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Williams Carving Role In Crowded Secondary

Posted Aug 6, 2012

In his first training camp with the Redskins, veteran safety Madieu Williams is out to prove that he can contribute to the defense of his childhood team.

Whether through coincidence or design, the Redskins have added a number of players in recent years that grew up and have ties to the D.C.-metropolitan area.

One such newcomer is veteran safety Madieu Williams.

Growing up in Lanham, Md, Williams is quite familiar with the hype of Redskins football. 

“There’s always a huge following with Redskins nation,” the former Maryland Terrapin standout said.  “We’ve had a lot of success here in the past and hopefully we’ll start having some success here in the future.”

The Redskins signed Williams as an unrestricted free agent during the offseason.  Entering his ninth NFL season, Williams has played in 103 games with 86 starts.  He’s recorded 498 tackles, 4.5 sacks, 12 inceptions, 43 passes defense, and four forced fumbles.

During his with the Vikings, Williams got experience playing both the strong and free safety. 

In Jim Haslett’s defensive scheme, the distinctions between the two positions are blurred, and safety personnel must be interchangeable.

“Hopefully I fit into the mix,” Williams said.  “In the system there’s not really a strong and free safety; you’re really asked to do both quite a bit and the rotations that we have over the course of the game allow you to be able to do both.”

Williams joins forces with two other former Terrapins in the Redskins’ secondary, as both Josh Wilson and Kevin Barnes also grew up near Washington and attended Maryland.

“[Williams] is coming back home playing great football, out there patrolling the free safety spot.  Really a great addition,” Wilson said of Williams. “He just wants to prove that he’s a great player.”

Last season, the Redskins had 13 interceptions and 17 forced fumbles.  Those numbers contributed to the defense being ranked 13th overall in the league. 

With a revamped secondary, the Redskins will look to improve on those numbers in 2012.

“I think one of the things we’ve been doing is putting an emphasis on turnovers.”  Williams said of the defense. “The coaches have been stressing that throughout the OTA’s and mini-camps.”

Despite auditioning 15 defensive backs during training camp and the preseason, Williams is confident that the Redskins have quality—not just strength in numbers.

“With the guys that we have in the secondary there’s no doubt in my mind that we have in the mix to be a very good secondary, but we still got to go out there and prove it every Sunday.”

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