Bengals like what they see from 'Baby Geno'
Undrafted rookie defensive tackle DeShawn Williams hasn't earned a roster spot yet, but he's earned a big-time nickname.
Williams, who appeared in 53 games at Clemson, only saw 11 plays in the fourth quarter of last Friday's preseason-opening win over the Giants, but he made an impact. He broke through a double team to pressure quarterback Ricky Stanzi into a third-down incompletion, then picked up his first sack on the very next series.
"I knew that my reps would be limited so I had to give it my all," Williams said per Bengals.com. "And that’s true whether it’s one rep, two reps, or 70 reps. Give it your all because coaches are looking for guys that are going to give effort. Nobody can measure your effort – that’s on you."
Williams was knocked for being undersized coming out of college at just 6-foot-1 and 295 pounds. His scouting report was similar to the one given for Pro Bowl defensive tackle Geno Atikins, a fourth-round pick in 2010. The similarities between the two don't end there.
"They call me 'Baby Geno' in the locker room, but I haven’t done anything yet to reach that status," Williams said. "I try to learn from him each and every day. Just to have an All-Pro in your room – you get star struck and I’ve got nothing but praise for him. He’s a wonderful teammate.
"I've never met a guy like Geno. He's just a freak of nature man. One day I hope I can reach his status but it’s going to take some work."
Williams still has an uphill battle to make the 53-man roster with a lot of talent ahead of him on the Bengals' depth chart. If he doesn't make it, the Bengals will surely try to stash him on the practice squad.