New England Patriots second-year defensive back Joejuan Williams reportedly is adding another playbook to his offseason study habits.
Williams, a 2019 second-round pick, saw the vast majority of his snaps at cornerback during his rookie season. But according to a report by ESPN’s Mike Reiss, that could change.
Reiss explained how Williams has been tasked with becoming more versatile in the defensive backfield by adding safety responsibilities.
Here’s an excerpt from Reiss:
After playing 82 defensive snaps as a rookie, in part thanks to a well-stocked cornerback depth chart headlined by Associated Press Defensive Player of the Year Stephon Gilmore, a challenge has been presented to Williams this offseason. Essentially, according to those close to the situation, it can be boiled down to this: Can you be the jack-of-all-trades in the secondary?
It might be cornerback. It might be safety. Depending on the game plan and injury situation that week, it might be a little bit of both. … And with everyone returning in 2020, Williams is working to expand his versatility, where he could also fill some safety-type responsibilities alongside Devin McCourty, Patrick Chung, 2020 second-round pick Kyle Dugger and free-agent signee Adrian Phillips, among others.
The Patriots’ depth perhaps is at its deepest in the team’s secondary with a core group of veteran cornerbacks and safeties. It’ll be interesting to see how Williams is able to carve a role for himself in said group as the 2020 season approaches.