The moment new Philadelphia Eagles cornerback Cary Williams opened his mouth when he was first introduced he had already put his foot in it. In his introductory press conference he compared himself to former Eagles corner Nnamdi Asomugha not more than a few weeks after Asomugha had an unceremonious exit from the team for poor play and not buying into the Eagles culture. That was strike one for the recent Super Bowl Champion from the Baltimore Ravens.
This week Williams explained why he had to miss almost all of the prior OTAs before joining his new teammates at mandatory mini camp. While some of his reasons for his absence were understandable others raised a few eyebrows as he said he had to get dental work, help re-furnish and build his new home, and see his three year old daughter’s recital in Tennessee.
OTAs, especially for a player getting newly acclimated to his surroundings, his fellow players, and his coaches, are crucial in laying the foundation for grasping the defense during training camp, preseason, and of course the regular season. Was there no way Williams could have planned many of these things before or after these abbreviated sessions? I find it hard to believe that he couldn’t. He isn’t setting the greatest example for his other teammates and frankly his attitude after the fact in basically brushing off his absences and chalking them up to not being a big deal was egregious.
In a sign of good faith Williams skipped today’s meeting with President Obama at the White House that the Ravens held to celebrate their championship. This could have been Williams’ idea so that he wouldn’t catch more flak, but more than likely it was at the urging of Coach Chip Kelly who doesn’t seem like the type of coach that will put up with extended absences by his players.
Williams needs to get his butt in gear because right now he seems like a player with a sense of entitlement fresh off of a Super Bowl championship in which he played a crucial part. Winning players don’t behave this way, and Kelly wants to create a winning culture in Philadelphia. If he doesn’t shape up soon, not only will he not be a key piece of the defense, he may be off the team if Kelly has anything to say about it. That’s two strikes Cary; one more and you’re out.