Yesterday, San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Kyle Williams, son of Chicago White Sox general manager Ken Williams, was kicked off the practice field by fiery and angry head coach Jim Harbaugh for not only fighting but being the instigator.
Among the blows thrown during the scrap with rookie cornerback Deanté Purvis was reportedly a head butt.
Harbaugh saw the fight and the way Williams in particular was fighting and screamed him off the field. Yes, they talked. Yes, he was eventually welcomed back to the field after taking several minutes on the sidelines to collect his thoughts.
The bigger concern: Williams was having a lousy practice and faces serious competition this summer.
He has plenty of pressure on him:
1. He’s still fighting off the specter of last season’s NFC title game loss to the eventual Super Bowl champion New York Giants. Williams was the key in not one but two crucial plays which arguably cost his team the game. One of them was an out-and-out mistake, running into a live punt that was quickly recovered by the Giants, giving Big Blue a chance to tie and send the game into overtime. The other play, the real killer that happened in overtime, was the result of Williams being sloppy with the ball following a punt as well as an outstanding play by Giants linebacker Jacquian Williams in batting the ball out of Williams hands. Another recovered fumble, only that one resulted in the game-winning field goal.
2. He was not even close to the top in the Niners’ receiving stats last season and the team has brought in not only ex-Giants wideout Mario Manningham but also enigmatic veteran Randy Moss. Williams is listed as the No. 2 receiver behind Michael Crabtree, who has been slowed with an ankle injury, but both Moss and Manningham have had solid camp performances and the team invested its No. 1 pick in receiver A.J. Jenkins, who is behind Williams on the early depth chart, and Ted Ginn is also working hard and hanging around the final-53 conversation.
In effect, and once Crabtree is healthy again, Williams is playing at a crowded position and he hasn’t exactly solidified his roster spot. Starting fights, head-butting a teammate, getting kicked off the practice field by an angry head coach… none of those things move you up the depth chart. Instead, they force coaches to pay attention at other players.