And Campo, the former Cowboys’ head coach who’s back as the team’s secondary coach, says we’ll see the “old Roy Williams” again this year.
“From watching film of him last year to how he’s performing in camp, he’s improved dramatically,” Campo told me after Wednesday’s practice here in Oxnard.
Really? What could a 5-time Pro Bowl selection possibly need to improve on? I jest, of course. The guy sucked so bad last year he was yanked off the field in passing downs.
Campo, the head coach when Dallas drafted Williams 8th overall in 2002, says it’s a matter of confidence, and attention to detail. For example, Williams will again line up 10 yards off the ball instead of 12, getting him even closer to the line of scrimmage so as to maximize his strength and hide his dwindling speed.
“He’s fixed the little things,” says Campo. “We’re putting him in the best position to make plays. I think Roy kind of got away from the things he did so well for so long. He forgot where he came from. Sometimes the worst thing about being good is that it keeps you from being great.”
Williams’ off-season was low-lighted by his admission that last year he didn’t want the ball thrown his way at times because of a lack of confidence. After a clear-the-air meeting with the coaching staff, however, Campo says Williams again has his spark.
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“(Assistant secondary coach) Brett Maxie took the bull by the horns back in the spring,” Campo says. “Roy and the staff sat down and a lot of things got ironed out. It needed to be done. He’s been on point ever since.”
Williams, who has switched from No. 31 to 38, looked so-so in camp. One day he was getting beat by free-agent tight end Rodney Hannah; the next forcing a Patrick Crayton fumble with a big hit. With the arrival of Pacman Jones and first-round pick Mike Jenkins, Williams will likely see less playing time this season.
Me? I’ll believe his improvement when I see it. -- Richie Whitt