If you follow Pittsburgh Steelers second-year linebacker Vince Williams on Twitter, you probably know by now that he’s a deep thinker who isn’t afraid to put those thoughts of his into words.
If you also attended the first week of Steelers training camp, you more than likely left Saint Vincent College in Latrobe without Williams’ autograph. He recently took to his Twitter account to explain why that likely was.
Williams posted last Thursday:
Fans here at Latrobe were upset because I don’t sign autographs. I promise it’s nothing personal. I feel flattered but honestly I don’t feel accomplished enough. I just wanna be humble.
There’s nothing wrong with Williams feeling like his autograph doesn’t hold much value just yet based on what he has and hasn’t been able to accomplish during his rookie season. There’s also nothing wrong with staying humble.
Williams should understand, however, that he managed to accomplish in 2013 what several Steelers defensive rookies that came before him failed to do and that’s play. He started 11 games after veteran Larry Foote went down in the season opener with a biceps injury and while not used as an every-down linebacker, he still managed to play 405 snaps.
That, indeed, is an accomplishment that he should be proud of.
Williams will more than likely see his playing time on defense in 2014 decreases now that first-round draft pick Ryan Shazier is set to start alongside Lawrence Timmons. He could be, however, one snap away from starting once again should something happens to Timmons, so he has to be ready.
Williams has since changed his stance on signing autographs and his reasoning, which he posted Sunday on Twitter, is sound.
I’m starting to come around to signing things now. Even though I don’t feel “good enough”. I enjoy the happiness it brings people.
Despite his current spot on the depth chart, Williams should take some comfort in the fact that he’s already accomplished enough to be a member of the Steelers. While unlikely to start in 2014, he can also still accomplish great things on special teams. By forcing a turnover while covering punts or kickoffs, he can set the Steelers offense up for an easy score. Those are some accomplishments that the Steelers could really use in 2014 as they have been few and far between in recent years.
Monday, Williams wrote on Twitter that he wondered what people used to say about former Steelers linebacker James Harrison prior to the 2007 season. While he searches for that answer, he might like to know that Harrison recorded 14 total special teams tackles and recovered one fumble recovery during the 2005 regular season as a part-time player. The former Defensive Player of the Year also recorded an additional three total special teams tackles in Super Bowl XL against the Seattle Seahawks. Harrison accomplished a lot that season and won his first of two Super Bowl rings in the process.
By helping the Steelers win a seventh Lombardi Trophy in 2014, Williams will have had accomplished something that not many players that have played in the NFL can say they have done. He can also stay humble after doing just that and make people feel even better when he gives them his autograph.