The last four years have been somewhat of a blur for Teddy Williams.
From practice squad cornerback/wide receiver with the Dallas Cowboys (2010-12) to United Football League kick returner (Aug. 2012 – Sept. 2012) to reserve cornerback/special teamer with the Indianapolis Colts (Oct. 2012- Nov. 2012), Williams has bounced around from one role to the next during his brief football career.
Sunday, however, the 25-year-old might have finally turned his latest temporary gig into a more permanent opportunity.
Trailing the Atlanta Falcons 3-0 late in the first quarter and in need of a big play, Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer went deep down the middle of the field in the direction of Williams, who was signed by the team as a wide receiver less than a week ago.
With no defender even within five yards of him, Williams, a former All-American track star at UT-San Antonio, came down with the 51-yard heave inside the Falcons’ eight-yard line. His first career NFL catch, the longest completion of the day for either team, set up Larry Fitzgerald’s six-yard touchdown catch three plays later — a score that put the Cardinals up for good in their 27-13 victory.
The Palmer-Williams connection was somewhat surprising given that the two have barely had any time to work together on the practice field.
“That’s the second ball I’ve thrown to him,” Palmer said. “I threw that one in practice to him on Wednesday and it was the same thing. I was expecting him to get on top of the defense, but you don’t want to overthrow him because you expect him to be there.
“We’ve got a lot of work to do. Obviously, he can come in and make big plays when his number is called. But to throw two balls to one guy, that’s a good thing to have a bye week for, to get some reps with him.”
While practice time can only aid Williams as he tries to learn the nuances of being an NFL wide receiver, the Cardinals’ newest deep play threat isn’t lacking when it comes to belief in himself.
“I have confidence in myself at whatever position I play,” Williams said. “Whatever Coach [Arians] asks me and whatever my teammates ask me, I try to go out there and whatever I can to be successful and help this team.”
At least for one afternoon, he did just that for the Cardinals.