By Matthew Marczi
The more rookie Vince Williams plays, the more comfortable he appears. That is, of course, to be expected, but it is also good to see the development on tape. By no means is he free of errors, but those errors are most often of a physical nature, rather than a mental or schematic lapse.
Against the New York Jets, Williams made a pair of very nice plays that show just how well he is in sync with the defense and how comfortable he is reading offenses and following the play. Sometimes, however, he still fails to make the play every once in a while. Everybody misses a play every now and then; it just seems a bit more overt when Williams misses a tackle, as on this play:
Before the snap, Williams properly identifies Mike Goodson lining outside from the backfield and points him out. After the snap, he quickly realizes where the play is going and gets his feet headed toward it. He even does a nice job of bouncing off the block of right tackle Austin Howard to set himself up right in front of the back, but Goodson gets a solid stiff arm on him, which is enough to get him the first down in this instance.
As I have pointed out in the past, however, even plays such as these show the level of instinct and awareness that Williams already possesses, and the physical errors are often the simplest fixes.
Watch this play, for example, as he makes up for the over-eagerness of his fellow rookie classmate, Jarvis Jones who gets drawn in by a fake handoff and is too late to recover to defend a reverse.
Jones is unable to influence the play at all because he gets caught so far behind it by selling out on the run fake, but fortunately for him, Williams follows the play and reads and reacts quickly, coming in to bring Goodson down on the reverse by the legs, with the help of Lawrence Timmons.
Then there was this late-developing screen that the Jets attempted late in the third that Williams had no interest in seeing happen:
Williams is shadowing Bilal Powell all the way on this play, and he is off to the races as soon as he sees the back turn his head back in the direction of Geno Smith. Powell receives the pass behind the line of scrimmage and is unable to advance at all because Williams is on him so quickly for a two-yard loss.