Brian over at Buffalo Rumblings was thinking about what the Bills need for next season and asked me a couple questions about free agent DT Corey Williams.
1. What would you say is more of a strength for Williams - defending the run or rushing the passer?
He's good at both. Like most defensive lineman, you don't notice him on every play, but a couple of times a game he'll shed his blocker and make a nice stop on a running play in the backfield or get some pressure on the QB. He's over 300 lbs. so he holds up well inside, with some pass rushing skills as a bonus.
2. With the Packers having so much interior depth along the line, what are the chances that Williams is re-signed by the Pack?
I can't see the team keeping him. He didn't get consistent playing time until DT Johnny Jolly got hurt mid-season. Jolly was a 6th round pick in 2006 that barely played in his rookie season, but grabbed the starting job in training camp and didn't let go until he got hurt. Unless GM Ted Thompson is thinking Williams has moved ahead of Jolly, and 2007 1st round pick DT Justin Harrell, he won't give him starter's money in a free agent year that is weak at defensive tackle. Plus DT Daniel Muir had a great 2007 training camp, but couldn't get any playing time last season, is a similar player to Williams and would provide depth.
3. How big was Williams' role in Green Bay's line rotation last year? How important was he to Green Bay's success defensively?
He wasn't essential, but he he was in the rotation all season long, started down the stretch, and the defensive line was one of the team's strengths. Once he got more playing time, the run defense improved while the pass defense started to struggle. That likely didn't have too much to do with Williams because the Packers played against four inferior offenses (Oakland, St. Louis, Chicago, Detroit) down the stretch. The pass defense struggled because the ends weren't generating much pass rush, at the same time CB Charles Woodson got hurt, while Williams was still able to generate some pressure on the QB. Williams also made some plays and had a sack or two during the two playoff games.