Tennessee Titans: Damian Williams First Day

Scott Rovak-USA TODAY Sports

The Titans have finally turned to Damian Williams for return duties. Let's see how he did in his first game.

Mike Munchak finally dismissed Darius Reynaud not just from the return game, but from the team itself. When your only contribution is at a specialist position, then you had better dang well be able to perform at that spot. Something Reynaud continually regressed at.

The sample size is small, but let's look at the stat sheet from the game:

Kick Returns: 2 for 59 yards with a long of 37.

Punt Returns: 2 for 8 yards with a long of 8.

Jackie Battle got his hands on a deflected line drive kick start the game, so Williams first touch at the position was a punt return near the end of the second quarter. Williams caught the ball, made one stick move and got up field in traffic for an 8 yard gain. Thumbs up.

At the top of the third quarter, Williams had a great kick return bringing the ball to the 30 yard line from 7 yards deep. He followed his blocks well and looked like he could flash some play making ability at the position as well. The next series of punts were either out of bounds or fair catches, but Williams did do a good job tracking the ball to the sideline and making good decisions on the fair catches.

Just when it seemed like Damian Williams was perfectly comfortable at the position, he had a couple of miscues in the fourth quarter of the game.

After tying the game at 21, the Rams kicked deep in the endzone, and after hesitating, Williams decided late to bring the ball out, barely making it to the 14 yard line. Indecision is not a trait that can be allowed at the return position.

Later in the quarter, with under 3 minutes left in the game, Williams made his second mental error. A late fair catch call combined with a Tommie Campbell block in the back led to Williams being hit as soon as the ball arrived. The result was a muffed punt which Williams thankfully recovered four yards back on the 20 yard line. I'm not sure if the block in the back hadn't occurred that the refs would have acknowledged the fair catch call as late as it was. Borderline at best, Williams needs to decide a bit quicker when in that position.

Overall the performance was a good one and a large step up from Reynaud's recent output. Neither of his miscues led to turnovers or points for the other team and in the end just left a couple yards on the field. As Damian gets more experience in the games, I expect these issues to dissolve, and the upside he presents is something to be excited about.

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