Williams, pleased with his performance, said this after the game:
I feel like I improved from the first game. I missed a couple of tackles, but today I think I tackled well. I had 10 tackles, so that’s an area I improved on. I just have to keep getting better each and every week at something.
It was just an opportunity for me to come out and give the other guys a break so I could get my helmet fixed and return to the game.
The Bengals had high expectations for former Georgia Bulldog Shawn Williams. After drafting him in the third-round of this year’s NFL Draft, he was immediately being projected to be the opening-day starting strong safety, but has been unable to pass Mays or Iloka on the depth chart up to this point.
He was given a lot of first-team reps during OTAs, and the coaching staff frequently praised him, but also noted the rookie learning curve could eventually hinder him. It appears as though that’d been the case in training camp, but after last night’s performance, he’s at least shown the coaching staff that he’s got the potential to eventually become the player they thought he could be.
It also has to be pointed out that Taylor Mays that started the game in place of Iloka at strong safety, but was only able to muster four tackles in the second-half after getting none in the first-half. Expect to see Mays be the third SS to play next week vs. the Dallas Cowboys, while Williams has certainly done enough to earn the next start.