Aeneas Williams was chosen over the weekend to be inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame. Since they moved from St. Louis, Aeneas was the first player from the Arizona Cardinals to be selected to The Hall. And he was the first player that I played with during my career to be inducted.
Aeneas was an obvious talent from the first day he showed up in Tempe. During one-on-ones, where receivers ran routes against defensive backs, the cornerback from Southern, drafted in the third round, jumped off the practice field. He competed from the very beginning and had some receivers, like Ricky Proehl, shaking his head. The guy was like watching a training manual for how to be a shutdown corner.
Aeneas wanted to compete on every play. He wanted to win on every play. He had a burning desire to be the best and was the quintessential self-starter. He was smart: one of those corners that you might have fooled once but you proceeded with peril if you tried to fool him twice. Athletically, he was without peer, great hips with uncanny closing speed and ball skills that could not be measured by human hands.
Although we did not have great receivers in 1991 since Roy Green went to Philadelphia that year, I remember watching him play and compete when he came in as a rookie and we were stunned. All of us looked at Aeneas and believed he was going to be great. We just didn't know how great.
Congratulations, Aeneas. You did it the right way and it's great to see perseverance and hard work reward such a fine human being.