Better Results This Time Around For Vince Williams

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.

About the Author

Matthew Marczi
Passionate Steelers fan with a bit of writing ability. Connoisseur of loud music. Follow me on Twitter @mmarczi.
  • Dom

    He just hits hard and plays hard, A steal.

  • Joey

    We got him in the 6th round? And if I recall, his only knock was he was a tad slower, or am I wrong there?

  • Matthew Marczi

    Well, the main question was his ability to cover, because they took him off the field when they went nickel in college. From what I’ve read, his pro day numbers (we wasn’t a combine invite) are not really representative of how he plays, because he plays quicker when he’s got someone to tackle. Overall, I would find it hard to imagine that he isn’t exceeding everybody but his mother’s expectations. I’ve personally been rather enjoying watching how he develops week to week.

  • Eric

    He may not be a pro bowler anytime soon, but he has definitely exceeded all expectations already.

  • mem359

    On that screen play, I’m impressed about VW’s vision of the entire field. He angled outside before coming back to the RB. If he doesn’t, the pulling center would have blocked him out of the play. As it is, the center makes a futile attempt to get in his way by diving.

  • Kysteeler

    I agree he really is. I think when the game slows down a little bit for him he’ll be a good player. I like the pick-up on Powell with the dump off pass.

  • greeny

    Despite him missing some tackles this year (AP TD in London); I think he has produced more than any other from this draft class to date.

  • Joey

    Oh pass coverage too, thats right, but he seems to be doing pretty well. I cannot wait to see him next year, after another training camp under his belt. #probowl2015

  • Matthew Marczi

    I’m crossing my fingers that he’ll have some stiff competition with Sean Spence.

  • Joey

    Wouldn’t that be great!

  • Kevin Gobleck

    I feel like this will go down as one of our better drafts

  • PA2AK

    Certainly looks like quality players throughout. All hard workers and humble.

  • Virdin Barzey

    I like what he’s done and where he is going. The real test is this Sunday. If he plays great in this game then I can say we have something special with this guy. Until then, I agree he’s getting better but let’s not crown him.