Found July 08, 2012 on BroncoTalk:
PLAYERS: D.J. Williams
TEAMS: Denver Broncos
Denver-broncos-oakland

Ever since iTweetGate, fans have become increasingly adamant that nine-year linebacker D.J. Williams should be shipped out of town. In one of our recent polls, 55% of fans voted in favor of D.J. being taken out of the starting lineup all together.

My response has been that the team values D.J.’s on-the-field performance higher than his occasional off-the-field mishaps — meaning he’s not going anywhere.  One of our top commenters on the site, Troglodyte has a different theory.

The caveman believes that Williams’ performance (piling up the tackling stats) is normal linebacker production and called D.J. a “just above average” outside linebacker.  This opinion apparently is shared by Mile High Sports’ Brandon Spano.

After reviewing film from the last few seasons and looking over some in-depth stats, I stand by D.J. and my previous statements.  Williams is not “just doing his job,” he is excelling at his job.

Since being selected by the Denver Broncos in the first round of the 2004 NFL Draft, Williams has started every year in Denver and recorded 810 tackles, 20.5 sacks, two interceptions and forced thirteen numbers.  That’s all well and good, but linebackers are supposed to put up numbers like that, right?

Yes, linebackers are supposed to look the best on the stat sheet, but Williams has also looked good on film — and that’s more important.  Over the past eight seasons (and especially over the past four years), Williams has consistently found the ball and when he does, he makes plays.

Close observers of the team say that the Broncos view Williams as one of their top defensive players and ESPN recently ranked him as the fourth-best linebacker in the entire division.  Williams has played every position — strong side ”Sam”, inside “Mike” and weak side ”Will” — during his career and has the athleticism to excel at whatever task he is assigned.

Let’s take a look at Pro Football Focus‘ adjusted stats since the 2009 season:

Linebacker Pass Rush Productivity:  Williams has the eighth-most QB pressures (43) among non-3-4 rushing linebackers over the past three seasons.  Since 2009, Williams has rushed 305 times and has reached the quarterback 43 times, which is the twelfth-best success rate (11.56%) during that time period.

Tackling Efficiency:  Williams has recorded the tenth-most tackles (304) among linebackers since 2009.  During that same time period, Williams has played 3,060 snaps and has missed only 20 tackles, giving him the eleventh-best tackling efficiency rating in the NFL (16.2%).

After reviewing those statistics, it is logical to conclude that Williams has been successful as an all-around linebacker in Denver — especially in recent years.  With that being the case, it is unlikely that the Broncos will pull D.J. out of the starting lineup or part ways with the veteran linebacker before his contract expires following the 2013 season.

Williams has done his job on the field and he’s been as productive as some of the best linebackers in the league.  That’s what the team will consider when they make final roster cuts in September, not his ill-advised off-the-field actions.  As long as Williams doesn’t get into too much trouble and keeps playing at a high level, he’ll be a starting linebacker in Denver through 2013.

Agree?  Disagree?  Spew your venom in the comments below.


THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
RELATED ARTICLES

Broncos interested in unique draft prospect

(Image courtesy of Bob Gathany/The Huntsville Times) The league’s 2012 Supplemental Draft will be held on Tuesday and eight players are eligible to be selected.  One of the prospects in the draft is former Alabama A&M linebacker Larry Lumpkin, who was ruled ineligibly for the 2012 college football season. The draft gives players often labeled as character-flawed a chance...

Bailey remembers watching film on VHS tapes

Before HD televisions and DVDs, Champ Bailey watched grainy film on VHS tapes. The Denver Broncos recently joined the iPad playbook revolution and have given every player a ‘Pad for studying film, plays and more.  For the younger, tech-savvy players, the iPads are easily adjusted to. But for some of the veterans, including eleven-time Pro Bowler Champ Bailey, the iPads will take...

Denver Broncos: DJ Williams What to do?

Broncos LB D.J. Williams (#55) making a tackle in a home game against the Bills When the Broncos’ 2011 season came to a close, not only did it mark the end of one of the NFL’s most prolific roller coaster rides of a story, but it also left the fan with a couple heart attacks, potentially anger management issues, and a 2012 dream.  The Tim Tebow lead Broncos were exciting and...

Video: Peyton Manning hocks Buicks for that all important 65+ crowd

Introducing the new 2013 Buick Verano, and it's new spokesperson, Denver Broncos QB Peyton Manning. It won't go at break neck speed, and that's just how Peyton likes it. Perfect for those Pharmacy runs or to make that early bird special. Ok, seriously, Manning is back to his obsession with hocking as many things on TV as humanly possible. We suspect he'll be seen...

Peyton Manning calls out audibles in new car ad

Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning will be featured in a new commercial for the 2013 Buick Verano.   Buick will debut the Manning commercial on Wednesday night during the ESPY Awards on ESPN. A behind-the-scenes video was released which shows the NFL star calling "audibles" to the vehicle's OnStar voice-activation features.

Daily Links: Denver Broncos News – 7/9/12

Be sure to follow me on Twitter for more Broncos updates throughout the day. Denver Broncos News Ex-Alabama A&M linebacker hopes the NFL calls | Huntsville Times Lumpkin, who spent two seasons at A&M before transferring to Carson-Newman College after the 2010 season, has made himself available for the NFL Supplemental Draft after being ruled ineligible for the 2012 season...

Will McCoy, Del Rio follow in Allen’s footsteps?

(Image courtesy of the Denver Broncos) After recording an 8-8 record and a playoff berth last season, Denver’s top two 2011 coordinators — Mike McCoy and Dennis Allen — suddenly became head coaching candidates.  The Oakland Raiders were granted permission to interview both coaches (and they ended up hiring Allen) and the Miami Dolphins considered signing McCoy. Allen was...

Denver Broncos Special Teams Poised To Be Special Once Again

Denver, CO – 2011 will always be remembered by Denver Broncos fans as the year of Tebow. Whether or not you are a Broncos fan, we all recall the unbelievable season it turned out to be. After a 1-4 start, Time Tebow was inserted into the starting lineup and craziness then ensued. Comeback win after … Continue reading »

Film Room — 15 Hits in 15 Days — No. 15, Reid

Over the next two weeks, we’re going to be celebrating some of the best hits from Denver Broncos history.  Today, we remember Darrell Reid‘s big hit in Philadelphia. Be sure to check back tomorrow for Hit No. 14! After the series is over we’ll top it off with one big hitastic video.

AFC West Will Be Competitive Division Once Again

The AFC West has been viewed as that of a ‘weak’ division the past few years. This is mostly attributed to the fact that the division hasn’t made it far into the playoffs in the last couple years. This may be a common misconception held by NFL fans around the league. The AFC West may in fact be the most competitive division in football today. Last year, there was a three...

San Diego Chargers 2012 first half season predictions

Since the 2012 season is coming hard and fast, I thought a little review and speculation was in order, so I went through the Chargers regular season schedule (If the readers really wanted I could try and guess how each teams third and fourth strings will perform against each other). // > Now, to clarify, as not only a Charger writer but a fan as well, I would like, hope...
Broncos News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.