One of the bigger names Seattle added in free agency this offseason was Cary Williams, a veteran cornerback from the Eagles who was signed to essentially fill the shoes of cornerback Byron Maxwell, who inked a deal with Philadelphia on the NFL's open market.
Williams, in his eighth NFL season, found it tough to adjust to the step-kick technique employed by the Seattle secondary at first, but has played exceptionally well through the team's first four games and most recently in his defense of Pro Bowl wide receiver Calvin Johnson during the Seahawks' 13-10 Week 4 win over the Detroit Lions.
"There really is indications that he's really getting it and he really feels it and he's getting confident," Seahawks coach Pete Carroll told the team's flagship radio station 710 ESPN Seattle on Tuesday. "There's a whole style to it and he's really embracing the way.
"He played with the best-challenged receiver you could go against and he was right with it. I was really fired up to see that."
Johnson has four inches and nearly 50 pounds on the wiry Williams, who measures 6-foot-1 and 190 pounds. But the Seattle cornerback held his own as he found himself covering the Lions' star wideout for most of Monday night at CenturyLink Field. Johnson finished the game with seven catches for 56 yards and no touchdowns on 11 targets from his quarterback Matthew Stafford, Johnson's second-least productive outing of the year. All-Pro cornerback Richard Sherman said it was the best game Williams has played in a Seahawks uniform so far.
"Today was his best game executing our scheme and doing what we're asking him to do," Sherman said of Williams work in Week 4. "Obviously, Calvin is a premier All-Pro matchup, one of the best receivers in our League, and he [Williams] did a great job when he was asked to stand up."
The defense as a whole held Stafford to 203 yards passing as the Detroit offense connected on just two throws that gained 20 yards or more. Williams said it one of Seattle's goals to not let Detroit's playmakers, like Johnson, get behind the defense.
"I think it's huge," Williams said. "Especially a guy like that, who has down the field ability, a guy that can go up and catch the ball at any given moment, a guy that can run crisp routes. I just wanted to step-kick, work on my technique, and just stay on top. That's all I was thinking about this week, and I was fortunate enough to have a good game."
After managing just three points on offense, Detroit finally got going late in the fourth quarter, marching the football 90 yards to Seattle's 11-yard line where it threatened to take the lead with less than two minutes to play. That's when Stafford found Johnson on a short pass to his left with Williams in coverage. The Lions wideout headed 10 yards toward the goal line, but Williams, free safety Earl Thomas, and strong safety Kam Chancellor gave chase. The trio met Johnson at the 1-yard line, where Chancellor punched the ball out for the game-saving play.
"It was a good call, especially because I was trying to be aggressive with him [Johnson] down there and he used my aggression against me kind of," Williams said of the play that saw Chancellor force Johnson to fumble. "He was able to catch the ball and get up field, so what I wanted to do was just continue to compete down to the very end, try to get my hand in there if I could, and hey, it is what it is. It took 11 guys tonight to get the job done, and we were fortunate on that play."
Take a look at the photos from the Seahawks' 13-10 thrilling victory against the Lions, which made it their 10th Monday Night Football game win in a row.