Geaux Saints

Jamaal Williams 2018 Outlook

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Very few, if any, of the players who are "Team Williams" are claiming that Aaron Jones has no spot in this offense when he returns. He's an obviously dynamic rusher who without a doubt can add explosiveness to this offense in a chance-of-pace role. But those of you who think Jones is going to usurp the #1 RB spot in Green Bay are sorely mistaken. It's been hammered time and again above, but the reason is crystal clear: pass-blocking. 

 

I want you to take a look at this video from tonight's game of Jamaal Williams absolutely ******** stonewalling Danny Trevathan: http://a.video.nfl.com/films/vodzilla/143753/Davante_Adams_with_a_spectacular_catch_f-Mn4c8pFt-20180909_19503684_5000k.mp4. (watch the whole thing because midway through Collinsworth goes back and points it out).

 

In order for that play to stand a chance, Williams needs to: A) in a split second, realize where the free rusher is coming from, B.) without ANY hesitation, lunge full speed at the free rusher, and then C) absolutely stonewall him (which is no small feat when the blitzer is Danny Trevathan). Look at the size of the hole Trevathan had to rush through that Williams had to fill -- LBs are taught pass rush moves (spin moves, swim moves, etc.). Here he went for a straight bull-rush because hell, he's facing a RB,not an OL like he's used to facing, he can push him around. And Williams completely handles him. 
 

All it takes is a quarter of a second of hesitation, at most, either in recognizing who he needs to block, or in taking that first step towards filling the hole that Trevathan is blasting through, and Williams either doesn't have enough leverage to slow Trevathan's progress enough, or (more likely) he isn't able to meet him head-on but instead pushes him towards Rodgers (resulting in a sack)....Collinsworth's effusive praise of Williams is absolutely well-deserved because that is a pass-blocking play that only a tiny minority of NFL RBs are able to make. 

 

It's so easy as a fan to think of RB pass-blocking skills as nothing but an abstraction, and one that at its worst prevents us from seeing our teams play the OBVIOUSLY better players (like Aaron Jones, who obviously outperformed Williams as a rusher last year). It's good every once in awhile to see a concrete example of Williams' pass-blocking skill here turn what would've almost certainly been a sack into a huge passing gain. Something that won't show up on the stat sheet, but I guarantee will be weighted heavily in the minds of the Packers' offensive decision makers (as it should be) when deciding how to divvy up RB reps next week and as the season goes on.

 

And also, please note, I love Jones...if you could turn him into a pass-blocker half as good as Williams you'd have a superstar on your hands. But he had two good games last year: 19/125 vs Dal with Rodgers healthy, and 17/131 vs NO the week after Rodgers got hurt. I'm not going to make a strong argument about how Williams is a better runner than Jones, because obviously the YPC are vastly different last year (5.5 for Jones vs 3.6 for Williams I believe), but I think that to extrapolate that and consider that to be remotely how large of a difference there is in their talents as runners is foolish, considering Williams got the bulk of his carries facing 8-man boxes with Brent Hundley at QB while Jones got his 5.5 YPC in half the carries and half or more of those carries were attached to Rodgers. It's just not comparable. 

 

Jones has a role to play and I'm excited for his return. He's gonna rip off some big runs and the Packers faithful will be begging McCarthy to stop sending plodding Williams out there. But those of us with an understanding of football that extends beyond "yards" or the slightly more complicated "yards per carry" know better.

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23 minutes ago, danmam said:

Very few, if any, of the players who are "Team Williams" are claiming that Aaron Jones has no spot in this offense when he returns. He's an obviously dynamic rusher who without a doubt can add explosiveness to this offense in a chance-of-pace role. But those of you who think Jones is going to usurp the #1 RB spot in Green Bay are sorely mistaken. It's been hammered time and again above, but the reason is crystal clear: pass-blocking. 

 

I want you to take a look at this video from tonight's game of Jamaal Williams absolutely ******** stonewalling Danny Trevathan: http://a.video.nfl.com/films/vodzilla/143753/Davante_Adams_with_a_spectacular_catch_f-Mn4c8pFt-20180909_19503684_5000k.mp4. (watch the whole thing because midway through Collinsworth goes back and points it out).

 

In order for that play to stand a chance, Williams needs to: A) in a split second, realize where the free rusher is coming from, B.) without ANY hesitation, lunge full speed at the free rusher, and then C) absolutely stonewall him (which is no small feat when the blitzer is Danny Trevathan). Look at the size of the hole Trevathan had to rush through that Williams had to fill -- LBs are taught pass rush moves (spin moves, swim moves, etc.). Here he went for a straight bull-rush because hell, he's facing a RB,not an OL like he's used to facing, he can push him around. And Williams completely handles him. 
 

