ASHBURN – Everyone makes mistakes. But blatant fouls and lack of discipline have no place on this Washington Redskin team. Therefore Redskin safety Madieu Williams needs to play smarter football if he plans on keeping his job. According to an AP report on wjla.com , the NFL fined Williams $21,000 for “helmet-to-helmet” contact on New Orléans’ tight end Jimmy Graham.
The safety was flagged during the game last Sunday when he hit the defenseless receiver after the ball floated over Graham’s head and was out of play.
The infraction cost the Redskins big as New Orléans scored on the continuation of the drive.
Williams obviously hit Graham out of frustration after getting toasted earlier for six points on a Saints’ 4th and 10. He failed to turn around for the football and gave up on his coverage while running out of the end zone. Meanwhile, Drew Brees hit a wide open receiver for the touchdown. But wait – there was more.
The replacement refs should be expecting the UPS man at their doors, as Williams owes them a gift for giving him a break on what should have been yet another late hit on a receiver, deep inside the red zone. Instead the officials flagged DeJon Gomes for pass interference against the same wide-out. The flag was picked up however, after officials met to discuss the penalty. But Williams’ could have set up New Orleans with another 1st and 10 at the Redskins’ five-yard-line. Ultimately, it could have cost Washington the game.
Williams tarnished an otherwise brilliant defensive performance, basically giving up 15 points to the Saints on those two plays. Fortunately, both Gomes and Reed Doughty intercepted Brees on scoring opportunities to salvage a Redskin victory. Josh Wilson and DeAngelo Hall blanketed the Saints wide-outs all day and helped the front seven hold New Orleans to just 32 rushing yards. Brandon Meriweather is sidelined with injury and Jordan Bernstein remains on IR. Williams must refocus and realize his importance to this team. Fans accept players talking a little smack or shoving each other around after the whistle, but intentional late hits and undisciplined actions become much harder to forgive. Hail Skins.
You can follow Todd C. Smith on Twitter @tcsmitty