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Tramon Williams' Value -- on and off the Field -- Embodied by His Wisdom

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Tramon Williams' Value -- on and off the Field -- Embodied by His Wisdom

-- When the Green Bay Packers brought home veteran cornerback Tramon Williams in March, they knew they were getting a seasoned leader to help guide a young unit.

They also knew they were getting someone who, despite turning 35 a week before the Packers signed him, can still play at a high level, as evidenced by his lone 2017 season with the Arizona Cardinals.

From his performance on the field to the unbridled level of wisdom and teaching he can bring to the locker room, Williams was potentially the Packers' best free agent signing of the offseason from a pure value perspective, and coach Mike McCarthy recognizes that.

"Tramon brings a whole different level of experience that we've never had here. Never," McCarthy said on Saturday prior to the Packers' second practice of rookie minicamp. "And I say that with great respect to Al Harris and Charles Woodson and those guys."

Williams spent the first eight seasons of his career in Green Bay after being signed as an undrafted free agent during the 2006 season. After being signed by the Cleveland Browns in 2015, it was in Cleveland where Williams would connect with his then-head coach and eventual defensive coordinator, Mike Pettine, for two years.

"Tramon's experience is so unique. He came in here and was on the practice squad, worked his way up, went through the program during some great years there, and then left. And then has a whole new set of experiences. And now he's able to bring that back, see the changes we've made since then.

"He just brings a whole different perspective of leadership and experience to that room."

While the Packers have evolved in ultimately every other facet of how they operate, Williams returns in hopes of emerging as the same capable player he was during his first stint in Green Bay and even while he played under Pettine in Cleveland.

Williams was in Green Bay when the Packers first brought in Pettine's predecessor, Dom Capers, and helped lead a unit that ranked as one of the top secondaries in the NFL for the span of Capers' first two seasons.

According to Williams, the league caught up to what the Packers were doing -- and nothing was done about it.

"I think [Pettine's] defense is modern day, "Williams said Friday on ESPN Wisconsin. "I was here in the era when Dom first came in. When he first came in, the defense was modern era and obviously, the league caught up to it. It was one of those things where the league caught up to it, and you have to make certain adjustments and over the years those adjustments weren't made."

Pettine thrives on creativity and manufacturing a multitude of different ways for his defense to find success -- no matter the parts he's working with. That could be a primary reason as to why the Packers decided not to address their ailing pass rush in the early rounds -- or mid-rounds -- of April's draft.

"Now you have a whole new offense. Quarterbacks are better. It's a passing league. Things have to change and you have to make adjustments, and I think Pettine has that mindset of knowing how to get to quarterbacks and how to attack protections and these different things with keeping it simple."


Zachary Jacobson is a staff writer/reporter for Cheesehead TV. He's the voice of The Leap on iTunes and can be heard on The Scoop KLGR 1490 AM every Saturday morning. He's also a contributor on the Pack-A-Day Podcast. He can be found on Twitter via @ZachAJacobson or contacted through email at [email protected].

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (26) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Lare's picture

I think the addition of experienced leadership will help a lot with all the young defensive backs on the team. That said, Williams still has to perform on the field to earn a starting spot and the respect of the younger players.

Looks like a number of last season's players may be out of a roster spot at the end of training camp.

EdsLaces's picture

Its crazy how excited I am to have him back .

Samson's picture

Loved T. Williams's pick (way back) in 2011 in Atlanta.

Really, the last great play by a Pack player on the "D". However, here's the problem in season 2018. --- If Tramon has to play too many snaps, then the first two picks in draft 2018 are problematic, at least in season 2018.

dobber's picture

"Really, the last great play by a Pack player on the "D". "

I'd point out Peppers's strip of Demarco Murray in that 2014 playoff game against Dallas. But your point is well taken.

Rossonero's picture

One of the things the defense needs is vocal leadership. We have Mike Daniels, but the DB room is so young, they've needed it more than ever.

Clinton-Dix is a veteran, but he strikes me as moody and temperamental with some of his past comments.

That said, I was thrilled when they brought back Tramon Williams. We need that voice, that calming influence on the younger players.

You look at what Terrence Newman has done in Minnesota. He'll turn 40 in what will be his final season, but he adds tremendous value with the things he sees on film or pre-snap that the others won't see.

Packer Fan's picture

Yes, Tramon will be very helpful. For all the talent the young CB's have, Williams will be starting. And hopefully he will mentor those young players. For they need to understand what it takes to be successful and how to prepare their bodies for the rigors of pro ball.

Nick Perry's picture

I actually agree with Zach where Williams potentially could be the Packers best FA signing this Spring. Not only will he give the Packers quality snaps on the field, but his experience both on the field and in the locker room will be invaluable to the youngsters like King, Alexander and Jackson.

