ARIZONA CARDINALS

Cardinals’ Shawn Williams ready to work after reunion with Vance Joseph

Mar 31, 2021, 5:21 PM
Shawn Williams #36 of the Cincinnati Bengals during the game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at Pa...
Shawn Williams #36 of the Cincinnati Bengals during the game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at Paul Brown Stadium on October 20, 2019 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
(Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

Cardinals safety Shawn Williams is one of the few new guys arriving in Arizona after playing for just one team prior to 2021.

Spending all eight years of his career as a member of the Cincinnati Bengals, Williams is looking to turn the page.

After starting 57 of his previous 58 games over four seasons, Williams, 29, was removed from the starting lineup in what would be his final year in a Bengals uniform in 2020.

It was definitely not what the safety envisioned his departure from the team that took a chance on him back in 2013 would look like.

“It was hard. It was very difficult with all that I had put into an organization and for things to go the way they went,” Williams said via Zoom on Wednesday. “You just understand it, you don’t forget that it’s a business and things happen sometimes for the better sometimes or for the worst.

“You just worry about controlling what you can control each and every day. You just know that as long as you do that, it’s going to get better. That’s the way that I approached it. I think I stayed very professional with it and I did what I could do.”

Despite how his time ended in Cincinnati, it appears Williams has landed on his feet, reuniting with former Bengals defensive backs coach and current Cardinals defensive coordinator Vance Joseph. He figures to slide into a backup role behind safeties Budda Baker and Jalen Thompson, while also taking special team snaps. Williams added that he’s not limited in any areas and is confident he can accomplish what’s asked of him.

The rejoining of forces with Joseph is certainly something Williams is happy to have at this point in his career. When Williams was at a crossroads following his third season in Cincinnati, it was Joseph who he leaned heavily on before eventually deciding to re-sign on a four-year deal in 2016.

“Some of the things that he said then were the exact same things that he said when I talked to him before coming here,” Williams said. “He has his way on just knowing what to say to me and we just have a good relationship. It’s unique.”

“All V.J. used to say to me was put your head down and go to work,” Williams added. “That’s all I’ve done my whole career is work. He always said if you do that then everything will work itself out. So that’s what I’m here to do. I’m here to put my head down, work, earn the respect of my teammates, earn respect from coaches, earn respect from this city and just see how far that takes us.”

But Joseph isn’t the only former Bengal walking the halls in Arizona.

Adding to the list of familiar faces for Williams is wide receiver A.J. Green, who was the safety’s teammate for the past eight years in Cincinnati.

It’s an odd coincidence given their track record.

“I actually talked to [former Bengals head coach] Marvin Lewis a couple nights ago and he was just joking. He was like, ‘What’s going on? You followed A.J. to University of Georgia. He leaves and gets drafted by Cincinnati and you follow him there. And then he signs in Arizona and you followed him there. Just seems like you follow A.J. around,'” Williams said.

“I told him I guess that’s the case. I don’t know what it is, but I’m excited to be here, excited to continue to play with A.J. and try to see what we can bring to the table here in Arizona and win some football games.”

Life Changer Loans

Arizona Cardinals

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (10) greets San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Sha...
Tom Kuebel

Kliff Kingsbury lends support for 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan in hat ‘beef’

Kliff Kingsbury tendered support for San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan in his ongoing hat drama with the NFL.
14 hours ago
Arizona Cardinals running back Jonathan Ward (29) celebrates his touchdown against the Cincinnati B...
Arizona Sports

Cardinals Corner: Arizona standouts aplenty in win over Bengals

Arizona Sports' Cardinals reporter Tyler Drake and 98.7 FM's Erik Ruby give their top standouts in the team's 36-23 win over the Bengals.
14 hours ago
Arizona Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury, left, talks with quarterback Kyler Murray during the ...
Tyler Drake

Cardinals’ Kliff Kingsbury ‘impressed’ with Kyler Murray’s play-calling

Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury handed over play-calling duties to QB Kyler Murray in the team's 36-23 win over the Cincinnati Bengals.
2 days ago
(Photo by Jeffrey Brown/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)...
Tyler Drake

Victor Dimukeje, Trace McSorley pace Arizona Cardinals in rout of Bengals

Arizona Cardinals OLB Victor Dimukeje and QB Trace McSorley made the most of their opportunities in Friday's win over the Bengals.
14 hours ago
Arizona Cardinals quarterback Trace McSorley looks for a receiver during the team's NFL football pr...
Kellan Olson

Trace McSorley throws TD in 1st preseason drive, Cardinals beat Bengals

The Arizona Cardinals' first series of the preseason was a positive one and they never looked back from there to beat the Cincinnati Bengals.
2 days ago
Greg Dortch #83 of the Arizona Cardinals makes a catch while being tackled by Bookie Radley-Hiles #...
Kellan Olson

Greg Dortch keeps making plays for Cardinals with great grab, long return

Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Greg Dortch has made big catches all camp long and he kept it going in his first preseason game this year.
2 days ago
Cardinals’ Shawn Williams ready to work after reunion with Vance Joseph