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Point of Veau: Criticism of Tramon Williams Is Cringe-Worthy

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Point of Veau: Criticism of Tramon Williams Is Cringe-Worthy

I happen to see criticism of Green Bay Packers cornerback Tramon Williams with unfortunate frequency on social media, whether it be the comments section right here at Cheesehead TV or our Facebook page or my Twitter stream.

To share some examples with our readers, I did a quick Twitter search of "Tramon Williams" on Monday, and here's the reaction the reaction from Sunday night's Packers' 44-31 victory over the Vikings.

Yup, last night.

By constantly, I'm sure he meant to say "infrequently."

Actually, only one of his penalties last night was inexcusable. That was one play out of 49 he was on the field.

One person actually favorited this tweet.

Does "anyone" include Calvin Johnson?

Okay, so it wasn't Sunday night that Williams shutdown Calvin Johnson. That came at Detroit at 2011 and in Green Bay in 2012.

And I guess that basically gets to the crux of the issue regarding Williams. He's not the player he once was.

In 2010, he was the Most Outstanding Player of the Packers' Super Bowl season, at least according to one blogger. It was in 2011 that Williams suffered a debilitating shoulder injury, and he hasn't been the same since.

But it's not as if Williams has been playing poorly. Yes, he's had the occasional poor play or poor game, like he did last year against the Vikings in the season finale when he got ran over by Adrian Peterson on multiple occasions.

Williams, however, wasn't about to suffer the same fate again. He took down Peterson in the open field on Sunday, on a play the Vikings running back could have and should have been flagged for initiating contact with his helmet.

Yes, for as much credit as the Packers big defensive line gets for stuffing the run, Williams and the defensive backs were also part of the effort in helping to limit Peterson to just 60 rushing yards on Sunday.

It probably shouldn't come as a surprise to see casual fans criticizing Williams, who plays a position where players frequently only get their name mentioned when they make a mistake.

The casual fan only hears Williams' name on the broadcast last night after he was called for two pass interference penalties, one of which was as bad a call as they come.

Or they bemoan the fact that he dropped what could have been a pick-six, but neglecting to acknowledge the distance that Williams covered to break up the pass in the first place.

What people don't see or hear is when Williams is shutting down the receiver across the line of scrimmage for him.

According to ProFootballFocus.com, Williams allowed only one of four passes targeted in his direction to be completed for a mostly harmless nine yards on Sunday.

The veteran Packers cornerback finished with a positive 1.3 rating for the game, which also included a hit on quarterback Christian Ponder coming on a blitz. A total of 15 Packers defenders received a lower grade than Williams for the Vikings game.

Is Williams playing at a Pro Bowl level? Absolutely not.

But if you want to see poor cornerback play, go back to the days of Ahmad Carroll and Joey Thomas in the not-so-distant past. Based upon some comments on social media, you'd think Williams is in that category, but far from it.

The Packers are experiencing a luxury of riches at cornerback now that Casey Hayward is healthy and played his first game of the season in Week 8. And that's in addition to the superb play from Sam Shields, an understated impact by Davon House and a newly healthy Jarrett Bush too.

Certainly, feel free to make the argument that House deserves more playing time. Or Hayward needs to play a bigger role. Even make the case that the Packers need to renegotiate Williams' contract in the offseason.

But don't go overboard like the folks on social media above. It's unfair. And embarrassing.

Brian Carriveau is the author of the book "It's Just a Game: Big League Drama in Small Town America," and editor of Cheesehead TV's "Pro Football Draft Preview." To contact Brian, email carriveau@uwalumni.com.

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (61) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

jmac3444's picture

Those PI penalties were pretty awful and

Derek in CO's picture

His coverage skills are still pretty good, but he cannot tackle. He'll be behind House, Shields, and Hayward next year.

bryce's picture

He had a solid tackle on Peterson.

Derek in CO's picture

I think he looks scared when he has to make a tackle, and shies away from making those hits when he has to. Lots of chasing from behind.

TheWiscoKid's picture

"Next" year?!? Try again. Hyde will have his spot by the offseason. Tramon will be traded or released.

Stroh's picture

Ha ha... Next year, Williams will re-negotiate or be released. But Hyde won't be starting that's for damn sure. He'll still be behind House and Hayward, both of whom are better options at CB than Hyde! No way he starts in Tramon's spot next year.

