Williams joins Chiefs, hopes to play versus Denver
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kyle Williams spent the morning meeting with coaches, squeezed in a little time to get fitted for his new uniform, and then headed out to the practice field for an afternoon workout.
It was a whirlwind beginning to his fresh start with the Kansas City Chiefs.
Williams was claimed off waivers from the San Francisco 49ers a day earlier, and didn’t fly into Kansas City until after midnight. Still, the Chiefs believe he’ll be able to contribute on special teams when they travel to Denver for their big showdown Sunday night.
“It’s a quick turnaround,” Williams said Thursday. “We have a big one on Sunday, and hopefully I will be able to get in there and make something happen.”
Chiefs special teams coach Dave Toub said that Williams could serve as a backup kick and punt returner right away, something that he had plenty of experience doing in San Francisco.
Offensive coordinator Doug Pederson said it would be unfair to expect Williams to contribute on that side of the ball against the Broncos. Williams said it was “like they were speaking Spanish” as he tried to get up to speed on the Chiefs’ offensive terminology.
“Right now we’ll just see how it goes,” Pederson said. “He’s a tough, physical kid with some speed, so we just have to get him and practice and see what he’ll do.”
Williams wasn’t out of work for long after he was waived by the 49ers, where he’d spent his entire four-year career. He was snapped by the Chiefs in fewer than 24 hours, reunited with former 49ers quarterback Alex Smith and wide receiver A.J. Jenkins.
In fact, it was Jenkins who told Smith that Williams was joining the Chiefs.
“He was kind of surprised,” Jenkins said. “We didn’t even know they had waived Kyle until he signed here. But he’s excited for the new opportunity, the new start he has.”
Williams acknowledged that he was happy to get a fresh start after a period of dark days in San Francisco. He had two costly fumbles in a loss to the Giants in the NFC championship game following the 2011 season, and received death threats and was harassed on social media.
He was on a roll last season before tearing the ACL in his left knee.
“I’m not trying to run from anything that happened there or anything like that,” Williams said. “I’m excited about the opportunity. I’m excited about joining a team that’s had as much success as we’ve had here. There were some times out there, definitely some learning experiences, but moving forward, I’m just excited about the future.”
Williams said he wasn’t told by the 49ers why they decided to part ways, but his production this season likely had something to do with it. He had just 12 catches for 113 yards, and has continued to deal with fumble issues that have plagued him much of his career.
The Chiefs were enamored of his speed and playmaking ability, though, and were in desperate need of help at wide receiver. Dwayne Bowe is facing a suspension at some point for his weekend arrest for speeding and marijuana possession, and he hasn’t been that productive anyway.
Donnie Avery and Dexter McCluster have also disappeared at times.
“How they use everybody, the types of playmakers over here, they’re explosive,” Williams said, “and they’ve made plays so far. It’s my job to fit in and help out wherever I can.”