Aeneas Williams: The Ultimate Professional

When Aeneas Williams' season ended abruptly last year on a cart-ride off the field, there was considerable doubt about his future and whether the NFL had seen the last of the 35 year-old cornerback. <br><br>Well, he's now heading to his eight Pro Bowl as a free safety.<br><br>

Aeneas Williams: The Ultimate Professional
By Rams Nation's Brad Williams

The statistics Williams has amassed over his career make him a no-brainer for Canton. Despite playing on some weak Phoenix/Arizona Cardinal teams, Williams never showed the signs of playing for a “loser” as he became one of the leaders in about every category for cornerbacks despite teams trying to avoid throwing at him. All-90’s team, over 50 career interceptions, 7 Pro Bowls, etc. While he was well-respected by opposing QB’s and the people who really follow football, his quiet, no-nonsense approach and how little he talks about himself didn’t make him a household name. That changed when he was traded to the Rams who are on the radar screen of even the most casual of fans.

What people started to realize about Williams is that besides his attitude and work ethic, he’s not a typical defensive back. Williams was playing very physical and supporting run defense while others were totally enamored with pure coverage cornerbacks like Deion Sanders. Since an impromptu move to free safety this year, fans have seen even more of what kind of a hitter Williams is. Paired with Adam Archuleta, the Rams likely have the most physical safeties in the NFL.

Besides the natural leadership Williams brings to the Rams, he also brings a wealth of knowledge and experience he can share with the Rams’ young corners. For a lot of NFL secondaries, losing your starting cornerbacks from the previous season and replacing them with two young and pretty inexperienced players means some real scary afternoons. While it is a credit to Fisher and Butler that they have held-up well in their first year as starters, having Williams at free safety who is also used occasionally as a corner is quite a security blanket on and off the field.

Interestingly, the price the Rams paid to get Williams via trade is going to sound pretty familiar to Rams’ fans: 2nd and 4th round choices. It worked well with Marshall Faulk and has certainly been another great trade for the Rams.

All the accolades and awards likely don’t mean near as much to Williams as the one he hasn’t yet received: a Super Bowl ring. This could change soon and if it does, he’ll be a big part of how the Rams even got into that situation to begin with.

Brad Williams
bwilliams@fairburn.com

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