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Steelers Tryout CB Marquis Williams Looking to Make His Name Known Anyway He Can

Tryout cornerback Marquis Williams is hoping to let the Pittsburgh Steelers know who he is in more way than one in a short time period.



Pittsburgh Steelers CB Marquis Williams
Steelers tryout cornerback Marquis Williams rookie minicamp, May 10, 2024 - Ed Thompson / Steelers Now

PITTSBURGH — Realistically, how early should someone get to the Pittsburgh Steelers facility for the first day of rookie minicamp? Early in the morning, sure, but how about before the crack of dawn? Marquis Williams arrived before 5 a.m. on Friday, setting his alarm for 4:30 a.m.

That was all part of Williams’ plan. Spending the past six seasons over across the hallway with the Pitt Panthers. He knows all about the Steelers. But it goes deeper than that for him. His uncle, Tyrone Carter, played safety for the Steelers from 2004 to 2009. In fact, the relationship between Williams and Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin is so tight that he refers to Tomlin as uncle.

“I always knew Coach Mike T since my uncle had been playing here,” Williams said. “I’ve been around always with Mike T. It’s been a great friendship. I call him uncle. So it’s definitely great that he knows me, a lot of the staff know me as well. They all got experiences of coaching with Mike T and it’s all family oriented so I definitely adapted very quickly.”

Williams’ plan was simple: get up early, take care of his body, and make a statement to the team. And he did that. Williams was the first in the Steelers building, beating special teams coach Danny Smith to his office. He pinned a sticky note to Smith’s computer and told Smith he was there before him. But Williams had arrived so early that he decided to hang around in Smith’s office.

Before leaving the office, Williams studied the special teams’ playbooks and drawings on the whiteboard in the room to learn anything he could. Well, that’s one way to make an impression. Before even heading to Smith’s office, Williams hit the hot tub for recovery, ate his breakfast, and listened to gospel music to calm himself down before a huge day.

“I got up at 4:30 this morning,” Williams said. “I told myself all week that I was going to be the first one in the building and the last one to leave. I was in before 5 [a.m.] and got in the hot tub to get my body together. I listened to gospel music to get my mind together and then got some food. I was in coach Danny’s office. I wrote him a sticky note to tell him that I beat him here and put it on his computer. Then I sat there and looked on the board to see things that I could learn and see what advantages I could gain to make this team.”

Talk to Williams once, and he will tell you that he has always felt slept-on. From ACC-specific accolades to going undrafted, Williams has never felt the proper respect. His size doesn’t help. Williams measured in at Pitt’s pro day at just 5-foot-8, 176 pounds, and ran a 4.73 40-yard dash at 176 pounds. He also put up a 34-inch vertical and 9-foot-5-inch broad jump.

Some notes from his X account would indicate that he does not take kindly to being disrespected in the court of public opinion. But one other note on his account rings true for, too.

“What you do speak louder than what you say!”

Williams followed his advice. Pittsburgh felt like hone for the three-time Pitt captain. The Steelers did, too. He knows what an NFL team wants, but he is only just a minicamp tryout. Williams has to earn a contract out of this weekend, and he is pulling out the steps to earn that.
“Everybody in the building when I got here already knew me,” Williams said. “People would say, ‘You’re next door,’ or ‘You’re home,’ and stuff like that. It felt great to know that they know me from being around. … It felt surreal to be inside an NFL building and see the pictures on the wall. They know how tough I am, and [receiving an invite] shows that Mike Tomlin believes in me and this coaching staff believes in me.”
The Steelers do not have many open roster spots. But they generally sign two or three tryout players from their rookie minicamp every year. He has to impress on the field, too, but statements like the one Williams made to Smith can go a long way towards endearing yourself to earn that contract.
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May 10, 2024 10:33 pm

Rooting for this underdog! Make it happen 👍

May 10, 2024 11:50 pm
Reply to  Joe