All it takes is a quarter of a second of hesitation, at most, either in recognizing who he needs to block, or in taking that first step towards filling the hole that Trevathan is blasting through, and Williams either doesn't have enough leverage to slow Trevathan's progress enough, or (more likely) he isn't able to meet him head-on but instead pushes him towards Rodgers (resulting in a sack)....Collinsworth's effusive praise of Williams is absolutely well-deserved because that is a pass-blocking play that only a tiny minority of NFL RBs are able to make. 

 

It's so easy as a fan to think of RB pass-blocking skills as nothing but an abstraction, and one that at its worst prevents us from seeing our teams play the OBVIOUSLY better players (like Aaron Jones, who obviously outperformed Williams as a rusher last year). It's good every once in awhile to see a concrete example of Williams' pass-blocking skill here turn what would've almost certainly been a sack into a huge passing gain. Something that won't show up on the stat sheet, but I guarantee will be weighted heavily in the minds of the Packers' offensive decision makers (as it should be) when deciding how to divvy up RB reps next week and as the season goes on.

 

And also, please note, I love Jones...if you could turn him into a pass-blocker half as good as Williams you'd have a superstar on your hands. But he had two good games last year: 19/125 vs Dal with Rodgers healthy, and 17/131 vs NO the week after Rodgers got hurt. I'm not going to make a strong argument about how Williams is a better runner than Jones, because obviously the YPC are vastly different last year (5.5 for Jones vs 3.6 for Williams I believe), but I think that to extrapolate that and consider that to be remotely how large of a difference there is in their talents as runners is foolish, considering Williams got the bulk of his carries facing 8-man boxes with Brent Hundley at QB while Jones got his 5.5 YPC in half the carries and half or more of those carries were attached to Rodgers. It's just not comparable. 

 

Jones has a role to play and I'm excited for his return. He's gonna rip off some big runs and the Packers faithful will be begging McCarthy to stop sending plodding Williams out there. But those of us with an understanding of football that extends beyond "yards" or the slightly more complicated "yards per carry" know better.

 

This is why I just see this being a messy situation probably best avoided from a fantasy football perspective. In real football sense it makes perfect sense for the Packers. Jones is the better runner but he will likely be somewhat capped by Williams due to his value as a pass blocker. While this advantage makes it likely Williams will see the field it doesn't necessarily mean those snaps will consistently translate to meaningful fantasy points especially if he is pass blocking for a decent percentage of those snaps. Additionally, although Williams clearly should run better with Rodgers at the helm I don't think he has the big play ability to make much of the volume he sees unless he scores a TD (likely from close). With Jones the better runner it makes sense to use him in more clear running situations (obviously they aren't going to be completely predictable though and Williams will run some while they'll pass with Jones in sometimes) and as Williams' pass blocking adds a dimension to Packers offense I think Jones' running ability really can open up a defense since if he isn't properly accounted for he can take it to the house. It'll probably often times be a hot hand approach which will make either tough to rely on for fantasy purpose and they'll cut into each others value making each other less valuable. I haven't even reached TyMont yet who will play a role and steal a few carries particularly when they are in catch up mode. I'm not sure if he is a subpar pass blocker or not although he probably often times releases and helps slow down the pass rush in that fashion. It is a RBBC. An RBBC in a high powered offense so there is a chance they can both coexist but neither are as talented as Ingram or Kamara and I don't see them scaling back Rodgers (although the injury does add an interesting potential wrinkle) so I think its more likely the leech value from each other week to week leading to some good games but maddening inconsistency.  

Edited by Jaw1

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To counter - if there is no threat to run present, then the opposing d-coordinator is going to dial up the pressure.

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2 minutes ago, TTo34 said:

To counter - if there is no threat to run present, then the opposing d-coordinator is going to dial up the pressure.

Good point. There are other indirect ways to slow down/limit the pass rush whether that be draws, screens or such. Helpful in certain situations but you don't always need a RB to sit in there and be another blocker. In fact I'd be interested if anyone could find a stat that gave what percentage of their pass plays certain teams keep a RB in to purely pass block. 

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59 minutes ago, Jaw1 said:

Good point. There are other indirect ways to slow down/limit the pass rush whether that be draws, screens or such. Helpful in certain situations but you don't always need a RB to sit in there and be another blocker. In fact I'd be interested if anyone could find a stat that gave what percentage of their pass plays certain teams keep a RB in to purely pass block. 

