The New England Patriots will see a familiar face in the backfield Sunday against the Kansas City Chiefs in running back Damien Williams.
The Pats brought in the Chiefs’ breakout back for a visit in 2017 when Williams was a restricted free agent with the Miami Dolphins, but opted not to sign him to an offer sheet, and instead brought on Mike Gillislee. Now they’ll line up against Williams in the AFC Championship Game.
Bill Belichick on Wednesday offered his thoughts on Williams and his 2017 visit.
“He’s a good football player, smart, versatile, can do a lot of different things, run the ball, and catch, pass protect,” Belichick said. “We had a good visit with him. He was a good guy to bring in to visit and get to know. Things just didn’t really work out at that time. But I’m not surprised to see him doing well.”
Williams returned to Miami for the 2017 season, but signed with Kansas City this past offseason and has filled in more than admirably since Kareem Hunt’s dismissal.
The 26-year-old carried the ball 25 times for 129 yards with a touchdown in the Chiefs’ divisional-round win over the Indianapolis Colts. He also caught five passes for 25 yards.
“The backs are definitely a problem in the passing game,” Belichick said. “Andy (Reid) and Patrick (Mahomes) do a a good job of utilizing them as they always have. They are a problem to cover, they are a problem to tackle and schematically they give you some issues, too.”
It would have been difficult for Williams to make much of a dent in 2017, given the ascension of Dion Lewis in the offense. But Williams has a chance to win out in the long run with a good performance on Sunday.