Seahawks Insider

Williams says talented offensive line at Alabama helped to prepare him for NFL

Post by Eric Williams on May 11, 2013 at 5:18 pm with 49 Comments »
May 11, 2013 5:19 pm

Alabama defensive tackle Jesse Williams said he weighed 326 pounds when he reported to Seattle’s rookie minicamp this weekend –about the same that he weighed on his pro day when he ran a 4.90-second 40-yard dash.

Although his weight can fluctuate – he played at 315 pounds when Alabama asked him to play defensive end — Williams said he expects to stay at about the same weight for the Seahawks.

Williams is playing both 1-tech and 3-tech in practice for Seattle, and has not been designated a specific position to focus on.

“It’s a lot different playing in college to the NFL,” Williams said. “I’m picking up little things and learning from the people that are playing right now, and the coaches who have been coaching in the NFL for a while. And hopefully I’ll pick it up day by day and get myself ready to contribute to the team.”

So is the pace of a Pete Carroll practice similar to a practice ran by Nick Saban?

“Yeah, definitely – minus the music – I don’t think Coach Saban would like that,” joked Williams. “It’s really similar, running everywhere and people yelling all over the place.”

Williams also noted that his play at Alabama was helped by going against first round draft picks like Chance Warmack and D.J. Fluker in practice everyday.

“I think it was huge,” Williams said. “It helped sort of get everyone a little bit better – them working against us, and us definitely working against them. Having a couple of first-round picks on the offensive line, it definitely doesn’t hurt going against them every day. I had a sore head the majority of the time playing against Chance, so I think it’s made me a little better to sort of acclimate to coming to the NFL.”

Although he dropped a couple contested passes, tight end Luke Willson had another strong day.

Willson said one of the things that has helped him play fast is he’s had plenty of time to study the playbook, so he’s not thinking about what he needs to do during the play while he’s out on the field.

However, Willson said one of the main adjustments he’ll have to make once he’s playing with the veterans during OTAs is the speed of the game.

“Coming from a non-BCS conference like (we played in at) Rice, it’s a lot faster,” Willson said. “Guys are a lot bigger, a lot stronger across the board. So definitely just getting used to the speed of how the NFL game is played, and the size and toughness.

Even though he was not projected to go in the first seven rounds by draft analysts, Willson said he expected to get draft because of the detailed conversations he and his agent were having with several NFL teams.

“I had been in contact with quite a few teams,” Willson said. “I know the media didn’t really have me listed that high.”

Willson was asked if he expected to be drafted in the fifth round.

“I had been before Seattle talking to a few teams here and there, so that was right around where I thought I would go,” Willson said.

Wilson dealt with a pair of nagging injuries in 2012 that included a high-ankle sprains and a lower-back injury, which affected his production on the field. Wilson played in just six games, finishing with nine catches for 126 yards and two touchdowns.

Wilson said a couple weeks after the season he finally started feeling healthy, heading into the senior All-Star games in January.

“I feel great out here,” Willson said. “I feel like I’m moving around here pretty good – a lot easier and a lot free than last season.”

Some tidbits

* Fourth round selection Chris Harper had another solid day catching the ball. The Kansas State product said he played faster today because he’s getting a better handle on the playbook.

* Colorado strong safety Ray Polk made a couple flash plays in practice, batting down a couple passes in the back end defensively. At 6-1 and 220 pounds, Polk is a physical, in-the-box type safety who also could be a force on special teams.

* UNLV linebacker John Lotulelei – no relation to Carolina first round draft selection Star Lotulelei – also has turned heads in camp with his instinctive plays in the run game and in pass coverage.

* University of Idaho receiver Justin Veltung continued his trend of making plays down the field. Veltung had couple more nice catches on deep balls, and a diving stab over the middle of the defense.

* Quarterback Jerrod Johnson connected several times on deep throws down the sidelines, and looked more comfortable running the offense today.

* Defensive end Benson Mayowa, a University of Idaho product who participated in the NFL regional combine at the Seahawks facility in April, also generated some pressure off the edge a couple times today.

Notes from practice
Leave a comment Comments → 49
  1. DreadHawks says:

    Great stuff EW! Thanks!!

  2. Dukeshire says:

    Thanks for the report Eric. I like reading about a LB looking sound against the run *and* pass.

    Special teams play is going to be key in making this roster.

    Can’t wait for the rooks to see action against the vets.

