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Keiland Williams glad the call never came

Running back Keiland Williams was still in his hotel room 30 minutes before the start of Redskins practice on Saturday. Still watching his phone, hoping it didn't ring.

His teammates called with news they had been cut or were headed to the practice squad, but Williams's phone wasn't ringing. Somebody finally told him that was a good thing, and the rookie realized he should probably get to practice.

"I was like, maybe I really need to get myself up there," Williams said.

An undrafted free agent out of LSU, Williams impressed coaches throughout the preseason with his versatility. He was a strong runner, caught the ball well out of the backfield and was solid in pass protection.

Williams did enough to beat out former Pittsburgh Steelers Pro Bowler Willie Parker and Ryan Torain, a back who had been among Coach Mike Shanahan's favorites in Denver, for the third running back spot on the 53-man roster behind starter Clinton Portis and Larry Johnson.

"It's all very, very close and hopefully he can stay on that 53 by playing good once the season starts," Shanahan said. "But he did pretty good in blitz pick-up, he can run the football, he can catch the ball and he's a heady kid. Very few times you find a guy that young that comes in and plays that well consistently in practice and the games."

For Williams, coming into a situation in Washington where he would be behind three established veterans, as well as Torain, was something he felt he could overcome. At LSU, Williams was part of a crowded backfield and did not see the bulk of the carries. He started just three games and rushed for 1,699 yards on 299 carries with 17 touchdowns in his career. Being in a situation where he faced constant competition for reps prepared him for how to mentally approach this summer's camp, Williams said.

"Just being a competitor I don't feel like I've ever went into a situation and just felt like I couldn't come out on top," Williams said. "So I mean, knowing what's here in a situation like that where there are guys in front of you, you can't worry about other guys. You just have to take care of your business and worry about yourself."

Making the roster was just the first step, Williams said. "Now the next step is being a factor on this team and someone the coaches can look to if they need a play made," he said.

But while Williams has shown he quickly adjusted to the professional level, he clearly fumbled cut day. After waiting so long in his hotel room, Williams forgot to call his mother to share the good news.

"My mom was kind of upset that I didn't call her. I didn't really know until really the last minute, like I said 30 minutes before practice," he said. "Then I had practice so that took a couple hours and then by then I had a lot of calls and a lot of text messages. She was like, 'Why didn't you call and tell me.' And I was like, 'I didn't know myself and I'm just getting out of practice but yeah, hey, I made it.'"

By Paul Tenorio  |  September 7, 2010; 10:45 AM ET
Categories:  Running backs  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Banks and Williams go from bubble to roster
Next: Albert Haynesworth trade in the works?


Or more appropriately...Retard.

Posted by: scampbell1975 | September 7, 2010 10:37 AM

I'm so retarded that I told you weeks ago how this saga would end. And I was right. Shanahan is a loser and the locker room knows it. they don't respect a coach who places his ego above the welfare of the team.

When Dallas pushes your nose tackle and right defensive end around and runs the ball down your throat, please think fondly of Shanahan and how he bungled this whole Haynesworth affair. Mr. Haynesworth has already vowed to miss the upcoming offseason conditioning program as well if the Redskins foolishly keep him around, so there is no way out for Shanahan other than to trade him or pay him for doing nothing. My client would love to take an extended vacation near his mansion in Florida or be practice fodder while raking in even MORE millions from little Danny. Life is good.

Posted by: HaynesworthsAgent | September 7, 2010 10:54 AM | Report abuse

I was surprised about KW making the roster over Torain, but I guess it came down to who could protect the quarterback better and Williams won that debate. If we see this guy getting the call much it will be bad news, because Portis and Johnson should be carrying the workload.

Posted by: RedSkinHead | September 7, 2010 10:55 AM | Report abuse


Posted by: hessone | September 7, 2010 10:58 AM | Report abuse

Shanahan is a loser and the locker room knows it.
Posted by: HaynesworthsAgent | September 7, 2010 10:54 AM

I've seen nothing to suggest this is true. Just the opposite, as a matter of fact.

Posted by: MColeman51 | September 7, 2010 11:00 AM | Report abuse

K. Williams only back in our stable that can catch and run with it effortlessly, that's why he's on the roster.
You will see alot of this kid this year catching balls and making plays, possibly could be our future RB especially if he can continue to block effectively.

Posted by: bhoang888 | September 7, 2010 11:57 AM | Report abuse

You know, it's refreshing to read a good, positive story every so often.

Posted by: WorstSeat | September 7, 2010 2:00 PM | Report abuse

I see nothing but upside with K Williams. The kid plays with heart and effort. Glad he made the roster.

Posted by: bostskin | September 7, 2010 2:10 PM | Report abuse

Too bad we've had such a hot summer....seems like a lot of "kool-aid" being had. Big AL will see the light Sunday night.

Posted by: herbertfoley7 | September 7, 2010 5:18 PM | Report abuse

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