Tramon Williams: 2011 Green Bay Packers Evaluation and Report Card

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Packers Cornerback Tramon Williams
Tramon Williams

1) Introduction: Tramon Williams burst onto the scene in 2010.  With a career high six interceptions, Williams became known for his clutch playmaking skills.  He made the game saving interception of Michael Vick with 33 seconds left in the Wild Card game at Philadelphia against the Eagles and in Atlanta he made back-to-back interceptions of Matt Ryan including an electrifying 70-yard pick six that blew the game open for the Packers.  Williams was looking to be on course to be the heir apparent to Charles Woodson as the playmaker in the Packers secondary.

2) Profile:

Tramon Williams
Height: 5’11”
Weight:  191
AGE: 28

Career Stats:

3) Expectations coming into the season: The key for Williams entering 2011 was establishing consistency.   Now that he had the breakout season behind him, the next logical step was to put together a strong season every year.   With Woodson showing few signs of slowing down, Williams was likely looking at continual opportunities to make plays.  As part of an aggressive secondary, Williams was expected to force a fair amount of turnovers and reduce the efficiency of the opponent’s passing attack

 4) Player’s highlights/low-lights:  In an aerial display against the San Diego Chargers in Week 9 at Qualcomm stadium, Williams made his sole pick-six of the season in the first quarter that ultimately proved the final margin of victory in a 45-38 shootout win for the Packers.

The low point of the season for Williams came in the very first game against the New Orleans Saints.  Once again the game was an aerial battle, but Williams suffered a shoulder injury after being hit by his own teammate when he was chasing down a receiver.  It’s an injury that appeared to hamper Williams the rest of the season and in hindsight may have affected the play of the entire secondary.  Williams never seemed the same player after the opening game.

5) Player’s contribution to the overall team success: Williams and Woodson form a pretty lethal duo in the Packers defensive backfield. Despite his injury, his performance the previous season forced defenders to respect him more which may have opened things up for Woodson in 2011 who saw his interception total increase from two to seven.  While Williams may not have made as many highlight reel plays as the year before, he played his role in an assertive Packers secondary.  Had he not suffered that Week 1 injury, who knows what else would have happened?

 6) Player’s contributions in the playoffs: The secondary got burned the entire game and no single player is exempt from taking some of the blame.  The Packers had everything laid out for them on a silver platter for a second straight Super Bowl title, and the team blew it.   Eli Manning shredded every single player with Victor Cruz, Hakeem Nicks and Mario Manningham and the Packers had no prayer.   Williams’ performance from the 2010 postseason was a distant memory after this performance.

 Season Report Card:

(C+) Level of expectations met during the season
(C) Contributions to team’s overall success.
(C) Contributions to team during the playoffs

Overall Grade: C

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Kris Burke is a sports writer covering the Green Bay Packers for AllGreenBayPackers.com and WTMJ in Milwaukee. He is a member of the Pro Football Writers of America (PFWA) and his work has been linked to by sites such as National Football Post and CBSSports.com.

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  • JimR_in_DC

    I’m not so sure opposing teams’ offenses respected Williams all that much this year, at least after a few games into the season. I would’ve graded him a D or D+.

  • ELo

    Hard to explain this one. I would have expected not only better play, but thought TW might emerge as more of a leader in the secondary. Given the way teams ate us up in the passing game (we made Kyle Orton look All-Pro), can’t see a grad higher than a D.

  • cow42

    very generous grade.

    man – the fact that he’s already 28 really sucks.

    next year’s just about it.

    good 30 year old corners are rare.

  • Zack

    Weird how all of our good db’s of years past have terrible performances this year… does anyone wonder how there is such a regression accross the board in a secondary that performed so well in years past? Allow me to draw up a metaphor.

