Preseason is tricky. You want your team to win, but the game is less about winning and more about getting young players competing for a spot on the team quality snaps. One such young man is Brandon Williams, a star of training camp so far.
Despite being drafted in the third round, Brandon Williams and his 6-foot-1, 335 pound frame, plays with outstanding natural leverage and is nearly impossible for one man to handle. In fact, Brandon has drawn a steady stream of praise from the coaching staff. But practices are not games. How would Brandon do in real competition? He starred in the Ravens 44-16 drubbing of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Despite the runaway score, the first string offense did not fire on all cylinders. This was mentioned by Harbaugh in the post game briefing: “Tampa Bay played really well in that first quarter and a half. Their ones really had things moving. We couldn’t get anything going with our ones. Those are they type of things, and there are many of them, that we have to work on, “ Harbaugh chided.
“Our special teams played exceptionally well, and that bodes well for our younger guys,” he added. “We had points off turnovers. We had a blocked punt. We’re a very different team than we were, so we were really anxious to get on the field and just see who we are, because we really don’t know in a lot of ways,” coach John Harbaugh said after the victory over the Buccaneers. “We suspect we have a chance to be a good team, but we’ve got a long way to go as far as being on the same page in a lot of ways, so it’s a good thing we’ve got preseason, obviously.”
In fact, it very much seemed like the game was won very much like last year’s team did. Scratching and clawing by all facets of the team, and then pulling away at the end. But the one player who stood out among the team was Brandon Williams.
Williams merely made good on his coaches praise with a strong preseason début Thursday night in a 44-16 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He recorded four tackles, tying him for the second-most on the defense and played the majority of the game after substituting for Pro Bowl defensive tackle Haloti Ngata. “To hit someone else, that’s the biggest thing,” Williams said prior to the game. “To get out on the field and show people what the Ravens are all about.”
“He’s very strong, tough guy,” defensive coordinator Dean Pees said of Williams before the game. “Upfront, I talk about suddenness. I know it’s quickness, but there is a difference between getting off a block sudden, and he’s a guy that has a suddenness about him, if that’s a word. He’s got some power. I’m very pleased with him.”
Williams has done more than catch the eye of the coaches, he’s also caught the eye of the veteran players on the Ravens. “All the veterans, they’ve been doing a great job,” Williams said. “They give us a little hard time just because we are rookies. But other than that, they are wonderful. They’ve done a great job – everyone, Chris Canty, the whole group.”
And their advice consists of what?
“Just play ball, don’t worry about any outside distractions,” Williams said. “Just play your game, learn the playbook, and everything else will fall in place.”
Tonight, it was the Buccaneers who fell.
Written by: @milroyigglesfan