Cary Williams on Patriots: 'They are cheaters'

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Cary Williams on Patriots: 'They are cheaters'

Later this month, the Eagles will head to Foxboro for a series of joint practices against the Patriots leading up to their preseason game. Last year, the Patriots came to Philly for the same purpose.

Eagles cornerback Cary Williams made it clear Friday that he’s no fan of practicing against other teams, especially the Patriots, the culprits of the “Spygate” scandal.

“They are cheaters,” Williams said. “They are.”

In 2007, the Pats were fined $250,000 by the NFL and docked a 2008 first-round pick for illegally videotaping opponents’ defensive signals. Head coach Bill Belichick, who’s still the head coach, was fined an additional $500,000.

Williams, whose disdain for the Patriots goes back to his days with the arch-rival Ravens and their heated playoff showdown, said there’s no benefit to practicing against other teams, especially a team with New England’s “history.”

“You don’t wanna give any — I don’t care whether it’s the Patriots or it’s the the dang Bengals, whoever it is — you don’t want to give them an opportunity to look at your stuff,” he said. “That’s just me, from a personal standpoint. I don’t want to show none of my cards.

“So to me it’s not benefiting us because they’ve already proven who they are (from Spygate), that’s their history. And I don’t like them, not only because of that, but because I just don’t like them. I played them three of four times in a row [in the playoffs].”

Williams said he also hates the Steelers, one of Baltimore’s division rivals, and is developing a distaste for other NFC East teams, but he reserved the “cheaters” label exclusively for the Patriots and noted their Super Bowl drought since Spygate penalties were levied.

“I’m trying not to go into details about it or disrespect that organization because I give that organization nothing but ... you still got to go out there and play the game,” he said. “All the credit. I give them all the credit in the world. But one fact still remains, they haven’t won a Super Bowl since they got caught.”

He then added, “You got caught. I know you’re gonna be looking at the film when we go out there. That’s just that. I don’t want to show them my card. That’s just me, not them. Not them. Every team is gonna look at it anyway. We’re gonna look at what they do too.”

Williams made his displeasure known last year, when he was booted from a joint practice after scuffling with a New England wideout. Eagles coach Chip Kelly and Belichick, coaching pals, made a prior agreement that any player caught tussling would be kicked out of practice.

The Ravens and Patriots met three times in the playoffs when Williams played for Baltimore, with the Ravens winning twice. They squared off in the AFC Championship Game twice, with New England winning 23-20 in 2011 and Baltimore prevailing 28-13 the following season.

Joint practices have become trendy around the league. The Patriots are also having combined sessions with the Redskins this summer. Last year and in 2012, the Pats practiced against the Buccaneers leading up to a preseason game.

The Eagles never had joint practices in Andy Reid’s 14 seasons. Before last year, the hadn’t practiced against another team in the preseason since working out with the Bills in 1998.

Williams said the game intensity is lost when teams practice against each other leading up.

“I like the mystery, you know what I mean?” he said. “I used to like the mystery, where you just come into camp, you do your camp, you go against those other guys and you get that itch to go hit some other guys. When you’re practicing against other guys, other teams early on, you don’t get that itch. That itch is gone.

“And then there’s certain things in practice [last year] that I didn’t agree with that went down, so I know it’s going to be the same thing this year. To me, I didn’t see how we benefited from that practice at all. And maybe it’s because I do not like the Patriots.”

Training camp is a week old, and this marks the third time Williams has sounded off about a certain topic. First, he said he likes to see fights in camp. Then, he explained why he should be considered one of the league's elite cornerbacks.

This is all somewhat surprising because in the spring, he said wouldn't be as outspoken as he was last year.

"I don't think I'm going to change much, but I think I'll be [wiser] with what I have to say," Williams said in April. "I'll be a little bit [smarter] before I react and talk a lot more."

Never change, Cary.

Eagles select RB Donnel Pumphrey with 2nd 4th-round pick

Eagles select RB Donnel Pumphrey with 2nd 4th-round pick

The Eagles moved up seven spots in the fourth round Saturday to draft the most prolific rusher in NCAA Division I history.