    One year I was driving my car down the road and I hit a dip in the road. I noticed that the ride in my vehicle after that point was not so nice. It was bumpy; not smooth as it had been in the past. The tires were fairly new so it was surprising to me that after a few days the car tires were worn down and I had to replace them. When I replaced the tires I bought some of the best tires on the market… some high end racing tires. Much to my dismay, a few weeks passed and the tires wore down quickly and began going flat. At this point I knew something else was wrong. After a quick computer diagnostic, it was found that my alignment was off and that was why my tires were wearing down and going flat so quickly.

    Ok so get to the point already, I’m sure many of you are saying, so here it is. The secondary (the metaphorical tires) are wearing down do to a malfunction in the system… NO pass rush (the alignment which is causing your tires to go flat). You can replace your tires (the secondary) as often as you want with the nicest tires on the market but you will still have a bumpy ride until the tires eventually go flat if you don’t fix the alignment… SOLUTION: fix the alignment (develop a pass rush) THEN figure out which of your tires are salvagable (DB’s) and replace the ones that aren’t.

    The evaluation is fair… you have to give a grade based on a players performance not what he could have done had other phases of the defense worked how they were supposed to so a C seems right. But this grade is a direct reflection of the front 7 not getting their job done. If an NFL QB has 10+ seconds to pick apart a secondary it doesn’t matter who’s back there they will lose.

    • Lucas

      I go back and forth with putting more blame on the secondary or the pass rush. Pass rush cannot be blamed for the less than 2 second passes. Secondary cannot be blamed for the more than 4 second passes. A lot of blame to go around, especially when a defense should all work together.
      There needs to be a fix at each level; line, linebacker, corner, safety.

      • Zack

        Agreed that the secondary did not play at the level they have in the past even on the rare occasion (like once a game) that the QB was pressured… so I’m not trying to say don’t try to improve and by no means were they perfect. I haven’t done research on this but I’m next to positive that your philosophy of 4+ seconds blame the front 7 would be met on a vast majority of big plays that we gave up throughout the year. I guess my point is that in the off season it would be nice to fix all of our problems but we have a limited salary cap and draft picks and such so we need to focus our effort somewhere. For me, if it came down to having to choose between a player that could help our pass rush or a player that could help in coverage the decision is a no brainer (barring an unbelievable talent becoming available in the secondary. obviously pick the best talent available in that case). pass rush, pass rush, pass rush. In my opinion although our secondary isn’t what it used to be, it is still servicable. I can’t say the same thing about our front 7.

    • http://allgbp.com Jersey Al

      A good metaphor Zack, but consider this. What would you do if you tried to fix the alignment (pass rush) but couldn’t? It just kept failing and kept resulting in worn tires? Welcome to Dom capers’ world…

  • Zack

    Yes Al, that’s exactly what happenned this year. It was probably as frustrating if not more frustrating for him to pull out every stop and see his players fail to execute over and over until finally he was reduced to abandoning the blitz and playing a prevent defense against the Giants pretty much throwing his hands up in the air and saying screw it. To answer your question of what would I do if I was in Capers position, I would have done what he did. Might as well put as many bodies as possible in coverage if the personnel sent on blitzes generate an identical pass rush to the 3 or 4 man rush (which is none). I hope to see the packers front office use the philosophy I outlined previously to bring in some talent that can execute in the way we need them to.

  • Ron LC

    The Williams decline to me was related more to how he was used than how he played. Capers had no confidence in his own defense for some reason. Williams rarely matched up with his man on the line. He played more in zone than ever before.

    Many solutions must be developed to turn this around. That’s up to TT, MM, and Capers. OLB upgrade on the right side, Dline upgrade on the right side, and pray that Nick Collins is back at full strength. Without Collins they will have to use some draft or FA resources to up grade there too.

  • Pete Kliman

    . In todays NFL with the emphasis on passing you have to pressure the QB.The QBs and rec. are just too good to allow to run around loose . Case in point the Giants. An decent pass rusher could improve this D instantly. We discussed this need last year on this sight many times, that’s why the vast majority of us had Vonn Miller # 1 on our lists.

    • Zack

      Yeah that would have been amazing… Was there even a possibility that we could have got him? He was drafted 2nd overall.