I don't think it's typically that simple — a RB will be lined up in the backfield and next to Rodgers, for instance, and his responsibilities for the play can vary greatly depending on what the defense does. To list a few:

 

A) Pick up a free blitzer if Rodgers/the o-line recognizes or suspects someone's coming who's unaccounted for by the o-line. 

B.) If the defense DOES blitz but the offense is prepared to handle it through other means (designed rollout away from the blitz, or an extra TE kept in to block), the RB can run a pass route without needing to pass block 

C) All sorts of middle-ground situations exist, such as one where the RB provides a quick chip block to help an o-lineman with his man the leaks into the flat for a pass. 

 

And tons of situations not mentioned above. It's all a game of QB (mainly) and the rest of the offense identifying what the defense will do, being on the same page, reacting, and executing. So many more layers than "Jamaal you're pass-blocking this play." 

 

 

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7 minutes ago, danmam said:

I don't think it's typically that simple — a RB will be lined up in the backfield and next to Rodgers, for instance, and his responsibilities for the play can vary greatly depending on what the defense does. To list a few:

 

A) Pick up a free blitzer if Rodgers/the o-line recognizes or suspects someone's coming who's unaccounted for by the o-line. 

B.) If the defense DOES blitz but the offense is prepared to handle it through other means (designed rollout away from the blitz, or an extra TE kept in to block), the RB can run a pass route without needing to pass block 

C) All sorts of middle-ground situations exist, such as one where the RB provides a quick chip block to help an o-lineman with his man the leaks into the flat for a pass. 

 

And tons of situations not mentioned above. It's all a game of QB (mainly) and the rest of the offense identifying what the defense will do, being on the same page, reacting, and executing. So many more layers than "Jamaal you're pass-blocking this play." 

 

 

Yeah that is true I guess it is more a function of what the defense and the particular play being called than being offensive scheme/team related. I think the main point is there is a give and take and having the better blocker in instead of the better runner doesn't necessarily mean you'll be better protected cause like you mention it is a very dynamic situation of cat and mouse between the offense and the defense. 

Edited by Jaw1

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2 hours ago, Jaw1 said:

 

This is why I just see this being a messy situation probably best avoided from a fantasy football perspective. In real football sense it makes perfect sense for the Packers. Jones is the better runner but he will likely be somewhat capped by Williams due to his value as a pass blocker. While this advantage makes it likely Williams will see the field it doesn't necessarily mean those snaps will consistently translate to meaningful fantasy points especially if he is pass blocking for a decent percentage of those snaps. Additionally, although Williams clearly should run better with Rodgers at the helm I don't think he has the big play ability to make much of the volume he sees unless he scores a TD (likely from close). With Jones the better runner it makes sense to use him in more clear running situations (obviously they aren't going to be completely predictable though and Williams will run some while they'll pass with Jones in sometimes) and as Williams' pass blocking adds a dimension to Packers offense I think Jones' running ability really can open up a defense since if he isn't properly accounted for he can take it to the house. It'll probably often times be a hot hand approach which will make either tough to rely on for fantasy purpose and they'll cut into each others value making each other less valuable. I haven't even reached TyMont yet who will play a role and steal a few carries particularly when they are in catch up mode. I'm not sure if he is a subpar pass blocker or not although he probably often times releases and helps slow down the pass rush in that fashion. It is a RBBC. An RBBC in a high powered offense so there is a chance they can both coexist but neither are as talented as Ingram or Kamara and I don't see them scaling back Rodgers (although the injury does add an interesting potential wrinkle) so I think its more likely the leech value from each other week to week leading to some good games but maddening inconsistency.  

That's one way to see it. [Sidenote: TyMont is a subpar passblocker as well as far as I'm aware]. My biggest concern to Williams' productivity would be games were the Packers jump out to big leads -- then it's likely you're gonna see a lot of Aaron Jones as the Packers run down the clock. I do think calling Williams a bellcow (absent an injury to Jones) is a stretch, as they're likely to do something more akin to rotating series (not necessarily 50/50, but 2 Williams, 1 Jones, with TyMont sprinkled in on some 3rd downs or in 2-back sets) when both are healthy. But I think Williams is the obvious odds-on favorite to lead the Packers backfield in 1) snaps, 2) carries, 3) receptions, and with 2 and 3 comes 4) rushing yards and 5) receiving yards, and most likely 6) TDs. And I don't think the numbers will be ugly at the end of the year (again, assuming health)...I could see Williams with 800 rushing yards, 500 receiving yards, and 8 TDs, and that's some pretty solid production for a guy drafted where he was drafted. That's with Jones in the 400 rushing yards, 150-200 receiving yards, 2 TDs range and TyMont probably around there or a bit lower. Or you can shift everything down a bit because the Packers have some gnarly defenses they'll be going against. But in any case, I'm still of the opinion Jamaal is by far the guy to own, and not only that, he's a prime buy-low after week 2 because I don't expect a lot of success rushing against the Vikings either. 

