Tramon Williams discusses new referee emphasis after Packers practice
Cornerback Tramon Williams: Tristan Wazeems. Image by Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports
Tramon Williams has an aggressive and gritty style of play at cornerback position and has always had a distinct edge to him throughout his entire NFL career.
This week NFL referee Ed Hochuli and his officiating crew stopped through Green Bay to nail down the focal points of emphasis for the upcoming season. One of the bigger points focuses on pass interference, specifically on contact down the field before a pass is completed.
“What they’re stressing right now is any tug of the jersey, P.I. (pass interference). Period.” Williams explained at his locker early Friday afternoon. “Any tug of the jersey … P.I. That’s why you’ve seen so many flags out there. It doesn’t matter what it is, you can be running down the field just with your hands on a receiver. Chances are they’re going to emphasize P.I. Which is a little ridiculous but, it’s emphasis time so that’s what they have to do.”
During the Packers’ last two practices, the referees made it rain on the field with yellow for defensive players. That didn’t necessarily sit well with Williams who feels the rules favored the offensive unit and are ‘skewed offensively”.
“I mean, it’s always been skewed offensively,” Williams said.
“Did you guys see the flags?" Williams added. "It was raining flags out there yesterday.
"If they want to throw flags every play like they did at practice, I mean we’re just going to have to play a six hour game. It is what it is. Obviously, the refs’ job is to come out and emphasize the new rules, and we’ve got to give them that credibility, they’re warning us right now.”
With new rules being emphasized, some players will have to make adjustments to their individual style of play going forward. A strange time for Williams to switch things around considering this upcoming season will be his ninth in the NFL.
“It’s going to take a period. Obviously they’re emphasizing it right now starting pre-season. You’ve got to get a feel for it early, but at the same time, you have to get in that situation to see how the referees are going to call it.
"If we’re being aggressive, a tug here, a tug there, we’ll see. We’ve trusted the referees in the past to makes those calls they said they’re going to make … we’re out there and they’re never called. It is what it is, there’s nothing I can really say about it.”
Although adjustments will have to be made, the one thing Williams isn’t going to change is his approach on the field. Gaining a true understanding that regardless of how he feels, Hochuli and his crew have to do their job on the field with their whistles the same way he does his job on the field with his helmet and pads.
”Whatever the referee is going to call, that’s their call. It’s their job to do.” Williams said. “When you talk to the refs, they have a boss just like we have a boss. They’ve got to try to make the right calls that they have to make so, reality, it’s not fair, but they do have a job to do.”
After consulting with the officiating crew this week, Williams reiterates that at the end of the day, him and his other defensive back teammates like Sam Shields and Casey Hayward just have to continue to play the way they’ve always have.
“You’ve just got to continue playing your game. I mean, once you let guys get in your head from that stand point, it’s already going to become more offensive oriented. You just got to stay in, focus in, and do your job.
“We’ll play our game, right now the good thing about this room is we have guys who can play a lot of different ways. We just don’t have to just press, we can play off, we can play a lot of different ways. I don’t think it’s going to affect this room much.
"We just got to play our game at the end of the day.”