CAPACCIO: Amid so much change, Williams remained a constant

The Bills defensive tackle will retire following Sunday's game

Sal Capaccio
December 28, 2018 - 1:00 pm

Photo: Timothy T. Ludwig - USA TODAY Sports

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Seven head coaches. Five general managers. Seven defensive coordinators. Nine defensive line coaches. Two owners.

Amid all the change at One Bills Drive over the past 13 years - and there’s been a lot of change - one thing has remained a constant. Kyle Williams.

The team announced on Friday that the 13-year veteran will retire after Sunday’s game against the Miami Dolphins. A home game. One last chance for fans to show up and show their love and support for one of the most popular and beloved players in the franchise’s history.

When the news came down, I was asked by my colleague Howard Simon what comes to my mind when I think of Williams. My answer: “A constant professional.”

There wasn’t a day Williams didn’t have the same demeanor and give the same types of responses when asked about the upcoming week, game, or season. No matter what change was happening in the offseason or what the circumstances were of the upcoming game, whether the team had four wins in December or was fighting to stay in the playoff race, Williams’ stayed consistent. And not in a bad way at all. He wasn’t a cliche machine like many other players can be. He gave good, thoughtful, insightful answers, while always striking the same message: it’s about preparation, work, respecting the job, and studying.  

Every day. All the time.

Sure, you could talk to Kyle about his family, or living in Buffalo, or his LSU Tigers, or his golf game. If you asked, he always took the time to answer and have a good conversation about all of that. When it came to playing football, he was Mr. Consistent both on and off the field.

Here are some examples, on the field.

Only three times in 13 years did Williams miss more than one game. He played all 16 games seven times, and at least fifteen games 10 times. He had at least 41 tackles 10 times, at least five sacks six different times, and only twice finished a season without one. He’ll finish fifth in sacks in franchise history, behind only Bruce Smith, Aaron Schobel, Phil Hansen, and Cornelius Bennett, and since 1999 when the stat started being tracked, Williams is the franchise’s all-time leader in tackles for loss with 102.

Williams’ 183 games played will be the seventh-most in franchise history, and the second-most for any defensive lineman to ever wear a Bills uniform, behind only Hall of Famer Bruce Smith. Of the six players ahead of him on the all-time games played list, only one, guard Joe Devlin, did what Kyle Williams will do: play his entire career with the Buffalo Bills.

Unlike everything around him, Kyle Williams never changed.



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