 

I'm no perfect prognosticator; I just might be 100% on this and Jones is going to burst in and steal the touches, the snaps, and the spotlight, but based on everything I've read and watched and know as a Packers fan, this is how I see it playing out. 

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Chicago was a force last night on the defensive attack but that won't be a valid enough excuse to hold off any competitors for touches. he needs to deliver a better performance next week.

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Didn't like what I saw.  Hated his lack of usage in the passing game.  I'm trying to sell and get Jones for cheap to see if he establishes himself.

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Jamaal Williams just isnt a good RB. I stupidly took him in the 6th round of my PPR leauge. Lacks burst and doesn't make anyone miss. While his pass protection skills are really good I just don't ever see him being a reliable option at RB, especially with Rodgers being so pass happy in the redzone. 

 

Aaron Jones will eventually take over a large share of the RB touches imo. He's so much better running the ball than Williams.

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6 minutes ago, Jj66 said:

Jamaal Williams just isnt a good RB. I stupidly took him in the 6th round of my PPR leauge. Lacks burst and doesn't make anyone miss. While his pass protection skills are really good I just don't ever see him being a reliable option at RB, especially with Rodgers being so pass happy in the redzone. 

 

Aaron Jones will eventually take over a large share of the RB touches imo. He's so much better running the ball than Williams.

Again he’s in there to protect Aaron which is clearly all that matters. He’s not losing all or even half of his snaps to Jones barring injury.

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I think we need at least one more week before drawing any conclusions about him. Last night was a weird game with Rodgers going out and the Bears getting up big early. Not a good game script for him to have success. 

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52 minutes ago, Spyplane said:

Chicago was a force last night on the defensive attack but that won't be a valid enough excuse to hold off any competitors for touches. he needs to deliver a better performance next week.

Almost impossible to start against the Vikings D. Check back week 3. 

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He's going nowhere against the Vikes next week...he might be in big trouble when Jones comes back

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43 minutes ago, Magoo said:

Again he’s in there to protect Aaron which is clearly all that matters. He’s not losing all or even half of his snaps to Jones barring injury.

 

The Packers aren't going anywhere without being able to run the ball. Jones is significantly better in that aspect. Williams will still have his role (2 min and obvious pass catching situations) but it won't be enough to make him a viable starter. 

 

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People are reading too much into the gameflow from last night. Williams looked good when there was room to run. He looked amazing in pass protection. Job is safe even when Jones returns. Jones will probably get 10-15 snaps a game and a few carries as a change of pace.

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It's tough that Williams two starts without Jones around are against the Bears and the Vikings, two of the top run defenses in the league. So it's not likely that his stats will jump off the page next week either. His lack of usage in a play from behind 2nd half is a little concerning though, I was really hoping he'd develop into a dump off option for Rodgers, but 1 reception is not enough. 

 

I think Williams will still have a solid week 3 workload as they're not too likely to just hand Jones' a bunch of touches on his first game back. But once you get into week 4 on I could see it as Williams for 10-15 touches, Jones for 5-10, and Montgomery getting the passing work. That's a bit of a nightmare situation as it makes him entirely TD dependent, and would require an injury for anyone to become a confident starter in fantasy. 

 

It's only week 1 so all of this is a bit premature, but it's not looking particularly great for any of the Packers' running backs at the moment. 

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I saw at least two runs in the first half last night where Williams took the snap and just ran forward into his linemen...   

There were lanes to the sides he could have run thru but instead he just ran straight into his linemen and fell down ala Devontae Booker from last season....

 

Aaron Jones would have most likely stopped short of his linemen and exploded thru those open gaps....

 

Once we get later in the year and it's playoff time I think the owners of Jones will be happier than the owners with Williams....

 

I have both and pulling for one of them to establish themselves as startable but after last night I'm starting to think it's either Jones or bust for this whole backfield...

 

Then again I actually thought Rex Burkhead would be a ppr machine and that looks almost as bleak as the Jamaal Williams outlook so what do I know..

