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Roy Williams' Shoulder Pads Carry Over To Another Season


Roy Williams is in a new city, playing for a new team, and the new season is set to begin.

But he’s still talking about his shoulder pads.

The former Dallas Cowboys wide receiver has relocated to Chicago. And from his perspective, things are off to a good start. One of the Bears’ rookies has already done what Dez Bryant failed to do as a newcomer to the Cowboys last season: carry Williams’ gear.

It’s an NFL training camp tradition. Rookies carry veterans’ shoulder pads off the field and into the locker room. Last year, Williams requested the service from Bryant and the highly touted rookie refused (Bryant later said he was unaware of the tradition). Williams made a big deal out of it, the media followed suit, and faster than you can say “Jerry Jones,” the Cowboys had a preseason distraction on their hands. In the end, Bryant paid for not carrying the pads - literally - by taking Williams and other teammates out for a dinner with a tab that topped $54,000.

Roy Williams is not Jerry Rice. In fact, judging by last year’s numbers, he’s not even Dez Bryant. In 2010 Williams had 37 catches for 530 yards and 5 touchdowns. Bryant had 45 catches for 561 yards and 6 touchdowns.

In fact, Williams hasn’t caught more than 38 passes since 2007. In his 8 seasons in the NFL he’s tallied more than 1000 yards receiving in a season exactly once, accomplishing the feat with the mighty 2006 Detroit Lions.

The 2010 Cowboys were a disaster, performing below expectations and closing out the campaign at 6-10. After the lockout ended, the Cowboys cut several veterans including Roy Williams.

Williams landed in Chicago, a squad that’s a pretty consistent contender in the NFC. A new team is a new opportunity. It’s also means new rookies to do your bidding. Jimmy Young obliged and Williams sounded pretty darn pleased about it, according to

[sidebar title="" width="550" align="none"]
Williams laughed about getting back to tradition as a guest on "The Ben And Skin Show" on ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM.

"Oh man, it was lovely," Williams said. "I was like, 'Hey 19, take my pads.' 'Yes sir.'

"There was no, 'I ain't got to do this ...' none of that, so it was good."[/sidebar]

Jimmy Young is an undrafted, rookie free agent out of TCU, who’s fighting for a job. reports that when asked about his efforts as Williams’ shoulder pad valet,  Young replied, “It's just something that you understand is going to happen. You being a rookie, and an undrafted rookie at that, you feel like you have to do things like that. It's part of the game, and it's part of being a rookie.”

Young’s response was measured, reasonable, and respectful of his teammate.

Hang on ... which one of these guys is the veteran?

This program aired on August 11, 2011. The audio for this program is not available.

Doug Tribou Twitter Reporter/Producer
Doug Tribou was formerly a reporter and producer at WBUR and for WBUR's Only A Game.


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