It’s still early in the process, but former Boston College Eagles running back Andre Williams is earning the approval of his New York Giants coaches.
Nobody who watched the Eagles last season needs to ask how Andre did. Not only did he have the best season for a Boston College running back in the program’s history, but his overall rushing total was so historic and massive that it got him an invite to the Heisman Trophy ceremony.
Still, when it came to other facets of his game, most notably pass-catching, Andre Williams was not the darling of some NFL scouts. As you may recall, one anonymous NFL scout — evidently ashamed to assign his name to such a harsh critique while still making it — had this to say:
Worst hands I’ve ever seen. I never even saw them pitch it to him. You would be crazy to pitch it to him. It’s so bad, you feel bad for the kid. I saw a game and the pregame was atrocious. He’s working on it, but it’s, like, ‘What have you been doing for four years?’
Not every college offense is designed to facilitate a transition to the NFL, but alas. Proving this nameless man wrong would be a source of delight, but the good news is that right now, his opinion of Andre Williams does not matter: Tom Coughlin’s does.
The Giants coach, notably a successful one at Boston College way back in the day, knows that the knock on Williams has been perceived one-dimensionality, not being able to do quote-unquote things that serviceable NFL running backs can do. Coughlin said this on Andre’s early returns at Big Blue training camp:
If you’ve been watching practice and if you watched him last spring, he’s become more than [a one-dimensional player]. He was not used that way at BC, but he certainly has demonstrated the ability to do that.
4for4 fantasy news spoke of Williams’ decent volume of reps in camp on Wednesday, but also noted this from his new running backs coach, Craig Johnsons, who also paid an indirect compliment to the Eagles:
Obviously [Boston College] fed him the ball and he was the nation’s leading rusher, so what they were doing had to be right. … I know they featured him in the run game exclusively there, so when you come to the next level you have to do more multi-faceted things and he is working very hard in that area, as you can see in practice.
Perhaps Andre Williams is not the lost cause that a few scouts thought he would be. We knew during the Pro Days being held in the spring that he was working on secondary offensive skills, and he remains committed to getting better.
Even though it is only the preseason, worthless in virtually all respects, it should be exciting for both Eagles and Giants fans to get their first look at him in the NFL.