Nobody is gonna trade for him and his contract either so you can forget a trade! Hyde will still be the #4 CB at best next year!

some guy's picture

Right. He'll be the 4th-best CB on the team, aka "Tramon's spot."

Michael B's picture

I agree with part of this but not all. I agree that he is not close to as bad as Amad Carrlo was. God was that bad.

But he is not even close to his 2010 self. Just look to the one play yesterday where he stepped in front of the route and broke up the play. In 2010 he steps in front and its a pick six. He is just not fast enough anymore.

The other CB we have are better on the team. Sam Shields is a stud (we nee to lock him up sooon) and House is playing well.

Tramon is just not a starter anymore

Stroh's picture

He's still a starting CB in the NFL. If not w/ the Packers he'll be starting somewhere. He could easily fall down the depth chart if he remains in GB tho. House and Hayward are gonna move up the depth chart. He's better off leaving GB for an opportunity to start on another team.

Joao's picture

The one thing that bothers me about Tramon is his tendency to try to strip the football before securing the tackle. Still, I think his veteran presence is very important to the secondary. He's the best slot guy Packers have, at least until Hayward shows he's fully healthy.

Derek in CO's picture

Yes, afraid to tackle.

Randy's picture

Bears Tilman makes all pro using the same technique you decry here.

bryce's picture

Agreed Brian, the Packers could do a lot worse, that's for sure

Nikko's picture

Brian,
I didn't notice Hayward at all last night (granted I was more distracted/drunk than usual). Did he get on the field on defense or special teams?

Brian Carriveau's picture

He played 23 snaps on defense. If he played on special teams, I didn't notice.

Derek in CO's picture

I certainly didn't notice him at all.

D B H's picture

I noticed he blitzed from the slot a couple times - with minimal impact. I was wondering why it wasn't Hyde.

I bleed Green More's picture

I saw him on a few plays.

MarkinMadison's picture

I made the comment yesterday that I'd be surprised if Williams is with the Packers next year. I also defended Williams frequently last year, and even went so far as to argue that he drew all of the tough assignments last year, and his stats needed to be viewed through that lense. But Sam Shields needs to be paid. House is on the rise. Hayward will hopefully get back to form. Hyde is proving to be better than anyone had a right to expect. All at CB. I think you need to make some cap space in this position group. So I will be surprised if Williams is here next year. Reminds me a lot of when Al Harris was released a few years ago. Better too early than too late.

And saying that first PI was his fault is ridiculous. The most you can say for the ref is that Williams touched the guy and his hips happened to turn. That call was just bad, bad bad.

Matt L's picture

I dont get why people are so quick to want to get rid of Tramon, he is still a pretty good CB. Sure we have some rising young guys but with a team that seems to have health issues every year I just do not get Packers fans need to jettison players that are still playing good. Sure I think they need to rework his deal, however if they can afford to I say keep him. Quality deep depth is never a bad thing, especially at a critical position like CBs.

Juice Maloose's picture

I think people are looking at his cap number when making such statements.

For the record, I fully agree with Brian's article. That said, I don't know that his level play (as solid as it is) justifies the 5.9 million he's earning this year or the 6.9 he's scheduled to earn next season.

That said, I'd be happy to keep him around on a re-negotiated (i.e. much cheaper) contract. He does have value left in him as a player.

Mojo's picture

I agree with what Matt L said. He's still a very good corner. Probably will be released next year if he doesn't accept a cut, but that's more a function of the cap than his play.

BTW, I saw an up close replay of last nights near pick by Tramon. The WR was hand-fighting for the ball and poked the ball out before Tramon could secure. No DB on our roster would have made the pick either.

If you want to get on him then I guess you could say his tackling has been suspect the last few years, I believe in large part because of his debilitating injury. Otherwise, he's still a good coverage corner.

Stroh's picture

Not sure I agree w/ this... "No DB on our roster would have made the pick either."

With Shields closing speed he might have had a very good chance of jumping that route for a pick 6. But his closing speed is extraordinary. Easily the best on the team. That said Tramon made a very good play on the ball and was just a split second late.

Idiot Fan's picture

Yep, I'm with you guys. IF he will stay at a cheaper price, I'm more than happy to have him.

Archie's picture

TW is a dime back only at this pointy in his career. His salary needs to come down from $7MM/yr to about $1.5MM. I was his biggest supporter prior to 2010 and enjoyed his spectacular level of play in 2010 but once he took the hit to the shoulder from Nick Collins in early 2011, and had his big contract in his pocket, he has gone from blue chip to just another guy.

