Vince Williams’ retirement on the eve of training camp came as a surprise to Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin, but he says he the team is appreciative of the work Williams put in over his eight years in Pittsburgh.
“Vince is just a quality man first and quality football player second,” Tomlin said. “Man, his passion for the game, the spirit in which he went about what he did, it’s a loss for us, for sure. But that’s the game. We respect the game in that way. We wish him nothing but the best in terms of how he moves forward. But we’re appreciative of the work and service that he gave us eight-plus years.”
Without Williams, the Steelers re-signed rookie free agent Calvin Bundage on Thursday, just days after he was released to make room for edge rusher Melvin Ingram.
The fact that the Steelers did not look to the free agent market to fill the void left by Williams is a vote of confidence in the depth the team has stockpiled at the position, which includes Marcus Allen, Ulysees Gilbert III and rookie Buddy Johnson behind starters Devin Bush and Robert Spillane.
Tomlin gave another such vote of confidence on Thursday when asked how he feels about the position in Williams’ asked, though a muted one.
“I feel great today,” he said. “It’s day one. We haven’t suffered any attrition, we haven’t made any mistakes that make you feel bad. This thing is a process, and so, I won’t have a lot of strong feelings about any of the circumstances today. It’s just much too early in the journey.”