The Packers have the potential to field a hell of a secondary this year and Williams stability will go a long ways helping then reach that potential.

jeremyjjbrown's picture

To me it depends on how you want to define "best". I expect Mo to make a bigger impact on the field. But, I expect Williams to have a pretty big impact overall on the young guys. So long term, yes, he could be the best signing.

Tundraboy's picture

Seems to be an article more appropriate for after we finish the season with a Defense we can be proud of.

Rebecca's picture

Well, since it’s already written and published it is the “appropriate” time to be optimistic. Optimism is all we’ve got until the 2018 kickoff.

worztik's picture

Becca... we’ve got TC and preseason before the regular season... lots to talk about young lady!!!

worztik's picture

It’s just unfortunate that he was the one guy we remember from that horrendous loss to Seattle on the last play! I’ve always thought TW was a Packer through and through and his mellow demeanor has been and will be a real positive in the locker room and as a spokesman for the DBs and the team! Age is just a number, as people say, and who knows, maybe he has 3-5 years left in the right system?! I for one am glad he’s back and I look forward to good things from him and I truly wish him GOD’s speed and excellent health now and in the future!!!

worztik's picture

Was I wrong here? Didn’t TW give up the last TD in our game against Seattle? After Morgan went down when told to by Peppers? I may be confused, can someone straighten me and my memory out, please? I get 2 down votes for trying to compliment him for his entire career in GB and that’s how he should be remembered? Help me understand all you “experts”!!

Oppy's picture

Can't make everybody happy. If we all agreed on everything, there would be no point in posting our opinions to begin with, nothing to learn, and no variety. Just keep on doing you.

worztik's picture

Thanks BUDDY!!!

WKUPackFan's picture

There are plenty of legitimate reasons for those dreaded downvotes. Perhaps some people disagree with the singular designation that Tramon is "the one guy" people remember from the Seattle game. You contradicted yourself in your own follow up by naming two other players.

It was a team loss. No one player was responsible.

LambeauPlain's picture

Yeah...there were 9 different plays where had the Pack made any ONE of them they would have gone to the SB.

The collapse was so complete it was almost like a scripted comedy.

worztik's picture

I agree completely and I never meant to imply that he was the sole reason that we lost! Plenty O’ Blame to share...

flackcatcher's picture

Overtime in the 2014 at Seattle. Wilson made a perfect throw on a skinny post, T Will had perfect coverage, nothing he could do. Those last eight minutes, what a nightmare...

worztik's picture

If only his arms were 16” longer...

Oppy's picture

All I can do is hope he's got gas left in the tank.
I think he'll be heavily leaned on in the first half of the season at the very least.

Probably my favorite Packers player from a straight personality standpoint of this era. Love this guy.

Nick Perry's picture

"Probably my favorite Packers player from a straight personality standpoint of this era. Love this guy."

If I could give you 100 thumbs up I would. T. Will was/is all class never "Badmouthing" Thompson or the Packers when he was allowed to leave like so many have. Like Oppy said above it's all about one's opinions but IMO Williams is the LAST to blame for the NFCCG loss in 2014.

That was such a clusterpuck of errors it's impossible to blame one play or player. To me it started with not conceding the 3 points and giving up the TD on the Ryan fake. Or how about going for 3 in the first quarter instead of going for a TD? Obviously those are just a few but lots to choose from in that game.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

I resisted the urge earlier, but obviously Capers remained like Slocum before him because MM values loyalty over merit. MM is not a good HC.

flackcatcher's picture

Always thought league rules in 2011 did the deed along with the cluster of injuries. Defense became thinner at key positions of OLB and CB with injuries and loss of FA. (The lost of Mike Neal over PED really hurt this defense.) This defense was good up to 2015. Critics have a point with TT and drafts, but it is mostly drop off in backups (especially secondary) doomed this defense. I hate to say this, but the defensive scheme is not that all important in the NFL. With league rules forcing one on one match ups the injuries the Packers had in the secondary left them pretty wide open (See Eagles vs 'the hoodie' in last Superbowl). Pettine would have been as nuts as Capers became with the never ending injury parade. That said, it was time for Capers to go with the break with McCarthy. (You could make the case for dismissing McCarthy after he lost the team. What a mess last season.)

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

That is an interesting take. I made several posts playing devil's advocate for Capers noting the injuries and having to play Gunter and the like.

An awful lot of people seem to think Pettine's scheme alone will significantly improve our defense even if it had the same personnel. Now that has changed with Wilkerson, Twill, and the loss of Burnett and Randall.
The net improvement or decline in the D due to Pettine's coaching and/or scheme remains to be seen.

Qoojo's picture

What I like about this signing is that he can teach the young pups how to study film, in addition to what playing NFL CB is all about, like Harris and Woodson did for him. I think was them. It was kind of thing back when the CBs were decent that the young backs learned from the experienced guys. Randall and Rollins and these newer backs never really had that, or it least it was not written about like in the past.

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