Bad timing for Tramon Williams’ poor play
By Phil Biderman, Journal-Sentinel
~Tramon Williams has been the center of attention for angry Packers fans after the Vikings game on Sunday and for good reason. The seven-year veteran had one of his worst games as a pro. He was poor in coverage, his tackling was abysmal and he took a costly penalty.
The poor tackling from Williams was nothing new for Packers fans. Williams had a bad shoulder in 2011 but he played hurt and his tackling suffered. This year, he has been more physical and he has had great games in coverage against both Calvin Johnson and Brandon Marshall.
Poor tackling and breakdowns in coverage are part of the game and can happen to even great corners on any given Sunday. But the penalty on Williams was so out of character for the mild and cool mannered Williams and ended up hurting the Packers’ chance for victory.
The penalty came on 3rd-goal from the Packers 12-yard line with the game tied 27-27 at the beginning of the fourth quarter. The Packers appeared to have stopped the Vikings after a 5-yard pass to Toby Gerhart and forced a field goal attempt. But away from the ball, and right in front of an official, Williams went after Vikings wide receiver Jerome Simpson.
Williams drilled Simpson around the neck area and went after him with a couple of more shoves. The penalty was an easy call for the official and gave the Vikings a fresh set of downs at the Packers 7-yard line. The Vikings would score a touchdown three plays later.
Poor tackling can be addressed in practice and getting beat by a wide receiver happens to even the best cover cornerbacks. But losing control of your emotions and costing your team points is inexcusable.
It’s now playoff time and the Vikings and Packers have battled in two games over the past month and the margin for error is small. Despite what many think, these teams are pretty evenly matched and the game Saturday night will be a hard fought, close game.
As is often the case in playoff games, the team that makes the fewest mistakes (turnovers and costly penalties) usually comes out on top.
Let’s hope Williams learns from his costly penalty and refocuses his emotion and aggression on tackling and covering his assignments.
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