Veteran cornerback helping the Arizona Cardinals’ secondary
By Jim Koch
Crafty vet Tramon Williams is the best number-two cornerback that the Arizona Cardinals have employed since the 2014 season
Being the Arizona Cardinals’ number-two cornerback is not an easy job. Whoever accepts the position opposite perennial Pro Bowl participant Patrick Peterson is bound to get picked on. Therefore, that player has to be at the least, competent.
For the past three seasons, the Cards have failed to find someone who’s up to the task. Jerraud Powers was solid, but at the same time had a ceiling. Brandon Williams was drafted in the third round last year, but rarely sees the playing field.
The club turned to Justin Bethel, a special teams standout, and the sixth-year pro proved incapable. Once in a great while, the 6’0″, 200 pounder would flash some ability. But the you know what finally hit the fan this year, when Bethel started getting beat for touchdowns on a weekly basis.
After ignoring the position for most of the offseason, general manager Steve Keim quietly addressed the weakness in late July. 34-year old Tramon Williams arrived but was immediately placed on the back-burner. For reasons that are still unknown, Bethel started the first six games of the current campaign before finally getting the hook.
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A temporary injury to Peterson suffered in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ contest afforded Williams an opportunity. The long-time Green Bay Packer entered the game and came up with a huge interception. Williams’ pick occurred at the Bucs’ one-yard line, and Adrian Peterson barreled into the end zone on the next play.
The 12th-year cover guy had impressed the staff, and was handed Bethel’s starting spot the following week against the Los Angeles Rams. Williams has played well, and is a solid presence in the Cardinals’ secondary. Besides the interception versus the Bucs, he has also contributed six pass breakups and 18 tackles in four appearances.
Williams is exactly the type of corner that Arizona management has been looking for. The 2010 Pro Bowler is the best they’ve had at the position since 2014, when Antonio Cromartie joined the squad. “Cro’s” stellar play got him voted to his fourth Pro Bowl, and he abandoned the organization for the New York Jets in ’15.
Considering the current state of the Cards, Williams’ solid play may be going to waste. It seems that a problem that existed for a long time has been solved, but unfortunately many others have surfaced. Still, in a season of injuries and disappointment, Williams has without a doubt been one of the bright spots.