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Does Cary Williams have future in coaching?
Cary Williams got burnt by Calvin Johnson for 33 yards in the first quarter -- and it turned out to be the best thing that could have happened for the Eagles in a 34-20 win. (AP)
Here's why a defensive back hates the snow.
Late in the first quarter, Calvin Johnson ran a post on Cary Williams. When Johnson made his cut, he separated from Williams, and Matthew Stafford found him for a 33-yard completion.
Johnson knew where he was supposed to go. Williams didn't. Which is normally the case, but on dry ground, a good corner relies on his closing speed to hopefully catch up while the ball is in the air.
The snow -- especially the eight inches that fell Sunday at the Linc during the Eagles' 34-20 victory (see story) over the Lions -- all but negates a corner's ability to recover.
"I got beat on a post. It wasn't that I couldn't run with Calvin," Williams said. "It was when I tried to turn, I was sliding initially. I didn't get that initial grab into the ground the way I wanted to.
"You raise the ground up six, seven, eight inches maybe. It was difficult to turn and get your movements. And then on top of that, if you did turn, it was hard to get that foot in the ground, so you were sliding."
Here's why that completion to Johnson actually helped the Eagles. Early in the third quarter, Williams approached head coach Chip Kelly.
"I just kinda told Coach, 'Hey man, let's go with the post and fades even, because guys can't turn and run in these particular conditions. The field is elevated in some areas. And then you get the ice up under you in your cleats. You step and you may slip. Some of the things that I was going through -- I relayed the message to him and tried to take advantage of the situation.
"It was great that a head coach had confidence in a guy that has nothing to do with offense."
So later in the third quarter, with the Eagles trailing 14-0, Foles threw deep to Riley Cooper, who corralled the ball for a 44-yard completion. One play later, Foles found DeSean Jackson for a 19-yard score (luckily the snow made it tough to tell whether Jackson had stepped out and come back in), and the Eagles' offense finally kicked into gear.
Before Cooper's catch, Foles was 6 for 15 passing for 51 yards.
"It was a real big play, a real tough catch," Kelly said. "That was almost a little bit of confidence that we can get some throws off."
But it started with Williams' message.
"He was like, 'Coach, this is what you've got to do because you can't make up speed if the guy makes a stick move on you just because of the footing,'" Kelly said. "Cary was kind of the one -- and it's coming from a defensive guy saying hey, if you have an opportunity to either throw a post or a corner route, it's hard to make up. Finally we hit Riley on it. It was almsot like that kind of got us going, got our confidence back a little bit, and then we got rolling there."
Williams, a fifth-year veteran, doesn't normally suggest play-calls for the offense.
"I don't really comment on anything that goes on on the offense. I try to handle my business," Williams said. "But I figured, if I was going through it, those other DBs are going through it. And if it was difficult and frustrating for me, I'm sure it's difficult and frustrating for them."