Bengals News

Shawn Williams: The Journey to Becoming a Starting Safety


May 10, 2013; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals third round draft pick safety Shawn Williams (40) listens to defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer, right, during the Bengals rookie minicamp at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

A line-up of Georgia players headed by A.J. Green and Geno Atkins made the new bulldog around the locker room draw a lot of curiosity when he first walked in.

Right off the bat, Rey Maualuga approached the third round pick by Cincinnati. He told Williams that all Georgia guys start and that he needs to do the same.

However, that curiosity has turned into quiet respect when the coaching staff and players saw his abilities on the field.

He’s a very intelligent player, and already has most of the playbook down pat following OTAs and minicamps.

He isn’t the most vocal guy, but it hasn’t always been that way. He was a big leader on defense in college, and just needs to become more familiar with his new team before we see that on the Bengals defense.

Atkins had high praise for the young man from his college days. Via

“When I heard we drafted Shawn Williams (in the third round), you saw what he said before the Florida game?” asks Geno Atkins, one of seven seen-but-not-heard Bulldogs on the roster.

“He basically called the defense out, saying they were soft and they came out fired up. With a couple of games under his belt and in a couple of years, he’ll be a great leader for the Bengals.”

Williams will have a lot of competition for the starting safety role opposite of Reggie Nelson. However, if he keeps at the pace that he’s found, and creates a vocal presence that the coaches want to see from him, the Bengals might have another addition to an already frightening defense.

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