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Free Agent Profile: Nose Tackle Jamal Williams

Jamal Williams
Jamal Williams

Some moves just make a ton of sense.  The Broncos need depth at nose tackle, and their defensive line coach (Wayne Nunnely) is but a year removed from the San Diego Chargers.  So what does Denver do when the Chargers' primary nose tackle becomes available?

Jamal Williams has terrorized the Broncos for plenty of years with San Diego, and now might be donning the orange and blue by days end.  Mike Lombardi over at the National Football Post is reporting (via our own Tim Lynch)  that Williams is in Denver taking a physical, and while he has another visit with New Orleans later this week, Denver may not let him make that visit.

Williams is a 34 year old nose tackle, entering his 13th season in the NFL.  The Broncos have already added one defensive lineman in free agency with Justin Bannan coming over from Baltimore, and Williams could soon follow.  More after the jump...


Jamal Williams was born April 28th, 1976 in Washington, D.C.  He is the eldest of seven children, and at Archbishop High School was an All-Met selection as...brace yourselves...a 6'3" 255 pound linebacker.  He was named as a super-prep All-American in 1994, and earned a scholarship to Oklahoma State University.

After spending a year at OSU, Williams transferred to Kemper Military School/Junior College, then back to OSU where he became an All-Big 12 selection.

Drafted in the second round of the 1998 supplemental draft by the San Diego Chargers, Williams has had quite an up and down career.  Not that his play is inconsistent, the man has had plenty of nicks to slow down his playing career, though he is both a three-time Pro Bowl selection, and has been named to three All-Pro teams.

Scouting Report (via San Diego Chargers official website)

Regarded by many as one of the top defensive tackles in the NFL today, three-time Pro Bowl nose tackle Jamal Williams leads the Chargers’ defensive front and run defense.

 Year-in and year-out, the Chargers’ defensive line has been one of the NFL’s best. 2008 was no exception as the Chargers ranked 11th in the NFL in run defense, missing out on cracking the top 10 by just 1.3 yards per game. In seven of Williams’ 12 seasons in San Diego, the Chargers have ranked in the league’s Top 10 in rushing defense, including league-leading seasons in 1998 and 2005. Only twice during his Chargers’ tenure has the unit ranked below 11th in the league’s final rankings. 

 Williams has been a warrior throughout his career. In 2008, he played in all 16 games and made 15 starts. Since 2003, he’s only missed four games due to injury, despite playing one of the most dangerous and physically demanding positions on the field. To understand his toughness, one only needs to look back at the 2007 season when he had arthroscopic procedures done on both of his knees during the team’s bye week and missed just one game following the operations before returning to the field. Williams also battled through a high ankle sprain during the ’07playoffs that would have kept most players out of action. Instead, he was right in the mix helping the Chargers advance to the AFC Championship Game.

 Despite being one of the most experienced veterans on the team, Williams takes nothing for granted. Every year in training camp, the mammoth defensive tackle refuses to post a nameplate on his locker stall at Chargers Park. In an old ritual, Williams refuses to have his name on his locker until he’s officially made the team, forcing the team’s equipment staff to re-order a new nameplate for big No. 76 at the start of each regular season.

 Williams is widely regarded as one of the toughest and most physically-imposing defensive tackles in the NFL. It’s natural, considering he comes from a family in which he was the second oldest of seven boys all raised by his mother, Harriet, a single parent. She is now retired, but spent years working as a correctional officer at a juvenile facility in Louisville, Kentucky. Jamal is the only player on the roster who carries a dumbbell with him to every team meeting so he can knock out a few curls while watching tape and studying his playbook.   

Williams would be a nice fit with the Denver Broncos.  His former defensive line coach in San Diego, Wayne Nunnely, is currently part of the Broncos' staff, so the Broncos have that going for them.  Denver can also offer Williams a rotational role, something that might make him more effective in terms of staying healthy for a full season. 

If Williams is added, the Broncos could be getting the 2010 defensive line version of Brian Dawkins last year...

In addition, former Patriots defensive lineman Jarvis Green is also heading to Denver for a visit, per Mike Reiss.  The Broncos are certainly looking to get bigger on the defensive line...