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Andre Williams Champing at the Bit to Play
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When Andre Williams arrived in San Diego after being awarded to the Chargers off waivers, the running back didn’t know what to expect.
The latter has exceeded his expectations.
Through two weeks, the Bolts rank second in the league with 65 points, just one behind the Carolina Panthers. Watching the offensive fireworks from the sideline as a healthy inactive has Williams champing at the bit to pitch in.
“When I watched our guys the first time in Kansas City, I said, ‘Yo, we are the baddest dudes in the league,’” he said. “And then we did it again against Jacksonville. I’m telling you, this offense has that (special something). Our O-Line is mean! They’re special. I’m not joking. I can’t wait to get behind them and get out there.”
It’s been a whirlwind couple weeks for the newest Bolt as he’s acclimated himself to a new system and playbook. Acknowledging it’s been an adjustment to acclimate, Williams now feels comfortable should the Chargers call his number. There is a chance that could come as soon as this week after the Bolts’ lost running back Danny Woodhead for the season. Still, whether his chance comes Sunday or in a few weeks, Williams vows to be ready.
“I feel real good now,” he said while nodding his head. “I feel I’m ready to step on the field and contribute. In my mind, I know I just need to get those live reps with Philip (Rivers). There is nothing like that experience to (accelerate) that learning. But mentally, I’m all the way there with the playbook.”
“It’s a whole new system for Andre,” added Head Coach Mike McCoy. “Each (team) has their own little wrinkles. Ball handling, certain things (like that). There are a lot of similar plays you are running, but there might be a tweak here and there. It’s really learning how we do things here, and the terminology is the big thing coming from a different system.”
The 5-11, 230-pound running back carried the ball 305 times for 978 yards and eight touchdowns over two seasons with the New York Giants after being selected in the fourth round of the 2013 NFL Draft. He also chipped in with 19 receptions for 137 yards.
“You always look for things you can hang your hat on as a player, and what we like about him is his power run game,” General Manager Tom Telesco said after Williams joined the Bolts. “He is downhill runner with strength. He’ll get you yards after contact. He’s a short-yardage, goal line back who can carry a heavy load. He carried the load in college, and carried a heavy load his rookie year in New York. To get a guy in here with his size and strength, with pretty good speed for a big guy, it was (an easy decision). And he is a pretty good special teamer, which helps when you are not the starting running back.”
Williams brings a different dynamic to the Chargers’ backfield. The bruising power back admits his skillset won’t replicate what the team lost in Woodhead, but he believes what he does bring to the table adds a new look to the offense.
“I’m not Danny, but I’m a running back, period. I’m a decisive, physical, one cut running back. I can help this team. I’m itching to get out there, and I channel that by opening up the playbook. By doing extra work, extra cardio and an extra something to stay ready.” Read