  3. Yes. Fun to read real news from the field.

  4. Skavage says:

    As much as I love this blog it is becoming buggier and buggier and more of a pain in the ass than ever. Just finished spending 20 minutes getting the site to allow me to sign in. Wish I could say it was on my end, but it wasn’t. The java applet for the blog was down. So I expect someone kicked the hamster and he started running again but dang it is frustrating. I really wish TNT would put a little more emphasis (dollars?) into keeping the best Hawk blog up and running properly. /rant mode off. Enjoy the weekend all! :)

  5. Sekolah says:

    Jesse Williams reminds me a lot of former Seahawk Rocky Bernard. Their physical builds are near identical, and they put up similar weight room numbers. We could definitely use a DT like the ’05 version of Rocky Bernard. That would about make this defense immaculate.

  6. GeorgiaHawk says:

    Like Dukeshire said earlier, Wilson to Willson would be nice.

  7. raymaines says:

    “There weren’t enough good offensive linemen to draft. Haha. Honesty.”

    A good interview with Tom Cable on Field Gulls, via KJR:


    “People right now have a sour taste because in the first six games he’s got nine penalties, and he doesn’t really have his emotions under control – you kind of want him there on the edge but maybe not over the edge – but the second half of the season, he had two penalties, so people need to get over that. That’s important to know. This guy – our mindset, how we play the game as a team – I would say you put him right at the front of that in terms of competing, and tough, and finish, and he’s a guy that we know has some limitations athletically, but you get everything he’s got and then a little bit more, and that’s like gold.” — Tom Cable

  9. Just the way Carroll talks about Michael, Willson, Hill, Williams, and Harper – – makes you wonder if he is looking for how he is going to have to keep all of them on the roster.

    We are good enough now we are going to have to watch some good players get cut. – time will tell

  10. raymaines, thanks for the link to the Cable interview. Great stuff.’

    Cable: “At the end of the day, if we’re going to win a Championship, it’s going to come our way by pounding people.”

    I love it. We got the flash and we got the smash.

  11. Can’t understand a word Jesse Williams was saying.


  12. Safety Ray Polk is an intriguing player. 6’1, 220 lbs., 4.4 in the 40 (blazing speed for a safety). He apparently excels in man coverage, and playing single high coverage. Doesn’t at all sound like a prototypical in-the-box safety, but more of a FS (particularly in this scheme). I read that he was apparently stuck in a fairly vanilla scheme in college too, and that he may have been overlooked because of that.

    We’ll see what happens, but it looks like Jeron Johnson and Winston Guy got some competition headed their way.

  13. richardfg7 says:

    As long as this front office is in control the team will be better every year. We will lose players in trades and free agency but you can’t pay everybody huge money. I hope Coach Carroll and John Schneider stay here for many years and train some quality replacements for when they do leave.

  14. It’s funny because I don’t see anything similar between Bernard and what I think Williams is going to bring to the table. I never thought Bernard was overly good at stuffing the run (not bad though) and I think that is going to be the clear strength of Williams – stopping the run. Bernard was able to get push in the passing game (especially in ’05) and I don’t expect that from Williams at all. I’d like for it to happen, but I think he’s going to be a one dimentional run stopper who will play his role well (again, I’d love to get more).

  15. Great to hear Cable giving Breno some love. A real lunch-pail guy.

    It will be interesting to watch Polk, Louleilei, and the rest vs veterans.

    My overpriced Mac fried with five years of family pics, not sure if they can be retrieved. Less than two months after the extended warranty expired! Anyone have opinion on sending it back to apple to be fixed or elsewhere?!

  16. Dukeshire says:

    Dude, that’s awful. I may be one of the few here to say this, but I like Apple and have always had good success with their products, so I’d send to to them.

  17. raymaines says:

    If you’re looking at a big blue screen with a question mark in the middle you might be in trouble, but even if you are, you should get the computer to your local Mac Store and let them help you. If the circuitry is fried but the hard drive is still ok it will be easy to get the pictures back Best of luck with that.

  18. raymaines says:

    I’m not used to reading such brutally honest remarks from a coach, but I love listening to Tom Cable interviews.

    Breno Giacomini is one of my favorite players and I wish him well. I hope he improves in the areas he’s weakest and the coaches take full advantage of his strengths, and he’s the RT for the next 10 years.

  19. STTBM, sorry to hear that dude. That’s a gut punch when you lose your personal stuff. For next time though, if you own a Mac, all you have to do it touch the little thingy that says ‘iCloud’ and all your stuff is automagically backed up to the cloud.