The Eagles shipped their second fourth-round pick, No. 139, and their seventh-round pick, No. 230, to move up to No. 132 and select San Diego State running back Donnel Pumphrey.

Pumphrey (see bio) piled up an NCAA-record 6,405 rushing yards in four years at San Diego State, breaking the Division I record of 6,397 yards set by Overbook High graduate Ron Dayne.

Pumphrey surpassed 1,600 yards and 17 touchdown runs in each of his last three seasons, including a Division I best 2,133 yards last year.

He averaged 6.0 yards per carry in his career to go with 99 catches for 1,039 yards and finished with 67 total TDs, including five receiving.

The Eagles are unsettled at running back, with Ryan Mathews in limbo and only 2016 fifth-round draft pick Wendell Smallwood and veteran Darren Sproles in the mix.

In Pumphrey, the Eagles get a 5-foot-9, 180-pounder who had an incredible 1,158 touches in college, an average of 21.4 per game.

Pumphrey is the first San Diego State player the Eagles have taken since linebacker Matt McCoy in the second round in 2005.

The fourth round is the highest the Eagles have taken a running back in eight years, since they drafted all-time franchise rushing leader LeSean McCoy in 2009. The last running back they selected in the fourth round was Correll Buckhalter out of Nebraska back in 2001.

Eagles draft WR Mack Hollins with 4th-round pick

Eagles draft WR Mack Hollins with 4th-round pick

The Eagles finally drafted a weapon for Carson Wentz.

And it's one Wentz happens to already know. 

With their first of two fourth-round picks (No. 118 overall), the Eagles on Saturday afternoon selected North Carolina wide receiver Mack Hollins.

Hollins (6-4, 221 pounds) was actually one of the prospects Wentz worked out with while in California earlier this offseason. Hollins and Wentz share an agent, which is why they were together, but both seemed to enjoy their time. 

Hollins caught passes for one or two days from Wentz, who he called a "special" quarterback. 

"He's the type of quarterback where it's almost like you don't even need to catch the ball, he puts it where it needs to be," Hollins said on a conference call with Philly reporters after the pick. "Immediately, you can feel that connection with him."

During their brief time in California working together, Hollins said Wentz installed some of the Eagles' plays and began to teach him for their brief throwing sessions. When asked if he told Wentz to put in a good word for him, Hollins said he didn't and thought his play would speak for itself. 

Now, he's excited to get to work with Wentz again. 

"A lot of guys can throw the ball far, but he can throw it far and throw it accurately," Hollins said. "He's really special. I've thrown with a lot of quarterbacks but he's definitely at the top."

While Hollins and Wentz were put together because of their agency — Rep1 Sports — the Eagles said they would listen to any input their franchise quarterback had.  

"If he has insight because he worked out with a particular guy or knows a guy from college, then we want that information," Eagles VP of football operations Howie Roseman said to CSNPhilly last week.

It sounds like the Eagles liked what they heard from Wentz about Hollins. 

Hollins suffered a collarbone injury in October that needed surgery, but on Saturday said he's completely healed. He caught 16 passes for 309 yards in his abbreviated senior season. In 2014 and 2015, he caught 65 passes for 1,358 yards and 16 touchdowns. 

While Hollins is a big receiver, he still ran a 4.53 at the combine and proved to be a true deep threat in college. Hollins led the NCAA in yards per reception as a junior (24.8 average) and averaged 20.6 yards per catch during his career, which set a UNC record. 

"I don't think there's anybody who's a better deep threat than me," he said. 

He's raw as a receiver, but is a very skilled special teams player. Last season, the Eagles had a lack of receivers who could play on special teams. In college, Hollins was a huge special teams contributor and was on all four teams units. 

When Hollins took his pre-draft visit to Philly, he got a chance to meet with Eagles special teams coordinator Dave Fipp and is looking forward to joining one of the better special teams units in the NFL. 

"I love special teams," Hollins said. "You have one opportunity, one play to make a difference and I take that play very seriously. I know a lot of college players let their pride get in the way, but I think special teams is either field position or it's points so I think it's as important as any offensive or defensive snap."