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Aeneas Williams
Position(s)
Cornerback / Safety
Jersey #(s)
35
Born January 29, 1968 (1968-01-29) (age 41)
New Orleans, Louisiana
Career information
Year(s) 19912004
NFL Draft 1991 / Round: 3 / Pick: 59
College Southern
Professional teams
Career stats
Tackles 795
Interceptions 55
Touchdowns 9
Stats at NFL.com
Career highlights and awards

Aeneas Demetrius Williams (pronounced /əˈniːəs/; born January 29, 1968 in New Orleans, Louisiana) is a former American football cornerback and free safety, who played with the Arizona Cardinals and the St. Louis Rams. Williams attended Fortier High School, where he played football on a team with three future NFL players. Although he was admitted to Dartmouth College, Williams chose to attend Southern University, the same school his brother Achilles attended. At Southern, Williams concentrated on his academics, not playing football until his senior year, as a graduate student. That year, he tied the NCAA Division I-AA record for most interceptions.

Contents

Professional career

Drafted by the Arizona Cardinals in 1991, Williams quickly established himself as a shutdown corner with an exceptional rookie season, tying the NFL lead for interceptions. As of 1997, Williams had four Pro Bowl appearances and routinely covered the opposing team's lead receivers. In the 1998 season, Williams helped the Cardinals win their first playoff game since 1947 by intercepting two passes from Troy Aikman in a 20-7 win over the Dallas Cowboys, and added another inteception in the Cardinals 41-21 loss in the divisional round. Despite playing mostly for bad teams (the Cardinals had a winning record only once in his 10 years there), Williams was recognized as one of the best cornerbacks in the league. Aeneas is regarded as one of the best defenders and players in the Arizona franchise's history. In 2000, he tied an NFL record by returning a fumble (caused by Mark Maddox) 104 yards for a touchdown in a game against the Washington Redskins.

In 2001 he was traded to the St. Louis Rams on draft day in exchange for picks in the second and fourth rounds [1]. Due to roster concerns, Williams learned the free safety position. With the Rams, he went to Super Bowl XXXVI, in which his team lost to the New England Patriots. In the Rams divisional playoff game against the Green Bay Packers prior to the Super Bowl, Williams returned two interceptions from Packers quarterback Brett Favre for touchdowns and recovered a fumble. Then in the NFC title game, he intercepted a pass from Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb with 2 minutes left in regulation, clinching the game and ensuring his team a trip to the Super Bowl.

Williams, after a lackluster season which he ended on the injured reserve list, quietly retired during the 2005 offseason. Over his career he accumulated a staggering 12 defensive touchdowns (9 interceptions returned for a touchdown, and 3 fumbles recovered for touchdowns), and 55 career interceptions, cementing his place as one of the most dominating defensive backs of his era. He also recovered 23 fumbles and gained 1,075 total defensive return yards (807 from interceptions and 268 from fumbles). He was also a 4-time All-Pro selection. His 268 fumble return yards are an NFL record.

Williams is notable for being the player who delivered the tackle which ultimately ended Hall of Fame San Francisco 49ers' quarterback Steve Young's career. Williams came in on a cornerback blitz from Young's blindside. Running back Lawrence Phillips was supposed to block Williams, but missed, enabling Williams to score a clean hit on Young. This occurred on national television, a Monday Night Football game, and left Young unconscious on the field for several minutes. The hit subsequently ended Young's tenure in the NFL as it resulted in a severe concussion, which was just one of many in the quarterback's career.

Post-NFL Career

He was inducted into the Arizona Cardinals' Ring of Honor during the 2008-2009 football season during halftime of the Monday Night Football game against the San Francisco 49ers November 10, 2008.[2]

On January 18, 2009 Williams was chosen to present the George Halas Trophy to the Arizona Cardinals after their victory in the NFC Championship game, resulting in the Cardinals first trip to the Super Bowl.

Williams is currently a church minister with a congregation at Spirit of the Lord Family Church in Clayton, Missouri.

Trivia

  • Williams owned several car dealerships in the Monroe, Louisiana area. The Monroe dealerships (Lincoln-Mercury and Honda) closed their doors in 2008.
  • Williams made his final appearance in a football videogame in NFL Street 2.
  • Williams is a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. He pledged at the Alpha Sigma Chapter at Southern University.
  • Williams and his wife, Tracy have daughters Saenea ( Aeneas spelled backward ), 11; Tirzah, 9; Cheyenne, 3 and a son : Lazarus, 6.[3]

References








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