Just a few days after insisting that he is one of the elite corners in the NFL, Eagles’ brash cornerback Cary Williams made it clear that he doesn’t want anything to do with the Eagles running joint practices with the Patriots later this month.
I don’t want to show none of our cards. To me it’s not benefitting us because they have already proven who they are. That’s the history,” said Williams, referencing the Spygate scandal.
“I’m trying to go into details about it or disrespect that organization…you still have to go out and play the game. I give them all the credit in the world. But one fact still remains: they haven’t won a Super Bowl since they got caught.
“They are cheaters. They are. You got caught. I know you’re going to be looking at the film when we go out there. That’s just that. I don’t want to show them my cards. That’s just me.”
(Williams was referring to the Eagles’ joint practices with the Patriots, which are scheduled to take place in Foxborough August 12-14th. This will be the second consecutive year the two sides practiced together.)
It is worth noting that the Patriots have played in two very close Superbowl losses since that moment, so I’ve always looked at it as a mere coincidence that they haven’t won since Spygate. Did they cheat during Spygate, though? Well, yeah. But it isn’t like they haven’t remained one of the league’s premier franchises since getting caught.
It is also worth noting that the Patriots played the Ravens in the AFC title game in both 2011 and 2012, Williams’ last two seasons in Baltimore, so it is easy to see why he wouldn’t be a fan of Tom Brady, Bill Belichick and company.
As for his point about the joint practices, I agree. While I’m sure in seven on seven drills, you want to try harder against other teams, I never felt that was the point of training camp. If you are sharing your training camp with another team, what benefit do you get out of it? You aren’t really going to be able to show a ton of your offense, at least you shouldn’t, and then your defense doesn’t get better from facing a vanilla diet of offensive plays.
Obviously I’m not naive enough to think that teams don’t try out parts of plays to get an idea of what will work against other teams, but they need three days to do that?
National analysts have lauded joint practices, as more teams seem to embrace the idea, and I don’t get it. As a player, it might be somewhat nice after a couple intense weeks to just be able to go hard for a few plays in practice, and then take it easier the rest of the day (mentally, that is), because you don’t have to worry about installing any new plays. From a coaches perspective, I’m not sure what they get out of it. And I think it’s fair to think that an extra three days worth of installing plays (serious ones) and being able to practice everything in your repertoire might be more valuable to all parties involved.
As for Williams, I like that he’s brought some attitude back to the defense. Ever since Brian Dawkins left, the defense has lacked that. In this case, though, I’m not worried that by the very outside chance that the Eagles’ meet the Patriots in the Superbowl this year, that Belichick will have Kelly figured out because of a few August practices.