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  • The 5 Takeaways from the Coyotes introduction of

    first_img The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo “Some guys would go in the tank and that’s what I liked about it the most. He really came back and looked really good.”His day went on to include some pass breakups, including one on a ball that was intended for Floyd.The 23-year-old Williams no doubt looks the part of a top-flight cornerback. At 6 feet and 200 pounds he has good size, and the 4.37 40-yard dash he ran at the scouting combine shows he has plenty of speed.Of course, he is still a rookie, which means there will be bumps along the way as he learns the speed of not only the NFL game, but NFL players.“They know what they’re doing,” he said of the players he is lining up against. “They’re smarter, they’re older, so they understand the game more so they are more faster.”The sooner Williams can get up to speed, the better off the Cardinals will be. The cornerback spot opposite star Patrick Peterson is arguably the team’s biggest question mark heading into camp, and while few teams can boast a pair of top-tier cornebacks, most probably have a bit more in the way of sure things than the Cardinals.Might Williams actually earn the job?Arians praised the rookie’s work ethic, noting he is a hard worker and “was in Patricks’ hip pocket all summer” doing what he could to learn from one of the game’s best. GLENDALE, Ariz. — It was a widely accepted assumption that though the Arizona Cardinals chose Brandon Williams in the third round with the 92nd overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, the Texas A&M product was a bit of a project who would need some time before he was ready to make a significant contribution.Yet there he was on the first day of training camp running with the first team defense and matching up with the likes of Larry Fitzgerald, Michael Floyd, John Brown and J.J. Nelson. Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact Nothing like being thrown right into the fire, right?For Williams, who played just one season at cornerback in college, he wouldn’t have it any other way.“So I get the feel of the game and understand what I’m doing at a faster tempo,” he said.As for Arians, well, there’s really no other option.“He’s on the first team defense so he’s going to see the first team offense all year,” he said. “No time to waste.”In fairness, while Williams was impressive during OTAs and mini-camp, he probably would not be running with the first defense if fellow cornerback Justin Bethel was not out while recovering from offseason foot surgery.However, the why he is a starter right now is not nearly as important as the what he does with the role, and though it’s about as early in training camp as you can get, so far, so good.“Brandon had a hell of a day,” Cardinals coach Bruce Arians said of the rookie’s effort. “He got beat by [John Brown] but he was there, he just turned a little bit the wrong way and got off balance. But he broke up some good balls and the nice thing about it is after the touchdown he came back and competed his ass off. Cardinals rookie Brandon Williams gets set to line up during a training camp practice July 29. (Photo by Adam Green/Arizona Sports) Friday, as Williams was talking to the media, Peterson dropped by to share some thoughts on his teammate.“The kid had a great practice today, so happy for him, I’m proud of him,” Peterson said. “He’s taking great strides. That kid’s got it. He’s got it.”That’s high praise from a player who is arguably the NFL’s best cornerback, though when told that must mean he’s arrived, Williams smiled and laughed.“Nah, nah,” he said. – / 22center_img Top Stories “He’s a more mature rookie than most,” he added.But he is still a rookie, and as Williams said, if day one of camp taught him anything it is that he has a long way to go. Getting to work with and against a group of receivers like the Cardinals have may lead to giving up more completions than he would like, but at the same time, Williams sees what could be perceived as a disadvantage as something that instead can be beneficial.“I just see opportunity, opportunity to get better,” he said. “All those guys bring different styles to the table. Larry is a big guy, Mike is too. Smoke and J.J. are more faster guys, so I get to work on different parts of my game with them.”Brown, who as Arians said beat Williams for a long touchdown, was complimentary of the cornerback.“He doesn’t look like a rookie at all,” he said. “He’s making plays — you know, he’s doing what he’s doing. He had a lot of pass breakups [Friday], so he looked real good.”Good day or not, Williams said his confidence always stays at an even level. If anything, he said making big plays only motivates him to pay even more attention to detail, because his understanding of what he was supposed to do is what allows him to succeed. Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Comments   Share   last_img read more