Parkland Press

Monday, July 13, 2020

Williams picked up by Chargers

Wednesday, September 14, 2016 by JEFF MOELLER Special to the Press in Sports

With a rekindled attitude and approach, Andre Williams came into Giants’ camp this summer looking to make an impact with a different twist. He usually has managed to take advantage of his chances on and off the field.

After bursting on the scene in his rookie season as New York’s fourth-round pick in the 2014 draft, the former Parkland High standout struggled through last season, as he gained 257 yards on 88 carries, averaging just 2.9 yards per carry. His playing time was affected when the team signed free agent Shane Vereen, often creating a three-to-four-back offense

It was a noticeable difference from his rookie campaign in which he was the team’s leading rusher with 721 yards and seven touchdowns. Later that season, Williams was the lead back. He had a 100-yard plus game and was effective catching passes out of the backfield.

His motivation also could have been spurred with the team’s bevy of running backs seeking to gain their presence.

Williams dropped 10 pounds during the offseason with a strict diet and weight training regiment, a result that makes him appear bigger than his 5-11, 220-pound frame. He also cited a newfound experience in martial arts training that helped his transformation.

“I felt good about everything coming into this season,” said Williams. “I really feel more explosive and stronger than in the past. The transition was smooth as there were no changes in the offense. I believe I can put together a good season this year.

“The martial arts workouts were the best thing that I had ever done.”

Unfortunately, Williams won’t be doing it in New York this fall. He was a victim of their final series of cuts, but he was claimed by the San Diego Chargers. In the preseason, Williams had 41 yards on nine carries with a touchdown in the team’s opener against Miami, but he couldn’t get on track the final three games and finished with 91 yards on 25 carries.

Williams was aware of swirling rumors in the local media regarding his days possibly being numbered as a Giant due to the emergence of younger backs. Still, he maintained a positive outlook.

“You never know with this game, but you have to be ready to respond to any situation,” said Williams before he was cut. “There are a lot of running backs on the roster and some might describe it as a make-or-break year. I see it as a big year. I still have my body right and my mind right. I just have to go out and do what I can.

“I am grateful for the opportunity the Giants gave me and I can move forward from here.”

Over the past three years, Williams has invested his off-field talents in a number of business ventures, realizing football can be a short career. His latest is a project involving denim clothing. He and his wife also welcomed a new baby this past February.

He has paralleled his football and business philosophies.

“I’m trying to get the denim company off the ground right now,” said Williams. “I really can’t get into too much detail, but it looks good. I also continue to be involved in some other things. When you get one opportunity, you go for it and it can lead to another one. I’m just trying to keep up.”

Williams was inactive for the Chargers’ season opener. He is listed at fourth on the depth chart, behind Melvin Gordon, Danny Woodhead and Kenneth Farrow.