You’d think a 35-year old, 12-year veteran of the NFL would not have a big impact on a team, let alone the New Orleans Saints.
Defensive tackle Kevin Williams proudly proved us wrong in 2015. After contemplating retirement following the 2014 season with the Seattle Seahawks, the Saints became a suitor for Williams after the team hosted him in May. He eventually signed a 1-year deal with the black and gold on June 12, 2015. The idea was to have Williams do everything that he had done in his illustrious career, and that was stop the run as a situational player. He did just that.
Williams, a six-time Pro Bowler and five-time All-Pro, ended up as the Saints snap count leader among all defensive tackles. His 564 total snaps (52.2 percent) was third highest of all defensive linemen behind Cam Jordan and rookie Bobby Richardson. Williams also finished as the team’s third highest graded defensive player (+7.6), per Pro Football Focus. He had a +6.3 grade in run defense, and his +1.1 pass rushing grade was second on the team.
Williams’ 19 quarterback hurries was good for third on the Saints squad, and he racked up 32 total tackles, 2 forced fumbles, and 3 pass defenses in all 16 games for the Rob Ryan/Dennis Allen defense. He also set a milestone by playing in his 200th career game against the Tampa Bay Buccaners in Week 14.
Let’s also not forget that Williams also blocked the extra point against the Carolina Panthers in Week 13, which resulted in the Saints making history with Stephone Anthony returning the kick for the NFL’s first defensive 2-point conversion.
Set to turn 36 in August, Williams’ football future is up in the air. However, if the New Orleans Saints have the opportunity to re-sign him, then Kevin Williams should once again be a solid role player in 2016.