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Monday Notebook: Darrent Williams Reflects on Sunday

Posted Oct 29, 2006

Darrent Williams wasn't downcast Monday after watching the tape, as his teammates helped him realize that the Colts' touchdowns were a result of the entire defense.


Darrent Williams was the nearest man in coverage Sunday when Reggie Wayne scored, but the responsibility for covering the wideout rested on more shoulders than just his own. PHOTO: TREVOR BROWN, JR. / RICH CLARKSON AND ASSOCIATES

By Andrew Mason

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- A horde of inquistors began moving in Darrent Williams'direction late Sunday afternoon. Normally, such situations are rare, as interlopers are forbiddent from the usually cloistered confines of the Broncos' locker room; after the game, though, credentialed media arrive -- and they turned straight for Williams.

Usually ebullient and willing to talk at great length about any subject imaginable, he turned away, and turned towards Al Wilson instead, seeking his counsel after a day on which he was the nearest defender to Reggie Wayne during three touchdowns and a two-point conversion that represented the bulk of Indianapolis' scoring in what would be a 34-31 Broncos loss.

"He was just saying that it wasn't my fault," Williams said as he sat at his Dove Valley locker Monday afternoon. "He said, 'Man, you played a good game.'

"He (said), 'I know you're mad.' He knows how competitive I am, that I want to go out there and make every play, every time they throw the ball my way, I'm trying to make the play. He (said), 'It's not your fault; we weren't having a pass rush. It was just the whole defense.'

"We weren't clicking on all cylinders. We weren't getting the right calls. Guys were missing tackles. It was the whole defense. He (said), 'It wasn't like it was on you at all. You played well. Just don't worry about it. Just move on and get better.'"

Williams was in zone coverage; the responsibilities of defending the Colts' potent receivers were shared among the secondary.

"Most people, they really don't understand that in zone coverage a guy has to be deep in the field and what he's got to do is make those tackles," Head Coach Mike Shanahan said. "We had a miscommunication on (one of the) touchdown passes. He was playing a different coverage."

"The first touchdown of the second half, we were supposed to have made a check, and we didn't make the check," Williams said, "and if we don't make the check, then that slant route is open all day long.

"It (wasn't) like I was out there in man-to-man the whole game just getting beat," he added. "(That) made me feel a lot better about myself."

Williams was upset with the outcome Sunday night, but the presence of some family members at the game helped assuage his misery postgame. Those feelings were further mitigated by the day-after review of Sunday's game.

"When I watched film (Monday), I really didn't have as bad of a game as it looked," Williams said. "It looked like I had a terrible game, but a lot of things were busted coverage, guys trying to do to much instead of just playing our defense.

"I'm not really as mad as I was because I feel like I could have made some plays and I didn't, but as I watched film (Monday) I really didn't play that bad of a game at all."

Concurred Shanahan: "All in all Darrent played a pretty good game."

But Williams wants to to tweak his style for the next time he faces a similar situation.

"I'll play a little more aggressive," Williams said. "Our coaches want me to keep everything in front of me, but I really felt like with my speed, guys are not really going to run right past me, run by me like that. (I have) the ability to cover ground once guys get up on my leverage. That's what I'll do next time ... I'll just change up my game some and play a little more aggressive."

'WAIT AND SEE' FOR TATUM BELL: The turf-toe injury that hindered third-year running back Tatum Bell on Sunday left Shanahan uncertain whether he would be able to play against the Pittsburgh Steelers in six days.

"It's still pretty sore; it's very similar to what it was last week," Shanahan said. "(We will) just kind of wait and see how he does during the week."

Time off would help the injury, but that's a luxury Bell may not possess.

"I'm sure he'd be a lot better if he sat down for a couple of weeks," Shanahan said. "I think everybody would feel a lot better if they sat down for a couple of weeks, but everybody's sore at this time of year, and everybody's tired at this time of year, and everybody's hurting a little bit. If he's injured he won't play; if he's hurting, he'll do his best to play."

For what it's worth, Bell plans to be ready.

"I don't want to take a week (off)," he said. "I've had this game penciled in all year, and if I can't go, I can't go, but I'm sure going to go out and practice like I'm ready to go."

MAKING AN IMPRESSION: Many eyes were on Erik Pears as he made his first NFL start staring across the line of scrimmage from Colts defensive end Dwight Freeney. But Pears largely held the perennial Pro Bowler in check; Freeney had four total tackles and a half a sack, while Pears helped create holes that gave the Broncos a season-high 227 rushing yards.

"I thought Erik did a good job," Shanahan said. "Any time you're trying to block a guy like Freeney in your first game, it's pretty tough duty, but I thought he played well."

INJURY UPDATE: Although defensive tackle Gerard Warren missed Sunday's game with a sprained toe and fullback Kyle Johnson sat out the second half, Shanahan did not have any major injury news to report, and said he didn't think any players would even deemed questionable on the injury report, which will be issued Wednesday.

"I don't really think anybody will be out," Shanahan said. "A few guys are bruised up like they normally are, but I don't think anybody will be listed as questionable."