Williams Goes From Unwanted To Untouchable

Sick of the lockout? We talked to Tramon Williams before Greg Jennings' golf fund-raiser on Friday, getting the scoop on his new sweater, what he's been up to during the lockout and what's next after a breakout season.

When Tramon Williams made the Green Bay Packers' roster in 2007, he was basically an unknown player.

When he was thrust into the limelight with Al Harris' spleen injury in 2008, he became an unheralded starter.

When he replaced an injured Harris again in 2009, he became an underrated starter.

And now that Williams is a Pro Bowl performer who burst onto the national scene with big play after big play down the stretch, including the Super Bowl-ending pass breakup that clinched the win over Pittsburgh?

"Consistency. That's it," Williams said at Greg Jennings' charity golf tournament on Friday in Waukesha. "That's one thing I've always dwelled on is be consistent. If I've done all those things, I don't look forward to going back. I just look forward to continue doing the same or getting better. I don't want to go back. So, consistency is the main thing."

Williams' story is well-known by now. He went unrecruited out Assumption High School in Napoleonville, La., and enrolled at Louisiana Tech as a regular student. After attending a game as a fan during his freshman year, he decided to give football another shot and walked on the following spring.

Despite leading the nation with 19 passes defensed as a senior in 2005, Williams went undrafted. He signed with the Houston Texans as an undrafted free agent but failed to make the team, and eventually latched onto the Packers' practice squad on Nov. 29, 2006.

Williams clinched the Super Bowl by breaking up this pass to Mike Wallace.
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images
In a league starved for cornerbacks, the Packers got one of the best in the business basically for free. In four seasons, Williams has picked off 16 passes — including six in 2010, four in 2009 and five in 2008. He's led the team in passes defensed in each of the past two seasons, including 23 last year. In starting 16 games for the first time of his career, Williams allowed just one touchdown pass and committed just one penalty in the regular season. He led everybody in the playoffs last year with three interceptions, including a game-saving interception at Philadelphia and his remarkable pick-six just before halftime at Atlanta.

So, it's appropriate that the store at his new Web site, TramonWilliams-38.com/, sells shirts reading "Unwanted To Untouchable." Proceeds go to his new 38 Reasons Foundation. Sitting in the clubhouse before teeing off, he wore a sweater featuring the 38 Reasons logo.

Williams signed a contract extension signed on Nov. 30 that's worth $33.1 million and will keep him in Green Bay through 2014. The hunger, however, still burns. After taking about a month-and-a-half off to let his body recuperate from a six-month grind, Williams has been hitting it hard for the past few months, with the focus on strength and endurance.

"Once you get to this level, whenever you don't work out, you feel like you're losing something," he said.

Williams is hopeful that Aaron Rodgers and some of the other veteran leaders will organize some team workouts — "I think we took off enough time," he said — and is looking forward to reconvening with his teammates at Lambeau Field on June 16 to receive his Super Bowl ring.

"Oh, man, it's going to be great," Williams said. "Reality might set back in. I might get that Super Bowl buzz again. Hopefully it gets us motivated to come back and do it again. I'm already motivated, myself, but definitely when you see that ring, it might give you a whole other feeling."

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Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at packwriter2002@yahoo.com, or leave him a question in Packer Report's subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at twitter.com/packerreport.

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