Last week’s leading story on ‘As Chip Kelly‘s Philadelphia Eagles Turn’ centered around cornerback Cary Williams missing time for various personal reasons, including to attend his daughter’s dance recital on Friday.
On Tuesday, Williams held court with the media after practice and explained that for him, family comes before football. “My daughter is three-years old,” Williams said of his daughter Amari. “And there’s something to be said for showing up to your daughter’s events and letting her know that Daddy cares and it’s important.”
Williams explained that her daughter’s recital was held in Tennessee and that he came away impressed with her performance. Still, Williams seemed a bit peeved at the negative attention he received for missing work.
“Look, if I was a guy who had three kids with three different women, then right about that.” Williams chided. “But here I am, trying to be a great dad and family man and you report that, too.”
The 28-year old missed time earlier in the offseason program to attend to the building of his house, celebrate his wedding and honeymoon as well as to undergo elective dental surgery during the Eagles OTA schedule. A defending Super Bowl champion, Williams was surprised that the local media and Philadelphia fans made such a big deal of his absences.
“This is really a different city … In Baltimore, they didn’t report on things like attendance at voluntary practices. You know what we did, we picked up and we practiced without the guys that were here and the same thing happened here.”
While Williams did elect not to visit President Barack Obama along with his former Baltimore Ravens teammates at the White House today, he did defend his decision to see to the building of his new home in Tennessee.
“I just wanted to make sure that all of the wood was picked out … The sconces were right, the fireplace.”
While it certainly can be commended that Williams’ heart was in the right place to show his young daughter that he intends to be a part of her life, it’s difficult to justify not attending practices to pick out minute details of home construction that could have been adjusted to fit an NFL practice timetable.
“There’s life outside of football,” Williams flatly stated. “I just want the same thing everyone wants, the balance between work time and downtime. There really isn’t much downtime in the NFL, it’s basically a year-round business and I’ve been to AFC title games, the Super Bowl, it’s hard to fit everything in.”
Williams was altogether forthright and calm during his impromptu press conference, but made every effort to drive the point home that his commitment was never in doubt.
“If I worried about what a fan thinks about me … I won’t be here long. Ask anyone on the Ravens’ staff, I come to work every day. I know what it takes to be successful.”
Matt Lombardo is also an on-air personality on 97.5 FM The Fanatic in Philadelphia. Join the conversation and follow Matt on Twitter.