Saints' Marcus Williams thankful for support day after costly play

Stephen A. in disbelief over Williams' missed tackle (1:58)

Stephen A. Smith is still reeling from Saints safety Marcus Williams' misplay on Vikings WR Stefon Diggs game-winning TD. (1:58)

METAIRIE, La. -- Marcus Williams vowed that he "won't let one play define the type of MAN or PLAYER that I am or will be!" as he thanked his supporters Monday via Twitter, a day after his missed tackle gave the Minnesota Vikings a 29-24 victory in the NFC divisional round.

The New Orleans Saints rookie safety has been a magnet for both cruel criticism and overwhelming support on social media after he missed the tackle that allowed Vikings receiver Stefon Diggs to score on a historic 61-yard, walk-off touchdown catch in Sunday's loss.

While there was no shortage of Bill Buckner references, there were also heartfelt responses from people like Saints legend Steve Gleason, as well as at least one fan who greeted him with a sign at the airport when the Saints returned home, and two children who brought a personalized note to the Saints' practice facility.

Williams was hard on himself after the defeat Sunday, when he vowed "to never let that happen again. And, I mean, if it happens again, then I shouldn't be playing."

But teammates and coach Sean Payton showered him with support, stressing he was hardly the only one to blame and that they believe in the 21-year-old second-round pick out of Utah, who had five interceptions while starting 17 games in the regular season and playoffs.

"I'm just excited for the kid," Saints linebacker Manti Te'o said. "He's going to come back and get better. He's already ahead of his time as far as how to play safety, and now you add a lot of motivation to that. The sky is the limit for him. I'm glad he's my safety."