E-mail this image
As expected, LaQuan Williams isn't going to surrender his roster spot without a fight.
As LaQuan Williams entered his third training camp with the Ravens, his main talking point was the same as it was in his first, when he gave up his job at a local paint store after the Ravens asked him to come try out. Williams, despite being on the active roster the past two seasons and being a valuable contributor on special teams, still makes sure that anyone who sticks a microphone in his face knows his place on the 53-man roster is by no means guaranteed. That's the life of hundreds of NFL players. They win their roster spots in the preseason, earn their paychecks on special teams and pray that one day they will get a chance to make their mark at their natural position. Most don't turn out like Corey Graham, who went from a special teams standout in Chicago to one of the NFL's biggest surprises last season, when he was put into the starting lineup due to injuries and was huge for the Ravens down the stretch.
If such a thing is going to happen to Williams here in Baltimore, he has to make an impression in the limited snaps he gets. That's what he did Thursday night. Williams recovered a fumble after a muffed punt during a rain shower. He pounced on another fumble in the end zone after rookie free agent Brynden Trawick blocked a punt at the end of the second quarter. And when he got snaps with the offense, he scored another touchdown in the third quarter when he leaped over a Buccaneers defensive back to bring down a pass from Tyrod Taylor. Williams finished the game with two catches for 32 yards.
With that standout performance, Williams inched a little closer to reclaiming his spot on the 53-man roster, but there are still three preseason games left to play and a bunch of young wide receivers with different skill sets vying for roster spots, too. Williams is behind Deonte Thompson and Tandon Doss at this point -- and he might be behind David Reed, too, if Reed can actually stay healthy. The Ravens also have a pair of recent draft picks at the position in Tommy Streeter and Aaron Mellette, and we know how much the Ravens hate giving up on their draft picks. And Marlon Brown, a rookie free agent out of Georgia, is trying to follow the same path that Williams took to the NFL. The competition appears to be wide open, but at least we know Williams will get the most out of his talent and do everything he can do to try to stand out from the crowd. We'll see if it is enough for this Baltimore kid to stick around again.
August 8, 2013