Brett Favre's picture

I'll play CB. Put me back in coach.

Tundraboy's picture

Lets see how the year plays out first. No need to stress about this at all thanks to talent in House!!!

PackerBacker's picture

Problem is that he has no incentive to take a pay cut, even if he should. He won't negotiate unless they add a bunch of years or add guaranteed $. They'll have to cut him to get rid of his salary. Anybody know what his cap hit is next year?
I agree with some above that he's not earning his high salary, but is he worth cutting? Is he worth paying a cap hit for someone who is playing for someone else? Those are tough questions to answer.

Brian Carriveau's picture

Ryan Grant. A.J. Hawk. Mason Crosby. All examples of renegotiating without adding years or guaranteed money.

Brian Carriveau's picture

Add Donald Driver to that list too.

PackerBacker's picture

All players that you could argue were playing awful football. TW doesn't fit that category.

Bibbon Hazel's picture

Tramon is going to have to be added to this restructured list if not just to keep a spot in Green Bay but also to afford the Packers the ability to afford Sam Shields contract, which keeps getting pricier every week he shuts down the number one WR on the opposition. TW will be cut or his salary will be cut cause that money needs to go to Shields!!

Stroh's picture

He's got a huge cap hit in '14. 9.5M according to this usually reliable source.
http://www.spotrac.com/nfl/green-bay-packers/tramon-williams/

If they release him it still counts 2M as dead money, but my guess is the Packers will take the dead money to get rid of that contract. Just way to high to justify his level of play, even if he is a starter. Especially w/ the younger, cheaper options of House and Hayward ready to step up.

Archie's picture

Then cut him. Shields gets his money and House gets his job. Hayward is nickel and Hyde is dime. We move forward.

Paul Ott Carruth's picture

Sam Shields has taken over the duties of shut down corner on the team. The team will have to decide if Shields is worth the big pay day. If he were to hit the market today he'd command the highest pay day of any FA corner in the league. Therein lies the problem. Tramon is no longer a shutdown corner and to have one on your team makes playing coverage exponentially easier. If the Packers pony up the money to Shields Tramon will have to restructure his contract or else face being cut. It will be interesting to see how it plays out. Unfortunately for Tramon the Packers are well stocked at the corner positions. I don't really see much difference between House and Williams at this point except the size of the contract. Perhaps Tramon's ability to play the slot coupled with Hayward's injury prone start to the season may be his saving grace.

MarkinMadison's picture

I agree with all but the last bit. I would agree with that last bit, but Hyde seems to be a natural in the slot. So I don't know that they need Williams as insurance for Hayward, specifically. It would be good to have him generally though, at the right price.

Fish crane's picture

Worried about Williams. Talk about a kings problem

FranklinHillside's picture

My thoughts exactly.

These people drain me.

The TKstinator's picture

The coaches grade every player every play every game. Their evaluations are light years more accurate than those of even the most ardent fan. To think we know better is ignorance personified.

"Hey, that PI sucked!"
"TW screws up all the time"

I don't know everything, but I know BS when I hear it.

ZeroTolerance's picture

So true. 100,000 GM's out there.

The TKstinator's picture

Thank you!
That makes two of us, at least.

Zero Tolerance (for blowhard dumbasses)

ben's picture

2014 53 man depth chart
QB: Rodgers, Flynn(2year), #6draftpick
RB: Lacey, DuJuan, Franklin, #7draftpick
FB: #5draftpick
WR: Cobb(extended4), Jordy, #1draftpick, Boykins, Harper
TE: Finley, Stoneburner, #2draftpick, Bostick
OL: Bakhtiari, Sitton, EDS(4year), Lang, Bulaga(extended4), Barclay, Tretter, Sharrod
DL: Neal(3year), Daniels(extended5), Datone, Jolly(2year), #3draftpick, Boyd, RFA
LB: Matthews, Perry, Jones, Hawk, Lattimore(tendered), RFA, Mulumba, Palmer
CB: House(extended5), Shields(franchised), Tramon(honored), Hyde
S: Burnett, Hayward, Richardson, #4draftpick, banjo, mcmillian
ST: Goode, Crosby, Masthay
Let go: Raji, Pickett, JJones, Bush, Kuhn, m.d., newhouse, quarless, francois, starks, taylor & wilson. = -$23million

Steven's picture

So hayward at safety? No flipping way. I think safety or tight end in the first and the other in the second. Wr in the third.

