Saturday, June 6, 2009
A Chat With Edwin Williams Of The Washington Redskins
Edwin Williams is an undrafted rookie attempting to make the roster of the 2009 Washington Redskins. Williams was eyed by the Redskins since before the draft, so he has an excellent chance on helping the Redskins for many years to come.
Edwin was born and raised in the Washington D.C. He is very family-oriented, and is religious. His journey to the Redskins almost never happened, because basketball used to be his first love.
He attended DeMatha High School. Though the program has a rich history on the gridiron, the school is known throughout the world for having a top-notch basketball program. Edwin joined the freshman football team, and began to see his potential in the sport.
Williams began to work really hard at his game in his sophomore year. Dematha’s head football coach Bill McGregor asked Edwin to quit basketball in order to concentrate on football full-time.
Weighing 255 pounds then, Edwin then put on an additional forty pounds of weight from his junior year to his senior year. By then, he was getting offers from dozens of colleges across the country.
Edwin chose to go to college at the University of Maryland. The Terrapin were a team already full of pro prospects. Men like Jared Gaither, Andrew Crummey, and fellow Redskin Stephon Heyer all are in the NFL right now, as are several Terrapin linemen from years past.
After redshirting his freshman year, Edwin got in on 10 games his first year at Maryland by splitting time with the starter Ryan McDonald. He earned the starting job as a sophomore, and started 39 consecutive games until he graduated with honors.
He was a two time Academic All American, and a recipient of the 2008 Wilma Rudolph Student-Athlete Recognition Award.
When did you first start getting interested in football?
Edwin : “I was always a big kid. Bigger than most my age. My dad tried to get me to play Pee Wee football as a kid, but the coaches said I had to play with others much older than me because of my size. I didn’t play again until high school.”
What made you try out then?
Edwin : “Most of my friends played, and I was bigger and stronger than most. I went to DeMatha to play basketball. I figured if I got cut or hurt in my freshman year, I would never play again.”
Did you grow up a fan of the Redskins?
Edwin : “Yes I did. I followed them, and knew of ‘The Hogs’, and all of the Super Bowl wins they had.”
When were you first aware the Redskins were interested in you?
Edwin : “I hadn’t really been following the 2009 NFL Draft, but then several teams started calling me around the fourth round of the draft. The Redskins called me somewhere in the fifth or sixth round and told me to watch the draft, so I did.”
What is it like to be a member of the Redskins family right now?
“It is a dream come true for me, having been a fan of the team. I am so impressed by the team and their coaches. I have a lot of work to do, in order to get better, but I feel I am on the right team.”
Two of your college teammates, Stephon Heyer and Kevin Barnes, are Redskins. What is this like? Could any of you envisioned this happening?
Edwin : “No, we never could have foreseen this ever. It is really a great happening, especially with Stephon. Not only do we have the same agent, but he is a mentor of mine. In college, he used to always give me pointers and insights with technique. He is really smart, a leader, and an excellent teacher. He knows a lot more than many people realize.”
How does it feel knowing you get to learn from Joe Bugel, one of the best offensive line coaches in NFL history?
Edwin : I first met him at the combine. I was stunned, because I knew who he was and what he has achieved. He took time out to tell me he was impressed with me at the combine, and that meant a lot. Knowing that I will be learning from him is fantastic!”
What have you learned about the veteran offensive linemen in practice thus far?
Edwin : “Not only are they extraordinary athletes, but they are also ordinary men. I understand people tend to put them on a pedestal. I know how great Chris Cooley, Chris Samuels, Randy Thomas, and Jon Jansen are as players. I have known about Jansen since I was in middle school.
What I have come to realize is that they are family men, and they are doing their very best to provide for their loved ones. They are also very kind, and have given me pointers in camp. As a unit, they are flawless, and are the best guys on and off the field as individuals.”
How has camp gone so far for you?
Edwin : I am happy, and even have put in more reps than I expected. It feels great when Vinny Cerrato comes up to me and says I’m doing well. I know I have a lot more to learn, so I have to continue always giving my all every moment I can.”
What have you learned thus far about the Redskins offensive system?
Edwin : “They run a similar system to what I played in college. The blocking designs are very close to one another, since both run the West Coast system. Some plays, in fact, are the same. Casey Rabach, the starting center, has been helping me too.”
The Redskins are well known to hold practices in front of the public. Since you are a local man, do you look forward to this?
Edwin : “Yes I do. I am sure many of my family and friends will consider attending, but I have a job to accomplish. I can always see family after practice, because I live about five minutes from where we practice. My goal is to try to help the team win, but I think it is great Mr. Snyder allows the fans see the team practice.”
I would like to thank Edwin Williams for his time, and wish him nothing but the best. The Redskins have themselves a very smart, grounded, and intense leader. Hopefully Edwin will always stay healthy and happy. I am certain he will help the Redskins for many years, and this hometown hero has everything you look for in an NFL player.