Redskins

New Jazz point guard Williams not afraid to talk

New Jazz point guard Williams not afraid to talk

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) Mo Williams leaned over and made sure the young one knew what to expect.

Only in this case, he wasn't offering guidance to one of his youthful Utah Jazz teammates, he was talking to his fifth son, still in the womb and due on Feb. 1.

``I'm not missing any games,'' Williams said of conversations he's had when his wife tells him their unborn child is kicking and can hear him. ``I already talked to (him) and we agreed it's going to be on the All-Star break.

``Obviously, I'll have to buy him a better car when he's 16. All my other kids get something like I had, a Ford Taurus or something. But it's a good deal.''

The Jazz certainly are hoping the one they made for Williams is good as well and provides them with an upgrade over point guard Devin Harris.

One thing is already clear even if the Jazz are just a few days into preseason: Williams is a talker.

``He's not afraid to express himself, let people know how he feels,'' said Paul Millsap, the team's elder statesman and the only player remaining from Utah's 2010 playoff run. ``That's good. That's a good trait to have at the point guard position.''

Williams' journey back to Salt Lake City already has been well-documented.

The Jazz drafted him No. 47 overall in 2003 and, in what personnel guru Kevin O'Connor still calls ``my worst mistake,'' allowed Williams to leave for Milwaukee after just one season.

In late June, the Jazz got their man back, acquiring Williams in a multi-team deal that also sent Lamar Odom to the Clippers. Williams makes his preseason home debut Friday night against Oklahoma City.

O'Connor cited Williams' toughness, aggressiveness and work ethic and said he was a capable scorer, shooter and could provide leadership to a group that features four talented players 22 or younger in Derrick Favors, Gordon Hayward, Enes Kanter and Alec Burks.

Williams is confident he can be all of the above.

``It's just a little more learning the guys and chemistry, and obviously I'm still learning what they want because I want to be an extension of them. I want to be that coach on the court,'' he said.

There's no question Williams is a different person from the one who arrived in 2003 with a single suitcase after being bypassed in the first round.

``As a rookie, I was just happy to get five minutes a game,'' he said. ``I was happy to be in the NBA. Now it's trying to win a championship, and my overall goal is when I see these young guys out there, to try to help them.''

Last year in Los Angeles, however, hardly went the way Williams envisioned, and it hurt when the Clippers replaced him with not one but possibly two Hall of Fame point guards in Chris Paul and Chauncey Billups.

When he did play, he played angry but channeled it into something positive.

``It was tough at first on the bench,'' he said. ``But overall it helped me become a better leader. ... I took it as whatever is in front of me, I'm going to make the best out of it. I think for the most part I did.''

He would go on to lead the Clippers in 3-point shooting (.389) and played well enough to finish eighth in the Sixth Man Award voting.

Fellow guard Randy Foye said knowing Williams had been traded to Utah is one reason he decided to sign as a free agent, having played with him in L.A.

And big man Al Jefferson, 27, has known Williams since their prep days in Mississippi, when Williams was a senior at a bigger school.

``I thought he was the best player in the world,'' Jefferson of Williams, who turns 30 in December.

How they mesh now will go a long way in determining Utah's success on the court.

In the preseason opener, Williams scored Utah's first seven points and dished out six assists, but he also had four turnovers as he and his teammates started getting used to each other's style.

``He's learning what I'm asking from the ... leaders on this team,'' said Corbin, who took time to get to know Williams on the golf course this summer. ``He's a talker, and it will help us going forward.''

The Williams' boys already know that, even the one kicking up a fuss inside.

``When he's kicking, then I get down there and have a conversation with him,'' Williams said. ``I have to tell him first, `It's daddy' ... so he knows my voice, so when he comes out he already knows who to be scared of, who runs this.

``I don't want to scare him too much. I don't want him to stay in there too long.''

Of course, Williams is flashing a wide smile as he talks about his family, and his charismatic personality on and off the court.

Backup point guard Earl Watson already likes it.

``I think he brings a swagger to our team,'' Watson said. ``He's definitely a great outside shooter and plays with a ton of confidence. He plays the game with a lot of fire. He's somebody I can feed off just watching him. It's going to be fun.''