The TKstinator's picture

Yeah I don't anticipate Hayward moving to S either.

Right now I would agree S and TE (who knows what will come of Finley) are GB's biggest needs. But maybe some players will emerge at one or both of those spots yet this season? Banjo? Richardson? Bostick? We shall see.

The TKstinator's picture

Interesting takes. Who knows? Time will tell!

Mojo's picture

Wow, projected draft choices, extensions, tagging and everything. I've seen early roster predictions before, but this beats them all.

Norman's picture

How about showing us the 46 man active roster for the opener?

Weezy685's picture

Jerel Worthy???

larry valdes's picture

The first one it wasnot pass interfirance the referie most be down grade.

ZeroTolerance's picture

spelling, grammer, what?

The TKstinator's picture

One step away from grunts and clicks, brother.

hump's picture

well ben,i like your optimism,but sorry to say,your cuts give us 23mil in cap space,but your extensions add about 40mil. shields alone would be 12 mil,and cobb is gonna command top 10 money,so if he's extended this off season, you can figure at least 5 to 7 mil will have to be added to next years salary so the cap hit wont be insane for him in the upcoming yrs.add on flynn 1.5mil ,eds 2.5mil,bulaga 6mil,neal 4mil,jolly 4mil,daniels 3mil,plus whatever arod and clay III's contracts escalate and add on jordys need for extension,plus rookie pool of 7mil and your lookin at prbly 50mil over the cap,minus the 10 we now have available. so basiclly 40 mil over,give or take 10 mil.in other words,shields,jones and raji are long gone,no way that we have money under cap to pay any of them. SAD BUT TRUE!!! STAY CALM...CARRY ON

ben's picture

We are currently paying these same players about 10 million / year. So you'd have the 23 or so million from cuts plus the 10 or so you are already paying them anyway. Plus current cap space, Plus any raise in the cap, plus any renegotiating or restructuring, plus discounts for extending before many of these contracts are up in the 1st place, plus a couple hometown/coming of injury/or history of drug problems discounts.

It's doable.

some guy's picture

Hey yo I'ma let you finish but Matt Flynn hasn't been on this team in two years. If they wanted him back, he'd be on the team.

marcopo's picture

We'll have the whole off season to debate caps, etc. Right now, Brian makes a good point. Williams may not be making flashy plays, but he's way above average. I was mad as hell at Williams for his poor tackling last year, but it revealed in the off season he was still suffering injury. I'll give him the benefit of the doubt. His tackling this year has improved dramatically. The entire backfield has been too conservative in breaking for the ball, but the overall coverage has been excellent. As the newbies gain confidence, we'll see far more INT's.

Archie's picture

There's a good chance we lose both Shields and TW in the off-season. Both have become too expensive. Ditto Raji and Pickett. Ditto Finley unless his injury scares everybody off and signs a one year contract to stay in GB to prove his worth. We will be lucky to re-sign Jones.

Stroh's picture

All doom and gloom all the time! I'm very sure TT and Ball have the situation under control and they will be able to keep our important players. Packers aren't run by amateurs!

The TKstinator's picture

+1

some guy's picture

lol, Pro Football Focus citation. Some random unpaid volunteer game charter thinks Tramon had a good game, huh? Well I guess that settles it.

I have no idea what Brian's on about with Tramon shutting down Megatron, unless guys who need safety help are the new definition of shutdown corners. And I like how the evidence that Tramon can still shut people down is... 2 games. If he's still that good, you shouldn't have trouble thinking of more. I guess you could bring up Brandon Marshall, but then we're right back to safety help.

Tramon was fantastic in 2010, but he's stunk up the field ever since. It's ok to admit that. You don't have to go into ultra-reactionary mode and go out looking for tweets to get angry about.

Kellz's picture

You sound silly as hell. You know every corner in the league has safety help. Yes, even the beloved Seattle cornerbacks. They are allowed to play more freely bc they have the best safety in the league shadowing. Tramon very seldom has safety help over the top. You go back and watch film.
It's hilarious how fans want players gone bc one player had a good season last year. If Tramon has 6 int at the end of the season, y'all would be singing a different tune.

ay hombre's picture

Congratulations. You've successfully argued that Tramon Williams isn't as bad as Ahmad Carrol. Well done.

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