Make no mistake, Browns cornerback K'Waun Williams is proving he's not some flash-in-the-pan type of rookie. He keeps stringing together solid performances, game after game. There is evidence on the wall that Cleveland made the right decision in crafting out a role for the undrafted prospect from the University of Pittsburgh.
In the first quarter last Sunday, the Houston Texans saw a matchup they thought they could exploit. When slot receiver Damaris Johnson saw there would be no safety help, he turned a 35-yard go route into a deep over in the corner of the end zone.
When quarterback Ryan Mallett launched the ball, Johnson had a half step on Williams. But the cornerback willed his way to the football, fully extended his body and knocked down a pass that could've resulted in a touchdown.
"I had to fight until the end on that play," said Williams, reliving the play. "I saw the opportunity to break it up and I dove with everything I had."
We wrote a feature about Williams' rise up the depth chart before. A month later, he's only getting better. Coach Mike Pettine always harps on how tough it is for rookie cornerbacks to get adjusted to the pass-happy NFL. Williams really hasn't seen the ups and downs expected.
"K'Waun ended up being one of the few bright spots in the game," Pettine said on Monday. "He played extremely well, had the huge pass break-up in the end zone."
Against the Houston Texans, Williams logged 58 snaps, a career-high. According to ProFootballFocus.com's grade sheet, nobody on the Browns had a better day in coverage than Williams. Williams said the scheme suits him perfectly, because it's mostly man coverage and it allows the 5-foot-9 scrapper to play physical.
"The coaches believe in me. I just go out there and try and do my job at a high level," said Williams.
Williams said coach Pettine told the team not to panic and worry about circumstances that they can control – like the Atlanta Falcons this Sunday. Expect Williams on the field quite a bit to combat Atlanta's passing attack.