  20. and raymaines is right, start with an apple store to retreive your data and if they can’t do it they’ll refer you.

  21. Bobby, I agree with you. Bernard was a 3DT if I remember correctly, and played next to Darby. Williams is more of a guy who can two-gap or take on the double team to free up that pass rushing DT. Williams next to Michael Bennet or next to Jordan Hill could be interesting.

    I just hope Williams’ knee turns out okay. Its odd that everyone seemed to pass him over the draft because of that knee, yet he shows up ready to practice.

  22. ruminator1 says:

    Not sure if anyone has posted this already, but if not, pretty interesting.

  23. Dukeshire says:

    Stevo- That speaks to what I was referring to a couple days ago. Although if Williams has the get off and quickness we’re hoping for, I like to see him as a 1 gap NT which would allow him to penetrate. He would still figure to command doubles if that we’re that case, which frees up the 3-tech.

    This type of speculation is fun unlike all that pre draft nonsense. ;)

  24. Dukeshire says:

    Thanks for the audio links.

    “… we can scheme our way to it, but until we get a factoring 4 man rush, we won’t get to where we want to be.” Pete Carroll.

    That gave me goose bumps. All this speed and talent will allow them to do just that: rush only 4, take no one out of coverage to add pressure, for this unit (add in Seattle’s potent offense) is going to make many sleepless nights for o coordinators. How would you attack it? Lol

  25. “This type of speculation is fun unlike all that pre draft nonsense”

    lol. Yeah Duke, its now time for rookie camp nonsense instead of pre-draft nonsense. The next four months belong to guys like Tyrell Sutton, Vai Taua, Charly Martin, Josh Portis… (just kidding!)

    Fortunately, this time of year also belongs to the occasional diamond-in-the rough like Doug Baldwin or JR Sweezy or Michael Bennett! And it looks like we might have a several diamonds-in-the-rough in camp this year, like Luke Willson? Ty Powell? Alvin Bailey? Michael Powell? These are guys that other teams passed over, but they really look look like BPAs and interesting prospects where we got them.

    As deep as our roster is getting to be, I would bet that other teams scoop up good players from our final cuts next August.

  26. (d’OH. I meant Michael Bowie.)

  27. We’ll see about Jesse Williams. What I am reading is that there is a lot of new things he’s already learning related to technique. Nick Saban players scare me sometimes. It’s like all Saban is good at is recruiting the best athletes, but he doesn’t seem to do a whole lot in terms of teaching these guys.

    So with that in mind, Williams might become something we didn’t quite anticipate. It is up to our coaching staff to mold him into the player they visualize him as. I think he’s in good hands.

  28. SandpointHawk says:

    Saban teaches his kids to win championships, period.

    Four BCS titles in the last decade (with two years off when he was with the Dolphins.)

    Of course Pete might have a thing or two to say about the 2003 title.

  29. Looks like another strong draft this year. I love the fact that we have no idea what the final roster will look like. I wonder how many player designated for practice squad will sign elsewhere. I bet it will be some crazy high number.

  30. SandPoint,

    and yet what has Nick Saban contributed to the NFL in terms of productive players that are building blocks for championship teams? Rolando McClain? Trent Richardson? Mark Ingram? Glen Coffee? Mark Barron?

    Aside from Julio Jones (who is basically just a natural phenom, and quite possibly the best athlete to ever play at Alabama), and maybe Marcel Dareus, I’m not feeling much of an impact on the NFL that can be attributed to Saban.

    Pete Carroll was much more instrumental in terms of fueling the NFL with legit talent, and difference makers. F*** the BCS.

  31. SandpointHawk says:

    Let me clarify: Nick Saban teaches his kids to win BCS Championships, period.

    That’s what is paid to do, win college football games.

    He doesn’t give a rip about the kids getting a degree of teaching them NFL skills.

    I am not disputing your contention of his contribution to the NFL talent pool.

    Fact is I’ve never really thought much about it.

  32. SandpointHawk says:

    *or teaching…

  33. Dukeshire says:

    Stevo- I know. I know. That’s why I put the ridiculous winkey face there: we all feed off of different things. Mine happens to be scheme and technique. I hear Carroll talk about it, it’s like a drug: more more more… Need. Games. Lol

  34. raymaines says:

    I only worry that there are 12-15 other blogs scattered around the NFL that all think their rookies are super hot stuff and their team is destined for greatness and we can’t all be right. Based on JS&PC’s draft record, I think we have more reason to believe than most other teams, but we’ll need another six months to really know. Go ‘Hawks!

