PHILADELPHIA -- Cary Williams figured it was worth a shot.
The Eagles cornerback was having a rough time changing direction in the snow and staying with the Detroit Lions wide receivers. It stood to reason the Lions defensive backs were having the same issues.
So, early in the second half, Williams did something he’d never done before. He went over to his head coach, Chip Kelly, and suggested an offensive strategy.
“I just haven’t had that happen in my career where you could go up to a guy and tell him what’s the best thing to do,” Williams said. “I am just grateful that Chip listened. I really didn’t expect him to listen, but I am happy he did.”
Kelly called for a deep throw to Riley Cooper. Nick Foles hung a pass up that Cooper ran under. It wasn’t pretty, but Cooper caught the ball falling backward into the snow. That 44-yard gain set up the Eagles’ first score and really changed the energy in the game.
“It was a big play, a real tough catch,” Kelly said. “It was funny. Cary Williams was the one who came up to me and he was like, 'Coach, this is what you’ve got to do, because you can’t make up speed if the receiver makes a stick move on you just because of the footing.' It’s coming from a defensive guy saying, hey, if you have an opportunity to throw a post or throw a corner, it’s hard to make up. It’s almost like that catch kind of got us going.”
“It wasn’t the fact that I couldn’t run with Calvin,” Williams said. “It was the fact that when I tried to turn, I was sliding initially. I didn’t get the initial grab into the ground the way I wanted to. I saw a lot of times they were slipping, and they were having an issue with sliding.”
Williams said he was surprised the Lions didn’t throw the ball to Johnson more often, given the conditions.
“You practice backpedaling and turning on a level surface,” Williams said. “Out there, with the snow, it was completely different. It’s hard for us to stop and then turn and run.”