Gregg Williams expects players to practice if they want to play

Getty Images

Browns free safety Damarious Randall has been a fixture on the injury report, but he was always able to get back on the field for games on Sunday.

At least until Gregg Williams took over as interim head coach.

Via Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, Williams said a lot of words and effectively confirmed that he wants players to practice during the week if they want to suit up.

Randall sat out practice last Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, but tested his sore groin in pregame and seemed ready to play, but he was deactivated.

“Through lots of trials and experiments for a long time, I do believe that we as coaches set them up to fail if they can’t practice during the week,” Williams said. “I’ve never been with any person that couldn’t practice during the week to walk out there and though they were good enough at this level to do it. It’s different than the NBA, and it is different than baseball.

“Football, you set them up for a failure so in order to get their body reaction time correct and their power response time correct, there needs to be a full speed rep or two before you get into the Sunday game. We have always had that wherever I’ve been is that you need to be able to practice on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday in order to go into the game without being set up for failure.”

Williams said he was willing to take into account the age and experience of the player involved. They could have used him last week, after starting cornerbacks Denzel Ward and E.J. Gaines were injured on the first drive against the Chiefs, since Randall has cornerback experience.

“What I do is I kind of take it into effect on the overall health, the age of the player, the experience of the player and kind of build it all into a thing and then it comes down to instincts — my instincts and their instincts — but I do listen to them,” Williams said.

Randall seemed to suggest he was ready, but Williams obviously disagreed. We’ll see this week if that impacts his willingness or ability to practice.