Williams rides off into retirement as a winner

Sports

After the final seconds had ticked off the clocked, and he had left the field one last time as a player, Kyle Williams admitted he was never comfortable being in the spotlight.

But, on Sunday, after 13 years, the veteran defensive tackle received a proper send off from the franchise and fans inside of New Era Field.

He took the field last and was greeted by his wife, Jill, and their kids at midfield along with his teammates.  In the final minute of their 42-17 win over the Dolphins, head coach Sean McDermott called a timeout to allow Williams another moment to be embraced by fans as he stepped off the field.

“The whole thing has been a little out of my comfort zone. I’ll look back and enjoy what he essentially made me do,” Williams joked. “We all get to enjoy it because we won. It was a fun day.”

The defensive tackle finished with three tackles in his final game, but was also somewhat of a staple on the offensive side of the ball again.  On Buffalo’s opening possession, with the team knocking on the door, Williams entered the game as a fullback.  He would ultimately help push Josh Allen into the endzone to open the scoring.

Williams, who by many is considered a great athlete, showed off that athleticism with a nine yard catch. 

But his favorite part of the day? His victory lap.

“I was giving people some high fives on the way in,” he said. “I couldn’t do a 10 yard section and not hit the whole place. It was really spontaneous but really my favorite thing of the day.”

Since arriving as a as a fifth round rookie in 2006, Williams has been a fan favorite.

“For me, I wanted toughness, effort and attitude to be hallmarks of my career. I think the people sensed it in me and I sensed it in them. And, when kindred spirits meet it’s a great match.”

In total, Williams played in 183 career games and finished with 48.5 sacks, both top marks for a defensive tackle in franchise history.

On Friday, during his retirement announcement, Williams said he “never cheated a day.”  He elaborated more on that thought as he closed his final press conference on Sunday.

“Nobody ever said it’s definitive you can’t be successful. I played against a lot of high rounds picks or this or that, and I played against those cats in college. Really, when I got here the only expectation I had was that I was going to have the opportunity compete.  I knew in the back of my mind, when it got hard and really tough, in my mind that was to my advantage. I thought that if I go out and compete, and give it all that I got, we’ll see where it goes.  My only expectation was that I’m going to play. I’m going to be the best I can be. And, he we are.”

Near the end of his time at the podium, Williams shared a story from high school that he says changed the direction of his life.

“I’ve shared a small story of my team last night that during my sophomore year, we had a career day
at school and my history teacher at the time was my defensive coordinator in high school. A
friend of mine’s dad was there, he was an insurance salesman in my hometown, he was trying to
brag on me about how great I had done as a sophomore, gotten some accolades, this and that.

“My defensive coordinator said, at the time, he’s a good player and he’s a talented kid, but if he
worked as hard as he could all the time and he played as hard as he could all the time, he’d be
special.

In a 20-second interaction in a doorway at Ruston High School, it changed the trajectory
of my life. Changed my attitude, changed my vision, changed who I was. I shared that story with
the team and with the coaches last night and I told them, ‘You never know what makes the
difference.’”

And, for 13 seasons, Williams made a difference in Buffalo.

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