On Thursday, the Kansas City Chiefs announced the promotion of defensive tackle Brandon Williams to the 53-man roster. The move came after defensive tackle Taylor Stallworth was waived on Tuesday, opening up an active roster spot.
Williams first entered the league as a third-round pick made by the Baltimore Ravens in the 2013 NFL Draft. Williams spent nine seasons (2013-21) with the Ravens, compiling more than 300 tackles and 6.5 sacks. In 2021, Williams had 35 tackles (15 solo) in 13 appearances. Prior to a dip last year, Pro Football Focus had graded Williams as one of the more consistent run-stuffers in the game.
Chiefs defensive line coach Joe Cullen is likely to have advocated for Williams, given their five seasons (2016-20) in Baltimore when Cullen was the Ravens’ defensive line coach.
“I’d tell you a good player,” said Chiefs head coach Andy Reid shortly after he was added to the practice squad. “He and Joe Cullen [have] history, so Joe speaks very highly of him and still thinks he can contribute. So he’s been doing it a long time — but we welcome that. He’s a great kid and good football player.”
As it turned out, Cullen was not the only coach familiar with Williams. Chiefs defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo was Baltimore’s senior defensive assistant when the now-33-year-old was a newcomer in the league.
He’s grown up a bit, according to Spagnuolo.
“Brandon brings a lot of energy,” said the coordinator of Williams. “I was actually with Brandon his rookie year in Baltimore, so I knew him as a rookie. They change quite a bit from their first year in the league — and that’s interesting. I’ve had other guys that I’ve had young, and years go by, and then I’m with them again, and they’re just different people. He’s a big, strong guy. We’ll see where we’re at — it’s only been two days.
“[Wednesday] we didn’t even have helmets on, so it’s going to take a little while to sift through it.”
As could have been expected, the Chiefs used the open practice squad spot to bring back center Austin Reiter. It remains to be seen if Williams will be active when the Chiefs visit the Denver Broncos on Sunday at 3:05 p.m. Arrowhead Time.