A first-round pick of the Chicago Bears in 2008, Williams has never lived up to expectations while bouncing between guard and tackle. He started 16 games at guard for St. Louis last season, but the Rams weren’t eager to re-sign him. But Marrone sees Williams as a reclamation project.
“I’ve been part of this before,’’ Marrone said during the AFC coaches breakfast at the NFL owners meeting Tuesday morning. “I was fortunate that I had a player, Jeff Faine, out of Cleveland that wasn’t playing that we were able to attain in New Orleans and he came in and performed at a Pro Bowl level and became the highest paid center in the league.
“My goal, my challenge, is to have the same type of thing happen with Chris. I’m excited about working with him. I know there are a lot of people that have a lot of question marks about him. I really don’t. I don’t at all. I’m fired up to work with him and he’s fired up.’’
Marrone believes Williams can be an impact player at left guard. That’s why the Bills gave him a four-year contract worth $13.5 million. Marrone said he thought Williams had enormous potential when he was coming out of college.
“I really liked Chris coming out,’’ Marrone said. “I really thought he had the skill that someone like myself was looking for in an offensive lineman. I know that things have not worked out as well for him or things have not gone the way he wanted them to go for himself or probably the team that picked him. It’s been tough. There have been struggles for him. People have gotten on him.’’
But, now, maybe it’s time for Williams to finally reach his potential.
In other news, Marrone said it’s possible the Bills will practice with the Pittsburgh Steelers during the preseason. Marrone also said cornerback Corey Graham, who the Bills signed in free agency, might be moved to safety.