Green Bay Packers’ cornerback Tramon Williams hits the boxing ring
GREEN BAY, Wis. — In this corner, cornerback Tramon Williams.
There are times when the Green Bay Packers veteran feels like he should be wearing a pair of boxing gloves instead of a helmet and shoulder pads.
Football has worked out just fine, though, for Williams. But as he has aged, Williams has carved out more time to get into the ring.
Boxing workouts are increasingly part of the 35-year-old Williams’ offseason routine, a regimen that he says helps him keep in shape and ready to go once training camp starts.
“I feel like I missed my calling, you know what I’m saying,” Williams said with a laugh. “I’ve been doing this since, I don’t know — boxing has been a habit since I was young, like before a teenager.”
He might be the elder statesman in the cornerback room, but Williams looks like someone just a couple years out of college. His 12th NFL season begins on Sunday night, when the Packers host the Chicago Bears.
“That’s a tribute to him, to how he’s taken care of his body,” said first-year defensive coordinator and former Cleveland Browns head coach Mike Pettine.“He’s the ultimate professional. He’s very aware of what he puts into his body and his workout regimen.”
The Packers signed Williams as a free agent in the offseason for his second stint with the team. Part of what made Williams a good fit to return was his familiarity with Pettine’s scheme while playing for the Browns.
In Green Bay, Williams provides leadership to a position group that will prominently feature the team’s two draft picks, rookies Jaire Alexander and Josh Jackson, as well as 2017 second-round pick Kevin King. Williams tells the younger players to study film and prepare for the opponent.
“He leads by example,” said Alexander, a first-round pick out of Louisville.
Williams can still come up with a big play too. His 32 career interceptions are tied for fifth among active NFL players.
He returned an interception 25 yards for a touchdown on the first play from scrimmage in Green Bay’s second preseason game, a 51-34 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers.
“You know what’s funny, that’s my first pick-6 in Lambeau. I wasn’t even thinking that,” he said.
Undrafted out of Louisiana Tech in 2006, Williams was released by Houston after training camp during his rookie year before joining the Packers’ practice squad for five weeks that season.
He impressed in camp enough the following year to land on Green Bay’s 53-man roster. He finished that season as the team’s third cornerback and top returner.
Williams was a key player on the Packers team that won the Super Bowl in the 2010 season.