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Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—Cousins and leadership, D-line potential

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Various sources

Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—Cousins and leadership, D-line potential

Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, July 21, five days before the Washington Redskins start training camp.  

The Redskins week that was

A look at some of the most popular posts and hottest topics of the week on Real Redskins and NBC Sports Washington.

How the addition of Alexander affects the Redskins' DB depth chart—Adonis Alexander was brought into the NFL about a week and a half ago and in five days he’ll be on the practice field in Richmond. How much will missing OTAs and minicamp hurt him in comparison to, say, his former Hokie teammate Greg Stroman? I think that the plan is for this to be a “redshirt” year for Alexander to learn. But that was supposed to be the plan for Josh Harvey-Clemons and Chase Roullier last year and both ended up playing key snaps. 

Can the Redskins defensive line live up to its potential? Many NFL fans don’t appreciate the value of having a good defensive line. Redskins fans are not in that group because they have seen what you get when you try to build a defensive line with over-the-hill veteran free agents, low draft picks, and undrafted players. Fans will value the talent, youth, and depth on the 2018 D-line.  

10 Questions in 10 days: LB depth chart—This is another area where the Redskins have not invested much in recent seasons. At least this year they stepped up and re-signed starters Mason Foster and Zach Brown. They are the present. Are Shaun Dion Hamilton and Josh Harvey-Clemons the future? 

The pass rush must continue to be a strength for the Redskins—With the picture at the cornerback position is somewhat murky right now, the pass rush will be critical, especially in the early going. The outside linebackers lost a key reserve, putting the burden on Preston Smith and Ryan Kerrigan to continue to get pressure on Ryan Anderson to take a leap forward in his second season. 

Tweet of the week

Well, this tweet did sort of stir things up as did some of the things that Cousins said in an article by Dan Pompei on the Bleacher Report. The thing about Twitter is that there is no room for nuance. I was labeled a Kirk “hater” by some. Of course, nothing could be further from the truth. On multiple occasions, I urged the team to sign him long term and highlighted the positive aspects of his play. 

But this thing about not having a “platform” to lead always struck me as a cop-out. Cousins talked about it during some press conferences while he was here. The length of your contract should not prevent you from embracing a leadership role. You’re getting paid to lead, just do it. Few in leadership positions in business or in the military know where they will be a year from now. They embrace the role while they have it and Cousins should have done the same. 

The fact that I don’t like this one aspect of Cousins doesn’t mean that I don’t like him overall. He’s a good quarterback and I think he will have success with the Vikings. I think that the price got to be too much for the Redskins and the decision to move on to Alex Smith was sound or at least the best they could do after it became apparent that he was not going to sign here. But it’s not all one or the other. It is possible to see the positive and negative of Cousins. 

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page, Facebook.com/TandlerNBCSand follow him on Twitter  @TandlerNBCSand on Instagram @RichTandler

Timeline

Mike Sellers, whose seven receiving touchdowns in 2005 were the most by a Redskins running back since the merger, was born on this date in 1975.

Days until:

—Training camp starts (7/26) 5
—Preseason opener @ Patriots (8/9) 19
—Roster cut to 53 (9/1) 42

The Redskins last played a game 202 days ago. They will open the 2018 NFL season at the Cardinals in 50 days. 

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Vernon Davis pulls off memorable proposal in Ocean City

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USA Today Sports Images

Vernon Davis pulls off memorable proposal in Ocean City

Vernon Davis has long been a fan favorite in the D.C. area since his University of Maryland days. The 34-year-old is almost always well-dressed and respectful to the media. 

More recently, he has been outspoken about his interest in acting after his football career. A true renaissance man who just so happens to be a force in the National Football League. 

In April, NBC Sports Washington ran into Davis at the Team USA Awards where he was serving as guest speaker. 

He took his smooth nature to a whole new level Tuesday while vacationing in Ocean City, Md. with his girlfriend Kayla. 

Dressed in all white on the beach, Davis proposed in an epic way. 

The best motivation I ever had. #shesmyrock

A post shared by Vernon Davis (@vernondavis85) on

Check out the whole video produced below. We won't spoil it for you, but there were skydivers involved. Take a look: 

Davis will suit up for his third season with the Redskins when training camp opens July 26 in Richmond.