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Williams move good for Jags


Brian Williams couldn't be happier. The DUI charge that hung over his head the past two seasons is gone and he's been cleared of all charges, which frees him to focus on making what will probably be a permanent move to the position he probably always should've been playing.

Finally, Williams is the safety everyone always thought he would be. For the Jaguars, however, he may be more than just a safety. He may turn out to be the missing link.

With Drayton Florence's performance at cornerback and Williams move to strong safety, the Jaguars secondary appears to be strong in every way. It has four quality starters and impressive depth waiting in the wings. A secondary that struggled last season, especially in the postseason, figures to be much improved.

"I'm fine with it," Williams said of his position switch, which made room for Florence after the Jaguars signed him in free agency. As Florence said, the Jaguars would seem to have "killed two birds with one stone."

"I never had selfish thoughts," Williams said. "I want to win. I didn't have second thoughts with it."

Williams has had a strong start to training camp. Making the switch wasn't expected to be a problem since Williams had played safety in Minnesota and in college. The only concern was Williams' attitude toward the switch. Defensive backs like to think of themselves as cornerbacks. There's an esteem that goes with the position and making the move to safety can be a bitter pill to swallow.

That hasn't been the case with Williams. He welcomes the move.

"It'll allow me to show my versatility. It'll get more (talent) on the field. I think it gives me an extra step. I'm going to be covering tight ends. It's going to allow me to showcase my talent," Williams said.

Most of all, playing strong safety will allow Williams to showcase the physical quality of his game. He's a big hitter and he shows no reluctance to come up on the big backs.

Opponents attacked the Jaguars in the middle of the field last year, where free safety Reggie Nelson was a rookie and the strong safety position had fallen into "patch" mode. This year, Williams' coverage talents will allow Nelson to be used aggressively in a play-making role.

"He makes us more athletic," cornerback Rashean Mathis said of Williams' move to safety. "Any time you have a corner who can play safety, it's a success. I think it's been proven; Woodson, guys like that."

"When I was in college they played me at safety and then moved me to corner," Williams said. With the Vikings, he played both positions. The move to safety with the Jaguars, especially at this stage of his career, is probably permanent.

"I never had a problem with it. I always heard the safety talk around my name. I knew it was coming some day," Williams said.

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