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Ravens General Manager Ozzie Newsome didn’t hesitate for a second when tabbing his biggest pleasant surprise of the first quarter of the season.
It’s cornerback Cary Williams.
“It’s no doubt,” Newsome said on 105.7 The Fan. “If you would have [told] me at the end of last football season that Cary Williams would be our starting right corner, I would have gone, ‘Yeah, that’s a little bit of a stretch.’”
Williams has made the story of a special teams ace and perennial backup becoming a starter a reality.
In four starts, Williams has notched 23 tackles (third-most on the team), one pass deflection and one forced fumble. He had eight tackles against the New York Jets in the Ravens’ most recent game.
Williams had just one start in his previous three years in the league, and even then it was more of a technicality than a full game in which Baltimore relied on him at cornerback.
But the former seventh-round pick won the job out of training camp after a second straight standout preseason.
“We have all been looking for that big corner that can run and can play press and with the ability to take some of these big receivers away from the game,” Newsome said.
While becoming a starter is a dream come true for Williams, he has also maintained a level head. After all, there’s plenty of competition in the Ravens’ cornerback corps once a healthy Jimmy Smith and Chris Carr return.
Still, Williams couldn’t hide his smile when he heard of Newsome’s praise.
“Those are big words coming from the big man,” he said. “It’s an honor, I feel blessed. It’s just a testament to hard work, me coming in and taking every day seriously.
“I always knew I could do these things. It’s just about me showing these guys now. I just have to continue getting stronger. There’s no zenith.”