Cary Williams‘ session with reporters following Tuesday’s minicamp practice did not disappoint.
The cornerback’s decision to to skip another voluntary OTA to attend his daughter’s dance recital last week drew some attention, mostly because he had just returned from a month-long absence. Williams was blunt and unapologetic during a back and forth with the media outside the NovaCare Complex that lasted nearly 20 minutes.
“I’m sorry that people make such a big deal over something so small,” said Williams. “I grew up as a kid who didn’t have two parents in my household. I definitely take pride in being a father, in being a husband. I take pride in being there for my daughter, for my children and future children because I didn’t have that when I was younger.
“I’m sorry that y’all make such a big deal out of it and fans have something to do with it. I love the fans, I love the people that have supported me but at the end of the day, if I were to worry about what a fan thinks of me then I won’t be here very long…I can’t please every person out here in America.”
Williams traveled to Nashville, where he lives, to see his three-year old daughter Amari perform. He felt there was greater value in being center stage for his daughter than attending a voluntary practice. Most will certainly agree with that sentiment. But he had just missed a large chunk of time for other personal reasons, which included getting married, overseeing a house build and dental surgery. The new Eagles’ regime is trying to get the operation off the ground, the argument goes, and need all hands on deck — especially the well-paid hands that were brought in to help establish a specific culture.
Chip Kelly doesn’t appear to be holding it against him. Williams was running with the first-team Tuesday opposite Bradley Fletcher.
“I don’t think that Coach Chip took it as disrespectful. I think that we communicated that situation really well and we’re ready to move on and just play football, dude — that’s all it’s about is playing football on Sundays,” said Williams. “OTAs is a part of it; I understand we have to get acquainted with a new coaching staff and get acquainted with new players, but when those bullets start flying, that’s when you start to see what kind of person you’ve got there on the field anyway.”
This minicamp, which runs through Thursday, is mandatory. The Ravens’ 2012 championship team is scheduled to travel to the White House Wednesday to meet with President Obama, but Williams will skip it to be at practice. (The same goes for Dennis Dixon.)
Williams seemed taken aback when he heard that his absence had drawn so much attention.
“Fans, I love you all, but please,” said Williams. “If I was a guy that had three different kids with three different women and I was a womanizer, you would be reporting that. Now I’m a guy that wanted to go see his daughter’s recital and I’m a bad guy. Like, come on man, I haven’t gotten in trouble in like years, I’ve learned my lessons, I’ve been through so much scrutiny in previous years. If I was doing something negative, then report it. I’m just trying to be a great dad, I’m just trying to be a great family man, I’m just trying to live my life outside football and not be confined to just the box, because life does happen. I don’t want to sound like it’s disrespect, I love my job, but I just had to make sure my sconces, my wood was picked out, my fireplace…it was a whole bunch of stuff that was going on.”
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