Greedy Williams is back on the field with the Cleveland Browns at OTAs, something head coach Kevin Stefanski is very happy to see.
Williams missed all of last season with a shoulder injury, which was a bit of a mystery at times. Williams damaged a nerve in the shoulder and is still rehabbing from the injury, looking to regain full strength before being cleared for contact.
“It is a great feeling. Just being reunited with the team, going through the drills with them and things like that, it gives you the happiest moments,” Williams said of his return to the field.
The Browns placed Williams on injured reserve in mid-October after initially opting not to. He had practiced on a limited basis for a spurt, but it became clear he would not be able to get on the field. Seeing what Williams went through gave Stefanski a newfound respect for Williams, who was slated to man one of the starting cornerback spots.
“It told me a ton about him. Like anybody going through an injury, he had some tough moments there, but when he was in this building, he had a smile on his face and he worked really hard in that training room I can tell you, we are all really excited to see him out on the field going through drills,” Stefanski said. “To watch somebody rehab like he did, we are excited about where he is going. He has some more work to do, but to see him back on the field and see No. 26 working is great.”
Greedy Williams Has Fought Through Rehab Process
Williams admitted that the rehab process has not been easy. He spoke earlier this season about some of the hate he received on social media last season as he was relegated to the sideline.
“I put a lot of work in for year two,’’ Williams told Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com. “I wanted to be the best of the best. It was like, ‘Wow, I actually miss a whole year and people think it’s a fake?’ It’s not a fake. I don’t fake injuries and, you know, I’ve just never been that type of person. I love the game of football and I respect it so well. How could I fake an injury like that?’’
Williams seems to be in a better place now when it comes to his rehab and is just looking to find that trust again in his shoulder for when he goes in to tackle.
“The rehab process, it is a fight,” Williams said. “Dealing with a nerve injury, you fatigue kind of fast with a shoulder injury. I keep fighting through it and just keep trusting, like I said, myself. I am just pushing it to the limit of being able to get back out there.
“My mindset is just to come back and work harder. The way I prepared last year to play the season, I am preparing 10 times better because I sat back a year and had a lot of time to just learn the game and do things I was not able to do during the season. I think I am fully prepared and just ready to get going.”
Browns Happy With Depth At Cornerback
Williams will have some new company in the secondary this season, with the Browns bringing in Troy Hill through free agency and Greg Newsome with their first pick in the NFL Draft.
“I think there are a bunch of guys in that group who push each other and are working really hard right now,” Stefanski said. “This is the fun part where we can go through individual drills, and we can slow it down and teach. I can tell you, each one of those guys is pushing each other. Depth is a good thing, and it is a really good group.”
Newsomeʻs presence especially will push Williams, who is trying to hang on to his starting role. As a rookie Williams was named the starter in training camp, getting the starting nod in all 12 games he played in. He recorded 47 combined tackles and two passes defended.