miscues every once in a while when speaking to the media. Most genuises in our history have been a little out there. hese writers, however, don’t have any thing else to bag on the 49ers about, so I keep seeing these dumb “diabolical” references. I still say way to go Harbaugh, you’ve brought some pride to fans of a team that has been down in the dumps for years now.

  8. bkostela says: Aug 9, 2012 10:26 AM

    truthfactory says:
    Aug 9, 2012 9:22 AM
    Eli Manning went 3 and out like on their last 4 possesions of that game when it was tied in the 4th. Thanks to Williams fumble near their own 20 yard line, the media nicely lables it as another “clutch” performance in the postseason by Eli. Oh how one play can destroy a players reputation while artificially inflating anothers…

    ———————————————————-

    that sounds good and all, but is actually way off. the giants went 3-and-out on the two possessions immediately after San Fran tied the game with 5 mins left in regulation. in the giants final four possessions of the game, they got at least one first down in each. including the final drive in overtime where the giants took over at the 49ers 24-yd line and drove to the 8-yd line before cashing in on a chip shot field goal to send them to the super bowl.

    in case you were wondering, the 49ers got four possessions in that same time, and went 3-and-out in three of them. the other was the end of regulation. but don’t worry, alex smith is more than just a game manager.

    you can argue until you’re blue in the face whether eli is “clutch” or “elite” but the bottom line is, it doesn’t matter because his team won the game. the same could be said about smith if his team had won.

  9. briank1ne says: Aug 9, 2012 10:59 AM

    you guys love making up excuses…sure everyone makes mistakes but lets take a look back. Kyle williams made two fumbles that day. if it werent for him the giants may have only scored 7 points that day. and the niners win. earlier in the game he screwed up a trick play as well. ok. so thats 3 mishaps. now lets go back to the monday nighter vs. pitts. he screwed up a punt return there as well. although it was called interference by the refs. even though…. it really wasnt. kyle williams better not be fielding any punts this year. or taking any pitches behind the line of scrimmage. let him drop something from a forward pass. sheesh.

  10. truthfactory says: Aug 9, 2012 11:36 AM

    that sounds good and all, but is actually way off. the giants went 3-and-out on the two possessions immediately after San Fran tied the game with 5 mins left in regulation. in the giants final four possessions of the game, they got at least one first down in each. including the final drive in overtime where the giants took over at the 49ers 24-yd line and drove to the 8-yd line before cashing in on a chip shot field goal to send them to the super bowl.

    in case you were wondering, the 49ers got four possessions in that same time, and went 3-and-out in three of them. the other was the end of regulation. but don’t worry, alex smith is more than just a game manager.

    you can argue until you’re blue in the face whether eli is “clutch” or “elite” but the bottom line is, it doesn’t matter because his team won the game. the same could be said about smith if his team had won.
    ———
    I did not lookup the exact game log, i just remember watching the game thinking that Eli had several opprtunities to come up with a clutch drive and failed. He had 4 CHANCES in the last 5 min of the game and failed all 4 times. A couple times he threw passed right into the SF Defenders hands and they dropped easy INTs.

    My point is that was an “anti-clutch” performance that has been labled as clutch by the media, when the reality was his D played insanely well down the stretch and Williams fumble is what got them their win… Not a clutch performance from eli

  11. dukemarc says: Aug 9, 2012 12:02 PM

    Jerry Rice should have given him a call too since he had that big fumble at the end of the ’98 Wildcard game against the Packers….oh wait, the refs missed that one, didn’t they.

  12. dirtyjersey9er says: Aug 9, 2012 12:15 PM

    The “5 number 1 receivers” gag is so much funnier the 900th time you guys add it to a story. So is the 3,000th “diabolical press” line. I get it you have the new partnership so instead of using the humor and charm this site used to have back in the day you gotta beat a dead horse. But at least make sure it is funny please?

    I really hope Kyle Williams bounces back in a big way if for no other reason than to make the few who did the death threats look completely and utterly dumb.

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