  35. GeorgiaHawk says:

    What is more Seahawks related, the 2014 NFL draft or this?

    Nothing like great beer and great football.

    Dukeshire has the best of both worlds right now.

  36. Dukeshire says:

    Lol. Despite all the nonsense, the invitation still extends…

    If only Portland cared about the Seahawks at all, Id be in heaven on earth.

  37. Dukeshire says:

    raymains – Every rookie camp right now has several all pros. That’s the nature of May OTAs. Lol.

  38. HonHawksLSB says:

    I’m throwing out the Christine Michael rookie stat line prediction

    25 carries 180 yards 2 TDs
    11 catches 130 yards 1 TD
    1 special teams TD

  39. GeorgiaHawk says:

    At least you’re not near Atlanta, The beer is bad, and I had to watch the game last year, ( Seahawks/Falcons) with my girlfriends relatives.

    And yes, thanks. I am looking forward to that beer with you.

    BTW- I understand Portland at #1, but Bend in the top eight too? That’s just filthy beer rich for one state. Lol.

  40. Dukeshire says:

    Cornutt and I were emailing the other day and I was asking his advice about moving to Bend, which I’m considering, as he lives there. Smaller town *and* more world class breweries per capita… Well then…

  41. raymaines says:

    I’m thinking that because Robert Turbin and Chris Michael spec. out about the same (5’10”-220) but CM has bigger, presumably stronger legs he’ll beat out Turbin for the second running back spot and have even bigger numbers. The Turbinator is pretty good, but the expectations seem to be higher for CM, so I’m going to take another big gulp of Kool-Aid and predict big things for Mr. Michael (that makes it sound like he’s a hairdresser doesn’t it, good thing he doesn’t know where I live).

  42. GeorgiaHawk says:

    BTW- Happy mothers day to all the folks in Seahawk land. This is the first mothers day since my mother past away so I hope everyone gives your mother a big hug.

    They really do deserve it.

  43. raymaines says:

    What do you guys think, should the Seahawks bring in Titus Young for a try out? I’m thinking the poor guy has just had a hard week and needs a little love. I’m sure he’d be a model citizen for the ‘Hawks. NOT.

  44. WTF? Seattle is not on the “8 best beer towns in the U.S.”?? Blasphemy.

    If you’ve never had a Fremont IPA or a Foggy Noggin (or never had a Foggy Noggin in Fremont), you’re missing it.

  45. Sekolah says:


    ok, we’re crystal now. I had thought you were endorsing Saban in someway, when in fact you aren’t. You’re simply framing the picture for me. I agree. Nick Saban only cares about padding his NCAA statistics and achievements.

  46. GeorgiaHawk says:

    This is what I like about this FO. They are building this team to be Physical.
    Just look at this years draft. Harper, Christine, Powell, Simon, Ware, Williams, ect.

    I think klm008 said we drafted a box of hammers.

    Just think how our special teams will be like this season.

  47. Sekolah says:

    ray, I think I’m with you on Michael. There is just something about him that stands out over Turbin, at least for now, before the pads have been put on.

    And the more I hear Carroll talk about Spencer, the more I think he’s got a great chance to make this team. As long as he doesn’t scrub it up in preseason and camp, and shows progression, he’s probably going to stick around. While I do not necessarily believe he’s here to replace Robinson, the org is definitely considering the immediate future; Robinson may not be a Seahawk in 2014.

  48. Sekolah says:

    Nice link on UDFA Ray Polk, GH. Good read. Based on his speed and his range, I was starting to think he might stand a chance at beating out Maragos, and being Earl’s back up, but the analysis you linked seems to think he lacks the necessary instincts for FS.

    Which would make sense. This is a kid who made a name for himself in H.S. as a RB. RB happens to be the #1 position in football where big collisions take place, so it is only natural that Polk’s preferred method for making plays against the pass is by smashing people.

    Jeron Johnson leaves a lot to be desired even as a sub defender. He is generally the one that gets picked on in those situations. He’s done most of his damage as a blitzer to this point. Winston Guy is a question mark at this point. This is year two, so you would think that there will be a bump in his progression, but we really don’t know yet.

    I anticipate some real fierce battles in that Seattle secondary among those who are vying for backup spots in camp this year.

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