Vince Williams Thankful To Have Started From ‘Humble Beginnings’

At the time, I’m sure he might have felt differently, but at this point in this career, sixth-year veteran inside linebacker Vince Williams said that he is appreciative of how his career began, as a sixth-round draft pick back in 2013, rather than as a top pick in the draft.

He only had to compare it to how much scrutiny some of his best friends, who did happen to go in the first round, have had to face over the course of their careers, which is a sentiment that he recently shared via Twitter a few days ago.

“I thank God for my humble beginnings”, he wrote as a follow-up to another Tweet shortly before that one, in which he mentions that two of his best friends (one of them surely being Ryan Shazier, the other perhaps Cameron Heyward, or maybe Bud Dupree) were first-rounders, and “man the pressure that is placed on them is crazy”. People are quick to call you a bust, he added.

He’s not wrong, of course, but he is wrong if he thinks some fans won’t call a sixth-round draft pick a bust too, as has been Daniel McCullers’ fate. A sixth-rounder from the class after Williams, the big nose tackle has been a subject of regular criticism wildly disproportionate for what the average expectation should be for a late-round player.

As for the man himself, he has come a long way from being in a roster battle as a rookie. Lawrence Timmons and Larry Foote were the starters. Williams and Kion Wilson ended up winning the backup inside linebacker spots in a preseason battle that also included Stevenson Sylvester, Marshall McFadden, and Brian Rolle.

As you all know, Foote would go on to suffer a season-ending injury right in the opener, so the rest of the year was played largely by committee at the mack position. Wilson got the first crack at ‘starting’, but Williams after a few games was playing more snaps, and then ultimately all of the snaps.

Well, all the snaps played by a linebacker, because the Steelers ended up primarily running out of a dime package with Will Allen taking over and Troy Polamalu essentially being used in that dimebacker role before we really talked about what that was.

Williams would go on to make several successful spot starts in place of the man they drafted to take over for him—Shazier—over the course of the next few years, but in 2017 finally succeeded Timmons to become a starter outright for the first time in his career.

He is now heading into his second season as a full-time starter and coming off a year in which he posted his first interception and eight sacks. He will of course need to bring a little more consistency from game to game, but he is a long way from his ‘humble beginnings’.

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