Edited by General Gannicus
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1 hour ago, General Gannicus said:

I saw at least two runs in the first half last night where Williams took the snap and just ran forward into his linemen...   

There were lanes to the sides he could have run thru but instead he just ran straight into his linemen and fell down ala Devontae Booker from last season....

 

Aaron Jones would have most likely stopped short of his linemen and exploded thru those open gaps....

 

Once we get later in the year and it's playoff time I think the owners of Jones will be happier than the owners with Williams....

 

I have both and pulling for one of them to establish themselves as startable but after last night I'm starting to think it's either Jones or bust for this whole backfield...

 

Then again I actually thought Rex Burkhead would be a ppr machine and that looks almost as bleak as the Jamaal Williams outlook so what do I know..

I wouldn’t be surprised if Sony gets dropped in quite a few leagues as people chase week 1 producers.  He’s one of the guys I’d pick up and stash.

 

I think Jones is flat out better than Williams.  If the RB job just called for a blocker Williams would clench the job, but the RB needs to be a threat to keep the opposing D honest.  Williams isn’t that guy.

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7 minutes ago, seanismorris said:

I wouldn’t be surprised if Sony gets dropped in quite a few leagues as people chase week 1 producers.  He’s one of the guys I’d pick up and stash.

 

I think Jones is flat out better than Williams.  If the RB job just called for a blocker Williams would clench the job, but the RB needs to be a threat to keep the opposing D honest.  Williams isn’t that guy.

 

Definitely not now that Hill is done for the season

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8 minutes ago, seanismorris said:

I wouldn’t be surprised if Sony gets dropped in quite a few leagues as people chase week 1 producers.  He’s one of the guys I’d pick up and stash.

 

I think Jones is flat out better than Williams.  If the RB job just called for a blocker Williams would clench the job, but the RB needs to be a threat to keep the opposing D honest.  Williams isn’t that guy.

I don't understand this argument. This is accurate when the QB and passing offense is bad, but not with Rodgers as QB with those receivers. Rodgers keeps defenses honest so that an extra safety isn't in the box. That opens up running lanes. They don't need a RB to draw a safety into the box, because no defense would dare make it easier on Rodgers through the air.

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13 minutes ago, street sharks said:

 

Definitely not now that Hill is done for the season

I agree.  

 

White isn’t someone to carry the load.  Burkhead is fine, but likely a placeholder.

 

I’m hoping people’s attention is elsewhere and they miss Sony’s opportunity and drop him.  With Gillislee also gone, Sony could be a solid RB2 if things fall right.

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17 minutes ago, devaster said:

I don't understand this argument. This is accurate when the QB and passing offense is bad, but not with Rodgers as QB with those receivers. Rodgers keeps defenses honest so that an extra safety isn't in the box. That opens up running lanes. They don't need a RB to draw a safety into the box, because no defense would dare make it easier on Rodgers through the air.

Offenses need balance.  

 

Remember last year when the Titans were all about the run?  And they did run a lot, but they ran less than NE.  

 

Regardless of how good the passing game is, you still need to be effective running the ball.

 

Also, we can consider Rodgers to be less than mobile.  On one hand, Rodgers will need to have better blocking, but on the other they need an effective RB or the pressure brought by the opposing D will be ridiculous.  If you don’t sack guys like Rodgers and Brady you’re going to loose...

 

I think Jones’s role will quickly eclipse Williams.  If I owned Williams and was counting on him to be my starter, I’d pick up Jones rather than some of the more flashier options on waiver.  If I’m wrong you can always drop Jones with likely little lost. 

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1 minute ago, seanismorris said:

Offenses need balance.  

 

Remember last year when the Titans were all about the run?  And they did run a lot, but they ran less than NE.  

 

Regardless of how good the passing game is, you still need to be effective running the ball.

 

Also, we can consider Rodgers to be less than mobile.  On one hand, Rodgers will need to have better blocking, but on the other they need an effective RB or the pressure brought by the opposing D will be ridiculous.  If you don’t sack guys like Rodgers and Brady you’re going to loose...

 

I think Jones’s role will quickly eclipse Williams.  If I owned Williams and was counting on him to be my starter, I’d pick up Jones rather than some of the more flashier options on waiver.  If I’m wrong you can always drop Jones with likely little lost. 

 

So we are comparing the Titans to Rodgers and GB's offense now? On paper and in theory what you said makes sense. But it doesn't apply to QBs like Rodgers, Brady, or Brees. They are the catalysts for their offenses.

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