|Jaguars play name game with Williamses|
|Written by Admin|
|Tuesday, 05 August 2008 22:19|
He might even get several.
Jacksonville has five players and two coaches with the last name Williams, causing confusing and comedy on and off the football field.
``We almost have enough for a family reunion,'' rookie cornerback Trae Williams said.
The Jaguars certainly have enough to keep mailroom workers and equipment guys on their toes. Along with Trae, there's safety Brian Williams, receiver Reggie Williams, guard Maurice Williams, linebacker Thomas Williams, defensive coordinator Gregg Williams and defensive assistant Tom Williams.
``You've got to flip a couple extra pages in the program book just to find yourself,'' Thomas said.
Brian, Reggie and Maurice have been with the team for several seasons and call each other ``cuz'' as a standing joke. But their last name - the third most popular in the Unites States, according to the 2000 census - got considerably more common in the locker room this year.
The Jaguars hired Gregg in January, then drafted Thomas and Trae three months later. The mix-ups started almost immediately.
Gregg got an office next to Tom's, and each has answered to shouts for the other since they have nicknames that sound similar; fellow coaches call Greg ``G-Dub'' and Tom ``T-Dub.''
``We have our issues in the office,'' Tom said. ``I'm sure the players have the same issues.''
Thomas and Trae had to work through some shortly after they were drafted a few picks apart in the fifth round in April.
Thomas, the 155th overall selection from Southern California, and Trae, the 159th choice from South Florida, showed up at the NFL rookie symposium in California and quickly found items identically labeled ``T. Williams, Jacksonville Jaguars.''
When it was time for them to pick up electronic clickers and play the rookie trivia challenge game, neither of them knew if he had the right one.
``We just kept the same one all week,'' Thomas said. ``He might have had mine. I might have had his. Hopefully, it didn't matter.''
Thomas encountered more problems back in Jacksonville.
Several pieces of his mail ended up on Tom's desk, and Thomas has gotten plenty of Tom's mail stuffed in his locker. Just last week, Tom walked into his office and found a new set of golf clubs.
``I was like, 'Man, I've got some new clubs,''' Tom said. ``Then it dawned on me that they were probably for Thomas.''
Tom also has fielded several calls for the player.
``I don't know why they would think that Thomas Williams would have a phone in the Jaguars organization,'' Tom said. ``But there are solicitors trying to get his money. They may not know, but they should know, that I don't have that kind of money.''
Tom got even more calls on the second day of the draft, after friends and family members realized the Jaguars picked a player named Thomas Williams - Tom's full name is Thomas - and another named Trae Williams - Tom's 3-year-old son is named Trey.
``I got a million phone calls saying not only did you get drafted, but Trey also got drafted and he's only 3,'' Tom said. ``That was the big joke on draft day.''
The Jaguars might get the last laugh, though.
Brian, Reggie and Maurice could start opening day, and Thomas and Trae could be significant contributors on special teams. Gregg and Tom, meanwhile, have spearheaded efforts to turn around a defense that struggled to pressure quarterbacks most of last season.
``It could be the year of the Williamses around here,'' Brian said.
First, though, the Jaguars have to figure out how to handle all those Williams jerseys. Although each of the five players could have just ``Williams'' on his back, some already are looking for ways to stand out.
``Are they going to put T. Williams or Th. Williams or Williams or spell my whole name,'' Thomas said. ``How's that going to work out? If it was up to me, I might put T.R. Williams to have my middle initial in there.''