But the difference between Rowand and Williams is that Rowand was a mostly humble, blue collar, hard-nosed outfielder who let his actions do the talking. Williams may just be an asshole.
It was funny when Williams chewed up and spit back out questions from Howard Eskin during an introductory press conference. But then he missed OTAs to pick out sconces, came off like an entitled brat whilst speaking with Mike Missanelli, and now… his explanation for throwing down with the Patriots during joint practices last week:
“I understood what would happen, but there a reason behind what I did,” Williams said. “There was a method behind what I did. They came into our house talking. They had a lot of jokes and ‘tee-hees’ and laughs. Dirty plays that were going on.
“I knew we weren’t supposed to do anything, but when I see one of our guys get blocked in the back, it’s hard not to retaliate. Being a doormat is something I’m not used to.”
OK– I like that. Got his back. Though I’m not sure being a doormat is as much of an actual thing as a gentlemanly agreement between two teams not to injure each other during training camp.
But it’s not like Williams was questioning the developing culture in Philly.
“I came from a different culture, a different life,” Williams said. “We had a certain way of doing things. It definitely would have been a different situation if this had happened in Baltimore. It wouldn’t have been a fun practice for the Patriots, I can tell you that.
“Every time I strap on my pads, my teammates become my family. Every time I strap up, it’s almost like a religion.”
Yes, it would have been a different practice against AFC rival Patriots in Baltimore. It also would have been a different practice had the Eagles been facing the Giants or Redskins. Because, you see, they won’t play the Patriots this season unless it’s in the Super Bowl. There was little incentive to throw haymakers against their sparring partner.
Williams seems to think he’s Deion Sanders in his Prime. He’s not. He’s a Super Bowl-winning cornerback who was thought of so highly by his former team that they forgot to re-sign him. Football is a religion, you say? Try showing up to optional mass then. You know, the Rowand thing– walk the talk.
Chip Kelly offered the following in response to Williams’ actions:
“One of the reasons we wanted to participate (in the joint practices) with the Patriots was we knew this wasn’t going to turn into a WWE brawl, because that’s not what it is,” Kelly said Sunday. “It’s a game of football and if you do that in a game, you get thrown out.
“We could go get in a street fight, but that’s not going to help us. There’s a certain way you’re supposed to play this game. It’s between the whistles. The stuff after the whistles is not what we’re looking for.”
Especially in practice, something that Williams hasn’t been doing much of this offseason.