On Sunday, Cary Williams said the Eagles' defense needs to "establish a tenacity." (AP)
On Sunday, Cary Williams said no one fears the Eagles' defense and the team needs to “establish a tenacity.” On Monday, Williams tried to qualify his comments and walk some of it back.
“My intentions were never to bring grief between me and my teammates or me and this coaching staff,” Williams said following Monday’s training camp practice at the NovaCare Complex. “I just had some comments and that was it. I wasn’t trying to be a jerk about the situation or tell anybody what needs to happen. I just feel like we’re trying to build that culture. I think we’re well on our way. I think, to a degree, it was misunderstood.”
Last week, Williams got into a shoving match with Patriots receiver Aaron Dobson (see story). The Eagles’ cornerback was held out of the remainder of practice thereafter. On Sunday, among other comments, Williams said the philosophy in Baltimore (where he played the last three-and-a-half seasons) was to “stop the run, be stout up front, hit people in the mouth, be aggressive. Throw the first punch” (see story). Williams also said the mentality with the Ravens was “nothing like this. I’ll tell you that. This is a different organization, different team, we’ve got a different coach. Different colors. I can’t expect this place to be the same as Baltimore was.”
Williams continued: “It definitely would have been a different situation if it was in Baltimore. It wouldn’t have been a fun practice, I tell you that. It wouldn’t have been a fun practice for the Patriots.”
Williams said he had a conversation with head coach Chip Kelly on Sunday because “it made me uncomfortable.” The comments also seemed to make Kelly uneasy. When told what Williams said, Kelly replied, “We could get into a street fight, but that's not going to help us.”
On Monday, Williams said, “The words I used were taken out of context. I just wanted Chip and Howie Roseman to understand that’s not my intentions. I’m here to be a team player. I’m here to promote the Eagles. I’m here to play my best football.”
When asked what specifically was taken out of context, Williams said, “I didn’t necessarily read the article. I was just bombarded with a bunch of texts [Sunday] about it.”
Despite asserting that his remarks were taken out of context, Williams insisted “a lot of guys did agree” with what he said. It was unclear whether they agreed with the-out-of-context or in-context portions.
During the offseason, the Eagles signed Williams to a three-year deal believed to be worth $17 million. It also reportedly included a $5 million signing bonus. Williams missed much of OTAs and minicamp for various reasons, and a hamstring injury – which kept him out of the preseason opener against New England -- has dogged him throughout training camp (see story).
“He comes from a great team,” Trent Cole said about Williams on Monday. “I expected him to have that kind of mentality coming from a good team like that. I think Cary is a good player. He wants to win just like any of us want to win.”
While Williams and some of his teammates discussed the cornerback’s comments and the context, Eagles defensive coordinator Bill Davis addressed the media in a tent near the players’ entrance to the NovaCare Complex. Asked specifically about what Williams said and whether he agreed, Davis replied, “Every defense in the NFL is striving to be a feared, respected defense.”
The only way to accomplish that, Davis noted, is “not through words and talking about being tough. It’s simply about putting the pads on people and being great at your trade.”