Cary Williams not concerned about missing offseason practices

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Once, voluntary offseason workouts actually were voluntary.  At some point, however, these practices became “voluntary” in name only.

But the NFL and its 32 teams still use the label.  Which makes it refreshing when a player chooses to take advantage of that outdated description.

In Philadelphia, newly-signed cornerback Cary Williams has opted not to show up for optional practices, arriving only recently.  And when he showed up, Williams ended up not in the starting lineup.

“That’s what Coach [Chip Kelly] wants, that’s what he’s doing, and that’s fine with me,” Williams said, via Zach Berman of the Philadelphia Inquirer.  “It’s just one of those things where I missed a couple of weeks, guys have been here, and Coach has given them an opportunity.  And that’s fine.  OTAs are OTAs.  When we get the pads on, it’s a different thing.”

Per Berman, Kelly attributed Williams’ absence from the first week of OTAs to his wedding and honeymoon.  Williams, however, said he had other issues to deal with, including building a house and dental work.

“Just because it was OTAs doesn’t mean I need to derail my plans for a situation like that,” Williams said. “Not being disrespectful.  Everybody has their own personal life and things to take care of.  And in my life, I have something to take care of, and I felt that was important. . . . As far as I’m concerned, I did what was more important to me at the time, and family is the most important thing.”

The problem for Williams and anyone else who misses offseason practice — for whatever reason — comes from the possible creation of a gap that may never be bridged.  Last year, for example, Rams second-round running back Isaiah Pead fell behind due to the outdated rule that prevents players from joining offseason workouts until their colleges complete final exams.  Pead landed behind seventh-rounder Daryl Richardson on the depth chart, and Pead never was able to pass him.

While Williams is confident that “the cream will rise to the top” once padded practices begin in training camp, there are now fewer opportunities for that to happen, because there are fewer padded practices.  It can happen for Williams or anyone else who misses offseason workouts, but he’s taking a calculated risk that he won’t be able to unseat someone who chose to show up for voluntary practices.

That’s Williams’ prerogative.  And as long as the NFL continues to try to call these practices “voluntary,” we support anyone who chooses to stay home — as long as he realizes that it could in some cases mean staying on the sidelines come September.

19 responses to “Cary Williams not concerned about missing offseason practices

  1. Couldn’t agree more. To sum things up–whether you like it or not you will have to take responsibility for your actions. I understand the importance of family but starting in the NFL is a once in a lifetime opportunity. Williams’ may come to regret his decision. NFL=not for long.

  2. If Williams isn’t the starter…who do you have in that slot? Curtis Marsh? We aren’t deep at corner. Boykin is a slot guy, and not too hot on the outside

  3. The issue with Williams won’t be whether he’s a dedicated teammate. He is.

    The issue will be whether he can cover effectively. He shouldn’t have any problem with the Skins receivers, but everyone else will be a challenge.

  4. At some point, you have to start questioning Roseman’s ability to bring in free agents who love football more than money.

  5. “But we’re talking about practice man. What are we talking about? Practice? We’re talking about practice, man. We’re talking about practice. We’re talking about practice. We ain’t talking about the game. We’re talking about practice, man. When you come to the arena, and you see me play, you see me play don’t you? You’ve seen me give everything I’ve got, right? But we’re talking about practice right now.” – another Philly athlete

  6. he feels a bit more confident about his roster spot seeing that he just signed a 3 year deal and its basically impossible for them to cut him this year

  7. The guy was getting married and worked all this out before his contract was signed! He has done and said everything you could ask so far. He’s going to beat out Marsh and start with Fletcher.

  8. At the End of the day you really can’t be mad at Williams because the key word is voluntary. He’s not a rookie, yes I understand this is a new system but I think he will be fine and will be a starter come week 1.

  9. totally disagreed with this signing.

    this is the same punk that was throwing bow’s at the ref’s in the supper bowl.
    he also had a couple of unsportsmanlike episodes during the playoffs..

    now this guy isn’t worried about joining his team??
    gotta question his heart and composure.

    I’m betting Williams was a mistake.
    Hope he proves me wrong, but i doubt it.

  10. Coming from a Ravens fan, Cary is one of the hardest workers there is. There should be no issue with him missing OTAs. His coverage, on the other hand, may be an issue…

  11. He shouldn’t have trouble adjusting to the system once he gets here. There’s no one on the roster that’s going to beat him out for the starting spot. And I’m sure Howie, Chip and the rest of the organization knew he was getting married and building a house when they signed him.

  12. He has the benefit of every team with two starting corners. When you are in a position like QB, RB, C, K, P that there are only one who can play at a time it is an entirely different story.

    Right now it is a non-story for a person to miss “voluntary” workouts. Yes, someone can pass him, but there are two starting CBs and at least 3 reserves. He’ll be fine.

  13. Eagles fans shouldn’t worry about Cary missing OTA’s. Instead they should be worried that Cary Williams is their best option at CB. THAT is scary.

  14. Not exactly what you call “All In”.

    You mean to tell me there is no way to work your personal issues around OTA’s, training camp, and the regular season? I mean, you play football for 5-6 months of the year for Christ Sake! There’s 2 months or so between OTA’s and training camp.

    The rest of those guys out there sweating have personal things to take care of too. A Team guy would work around his working schedule, to not only show he’s trying to get better with his new team but to show he cares about the team too.

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