Defense rests

  • TODD FREDRICKSON / Herald Writer
  • Sunday, October 29, 2000 9:00pm
  • Sports

Cornerback Willie Williams takes the blame for two TDs


Herald Writer

SEATTLE — When a cornerback gets beat deep there are at least two things about it that make it really unpleasant: It hurts his team badly, and everybody in the stadium can see who messed up.

So there was no hiding Sunday for Seattle cornerback Willie Williams.

The sum total of Kansas City’s offensive punch was three long touchdown passes, two of which victimized Williams as the Chiefs beat Seattle 24-19 at Husky Stadium.

The eight-year veteran knew he’d be a marked man in the locker room after the game, and he stood there and took it like a pro.

"I’ll take the blame for two of those, so you all can write that," he said. "I take the blame for two. It was clearly my fault."

Williams completed a triple crown of sorts on Kansas City’s second touchdown, a 50-yard pass from Elvis Grbac to wide receiver Derrick Alexander that put the Chiefs ahead to stay at 14-10 in the second quarter.

Williams drew a penalty flag for illegal contact, let Alexander get a step on him anyway on a deep corner route, then missed a relatively easy tackle after Alexander made the catch near the right sideline.

On Kansas City’s next possession, wide receiver Kevin Lockett got just enough behind Williams to make a leaping catch on a 34-yard touchdown pass from Grbac that made it 21-10.

"The first one, he got behind me. The second one I was there but he made a good catch," Williams said. "What can I say about it?"

Chris Canty replaced Williams in the Seahawks’ regular defense after the ninth play of the third quarter. The official reason given by Williams and coach Mike Holmgren is that Williams suffered a stinger while trying to break up another deep ball on which Alexander had gotten behind Williams, a pass that was overthrown and fell incomplete.

It’s worth noting, however, that Williams was healthy enough to play in Seattle’s nickel defense the rest of the way and that the pass defense with Canty on the field tightened up considerably. Kansas City’s longest gain after that was 22 yards.

Williams declined to blame his woes on a bad charley horse he suffered Friday, an injury that kept him out of much of that day’s practice.

"I don’t think I was slowed up. If I was slowed up I should have never been out there, so I don’t think I was slowed up. No excuses," he said.

What made the whole thing extra frustrating is that the book on beating Kansas City is relatively straightforward. If you control the run and don’t get beat deep you’ve taken away the only two things the Chiefs consistently do well.

The Seahawks, who surrendered 425 rushing yards in their previous two games, held Kansas City to 76 yards on 26 rushing attempts, a 2.9-yard average.

But they gave up touchdown passes of 59, 50 and 34 yards, all in the first half.

"We came into this game to stop the run and not give up big plays, but we didn’t accomplish one goal. We gave up big plays," Williams said. "If we don’t do that we win the game."

If there can be a silver lining for a team that’s 2-7 for the first time since the dreadful 2-14 campaign of 1992, it’s that this defeat really did boil down to just three plays.

"We played a lot better. That’s a positive," Seattle linebacker Chad Brown said. "There’s three plays to point to instead of three drives or three quarters. That is a positive."

"This is a tough loss. Any loss is tough, but this is not as difficult to swallow," Brown said. "If it weren’t for a couple of plays, things would have been different. That’s a step in the right direction."

Brown has been teammates with Williams since the two helped take Pittsburgh to the Super Bowl following the 1995 season. He was one of the first Seahawks to approach Williams on the sideline after Alexander’s 50-yard touchdown catch.

"We need Willie. He was not 100 percent, but we need Willie," Brown said. "He’s our starting cornerback, and it’s not a time to get down on anybody or say ‘Hey, YOU have got to play better.’ It’s just, ‘We need you, man. Just play.’ "

One thing’s for sure, Williams expects to continue to see deep treatment from opposing offenses, especially since he did little Sunday to discourage it.

"They’re going to keep coming at me and keep trying me," he said. "They’re going to try the weakest corner, and I guess I’m the weakest corner because Shawn (Springs), he’s a great corner with the Pro Bowl and all that. I’ve got to go into every game thinking like that.

"They tried me and they made two touchdowns on me. There’s nothing I could do about it," he said. "I couldn’t make a play to save my life."

Or his team.

Talk to us

More in Sports

Spring 2023 All-Wesco teams

Note: All-Wesco teams are chosen by the league’s coaches. For any misspellings… Continue reading

Washington celebrates a home run by Rylee Holtorf (3) at home plate during the second inning of an NCAA softball Women's College World Series game against Utah Friday, June 2, 2023, in Oklahoma City. (AP Photo/Nate Billings)
UW opens Women’s College World Series with key win over Utah

After being rained out on Thursday, Washington beats Utah 4-1 to advance into the winner’s bracket.

Vote for The Herald’s Prep Athlete of the Week for May 22-28

The Athlete of the Week nominees for May 22-28 Voting closes at… Continue reading

AquaSox can’t make huge rally hold, lose to Hops

Everett takes the lead with six runs in the eighth, but allows two runs back in the ninth and falls 13-12 to Hillsboro.

The Everett Elite Flag Football 14-under team practices Sunday morning at Harbour Pointe Middle School in Mukilteo, Washington on January 16, 2022. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Community roundup: 3 Jackson grads to D-I baseball tournament

Plus, Jayden White is headed back to the NCAA track and field nationals, the Silvertips sign their first-round picks and more.

Washington's Sami Reynolds runs the bases against McNeese during an NCAA softball game on Saturday, May 20, 2023, in Seattle. (AP Photo/John Froschauer)
Local softball stars Reynolds, Mahler set for WCWS

Washington’s Sami Reynolds (Snohomish) and Stanford’s River Mahler (Monroe) each play prominent roles on their Pac-12 teams.

The Mariners’ Cal Raleigh smiles as a teammate throws bubblegum at him during an interview after Raleigh hit a single to drive in the winning run against the Yankees during the 10th inning of a game Wednesday in Seattle. (AP Photo/Lindsey Wasson)
Raleigh’s RBI single in 10th gives M’s 1-0 win over Yankees

George Kirby pitches one of the best games of his young career with eight shutout innings in Seattle’s 1-0 win.

AquaSox top Hops on wild pitch in 11th inning

Everett edges Hillsboro 3-2 in a game with strong pitching on both sides.

Alberto Rodriguez.
Rodriguez puts on power display, leads AquaSox to series win

The 22-year-old outfielder mashed 11 extra-base hits, including six home runs, as Everett took five of seven from Eugene.

Most Read