Once upon a time, Steve Keim drafted Brandon Williams in the third round of the 2016 draft to be the starter opposite Patrick Peterson.
But that didn’t work out. Steve Wilks gave up on the Williams project by signing Bene Benwikere and trading for Jamar Taylor in the off-season.
As a result of William’s struggles to learn the basics of the cornerback position, he was restricted to special team duties only.
Even then, his performance on special teams was a disaster during the preseason, missing multiple tackles and allowing big plays in pass coverage.
The same problems carried over into the regular season, and it was at full display in the 45-10 loss to the Broncos.
Brandon Williams having a bad night on special teams. Two short KO returns, missed a tackle on punt coverage and now ran into a punt returner after a fair catch was called.— Darren Urban (@Cardschatter) October 19, 2018
The offense was struggling badly and Williams short kick off returns last night didn’t help. At one point in the game, one of his teammates had to stop him from returning the ball. Throw in the penalties and missed tackles, and it was ugly.
Before he ran into the punt returner, was he trying to stop himself? I believe he was but there is not excuse or defense for his overall play.
Williams was kept on the roster because of his usage on special teams, nothing more. And he has been a poor special teams performer to say the least. His spot on the roster could be in jeopardy but with Steve Keim and Wilks being protective of him, Williams will likely stay put for now.
Keim refuses to admit that the Williams’ pick was a reach in the draft. He had good size and speed but didn’t have the experience. He was a running back for most of his college career after all. In my opinion, he was drafted based off of his physical traits only.
Preseason is a time for coaches to evaluate their players and to pick the best of the bunch to be on the 53-man roster. Roster spots have to be earned and Wilks didn’t uphold that standard.
It is clear to me that Williams was always going to make the roster no matter how he performed during the preseason. The same can be said about Daniel Munyer, who was the worst graded center by PFF. Wilks liked Munyer’s potential but he never showed it. He could not protect Rosen, allowing multiple pressures and sacks against the Broncos. J.J. Nelson was kept because of his speed and his role as a deep threat.
Did Wilks believe that Munyer was better than Evan Boehm?
Did he think J.J. Nelson was better than Brice Butler and Kendall Wright?
If general managers and coaches are building a roster based on versatility and not performance, then that is a problem. A player can be versatile but that doesn’t mean that they are any good at playing their position. T.J. Logan should be the primary kick returner but isn’t because he doesn’t play on special teams like Williams does.
There have been a lot of questionable decisions made by Steve Keim and Steve Wilks. Changes are expected to happen to the coaching staff and the players soon. A lot more changes will happen at the conclusion of the 2018 season. Let’s see what happens.