It wasn’t a running joke, but it became a running, — thing — during free agency.
When the Buffalo Bills signed someone, quarterback Josh Allen called them to welcome them to the team.When the Bills made defensive tackle Ed Oliver the ninth-overall pick at the 2019 NFL Draft, he heard from someone else. Recently retired Bills defensive tackle Kyle Williams, Oliver revealed on Friday.
Oliver also revealed he very much is aware of Williams.
“Kyle Williams is in a league of his own that I haven’t even come close to touching,” Williams said. “I think Kyle Williams is a great player. I think Kyle Williams will wear a gold jacket one day.”
But when they Williams placed that call, what did he say? And frankly, why did he feel compelled to do so?
“Buffalo, what it is, what it means to me, that organization, those colors,” Williams told the Buffalo News. “I just wanted him to know what a special place he was walking into. The kind of city he represents, the kind of organization he represents, and the people he’s going to work with. I just said, ‘Man, if I can help you in any way along the way, don’t hesitate to call me. I’m here for you.’”
Williams could be a great source of Oliver, too. Williams’ played over a 13-year career that speaks for itself, but it speaks loudly to Oliver. Both were tabbed as “undersized” defensive tackles entering the NFL.
Williams will tell you, he was a first-overall pick. But in 2006, the NFL world was different. He was the first pick of the fifth-round. Thanks to guys like Rams’ DT Aaron Donald, and even Williams, undersized tackles are being given a chance to shine in the NFL in 2019. And evidently, they can be drafted much higher in the drat nowadays.
Oliver, a 6-foot-1, 281-pound defender, will certainly have his chance to shine, too.
It remains to be seen what Oliver exactly does with that opportunity, but you can count Williams in as one of those guys that believe in the talent Buffalo picked.
“A lot of time you see these uber-talented guys, but they take plays off. This kid plays hard,” Williams told The Athletic. “He’s one of the rare ones that’s really talented, but he’s got a hot motor, can run plays down from behind and can play sideline to sideline.
“That gives me the thought that it’s important to him. He wants to play hard. When he comes into a culture built around team, I think he’s going to flourish.”