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Published on 10/18/2012 at Thu Oct 18 12:26.

Mark Kiszla, of the Denver Post, gets paid to provide in-your-face snap opinions that may or may not match both conventional wisdom or reality. Sometimes his opinions make a lot of sense, but sometimes it feels like his job is really just to be a jerk to draw eyeballs. As near as I can tell, every paper that has serious sports coverage has one of those people. You know, judging people as harshly as possible because, hey, audiences like to judge.

In an article actually about Peyton Manning, Kiszla dropped a nice little shot at D.J. Williams. There’s actually nothing wrong with this shot, because Williams has certainly earned some very, very harsh criticism for his actions. But it also contains a question and I want to give my opinion on that question:

Oh, the Broncos have issues, as obvious as the delicate management situation that can occur when your quarterback is smarter than any of the coaches alleged to be his boss. And, if team is really bigger than any one individual, why would Denver welcome back the selfish stupidity of linebacker D.J. Williams in the locker room when his suspension is finally done?

In My Opinion, the answer to that question is in the sentence that precedes it. Do the Broncos have issues? Yes they do. What are those issues? I’d say that Monday’s benching of Joe Mays highlights one of the top issues the team faces right now. When looking at weak spots on the team, the first one that comes to mind is in the middle of the field. At linebacker. At the moment, this is looking like the weakest spot on the team.

When your team is so weak at linebacker, are D.J. William’s off-the-field issues really enough to warrant simply getting rid of the second best player we’ve had in that group since Al Wilson? (Von Miller is now the best player in that group, but Von Miller can’t play Strong, Weak AND Middle linebacker, nor can he pitch and play right field at the same time [shout out to Sports Night!]) Sure, Woodyard is an excellent weak side line backer, which is Williams’ natural position. But Williams is also an able Mike line backer, and is capable of all of the coverage issues that Mays finds problematic, and is still good against the run.

Last season, Williams and Woodyard both played weak side linebacker, right? Yet in the nickel, both of them would see the field. In that situation, the linebacker corps would turn into Williams, Woodyard and Miller, because Williams can both cover and stop the run. Unlike Mays, who is a liability in coverage.

What are Williams’ issues, really? The dude parties too hard. There’s no question about it. He’s made some dumb decisions, and he’s certainly paying for them. But at the moment, he’s not costing the team anything. If he comes back out of shape, then he’s almost certainly going to be jettisoned. But if he has kept himself in shape, and can come back and contribute, I see no reason that the team won’t give him another chance. He’s no Al Wilson, that’s for sure, but he’s extremely athletic and understands the way the position is played. Unless he starts dragging other players down with him with his off the field issues, or stops being able to play because of them, I just cannot see the justification for getting rid of him.

My eternal hope is that 9 games, suspended, will humble him. And since he gets to participate in workouts and some stuff for the next phase of his suspension, we should know by the time he’s actually back if he’s really in football shape or not.

What do you think? I’ve seen a lot of opinion out there that thinks Williams should go, but I haven’t really seen enough to think that’s true. Am I wrong?

  • SivNiz

    As they say, every team needs a criminal or two. I agree that DJ would be an upgrade at MLB. Welcome home DJ :)

  • TheTroglodyte

    “What are Williams’ issues, really? The dude parties too hard.”

    Yeah there is that, a problem which can lead to killing someone while driving drunk. If you have ever had someone killed or seriously injured by a drunk driver, this isn’t an issue you just blow off.

    And he tries to weakly sneak bought urine into drug tests to hide his maniacal overuse of steroids.

    And he tweets pictures of the playbook.

  • TheTroglodyte

    Yes that’s the exact strategy the Steelers, Patriots, Giants and every other great sports team use.

  • E. Halsey Miles

    I can’t argue with point #1. You’re exaggerating on point #2. We have no idea what he’s taking or not taking. The entire world overreacted to point #3, I think.

  • TheTroglodyte
  • 350legend

    ITs True, that Williams Off the feild Issues could be very Dangerous to others or himself but in this day in age with programs good mentors and harsh Penalties ( games Suspension etc) theres hope he would man up and see that hes hurting himself and his family. So if he cared enough to see that hes hurting his love ones in the process and have a chance to play in the NFL i dont see y he cant or wouldnt want to change! With that said i believe he would change, Lets give him another shot! Besides we do need him in that spot….

  • Jason Holm

    I’m sensing some sarcasam..

  • herc_rock

    Kevin Faulk, Nick Kaczur, Ben Roethilisberger, James Harrison, Santonio Holmes, Jeff Reed, Jonathon Dekker, Cedric Wilson, Richard Siegler, Plax Burress, Dave Deihl, Danny Ware, Kareem McKenzie.

    Every team in the league employs “criminals” of some type.

  • herc_rock

    Yeah, he’s a total dipshit, but we REALLY need him.

  • Bryan

    DJ is a double edged sword right now. Yes he has let this team down with his dumb decisions, however we do need him on the field, in shape, ready to work. If we didnt have the issues at LB, then he would have neen gone. Do I welcome him back? Yeah. He’s always been one of my favorites. But he needs to know that he’s on his last chance in Denver. Famous movie quote says it best..”if you screw up just THIS much, you’ll be flying cargo planes full of rubber dog sh!t out of Hong Kong”

  • DougEngland

    I think you hit on the key… this phase of his suspension he will be able to be around the team. The Coaches and Elway and the team’s leadership should be able to get a good gauge on where he is at.
    Perhaps, he has seen what is happening and the potential the team has, kept himself in great shape and really wants to be a part of it. If so, great!
    If not, just move on.

  • Scott Ehrlich

    The question is: Is DJ Williams qualified to play middle linebacker for the Broncos, not, Is DJ Williams qualified to be the pastor of your church or leader of your boy scout group. If Williams comes back, Fox and del Rio have work to do in keeping him in line, but the man is paid to play a game and his “selfish stupidity” is only an issue if his coaches allow it to flourish.

  • TheTroglodyte

    Some of those names don’t belong there and they were single incidents. Many of the names mentioned were cut by their team after repeated or a single big incident.

  • dogheadbrew

    DJ is a quality player at a position of need. Management gets to see what his fitness and maturity levels are before he suits up. He is a headache off the field, but I am not aware of him being a disruption or distraction in the locker room. Finally, we do not NEED him, as much as we could use him. I see no downside to planning on bring him back and no upside to preemptively cut him.

  • jdkchem

    The $h!tbirds just lost their resident criminal. Anyone have a tiny tissue?

  • jdkchem

    Nothing says exaggerating like getting caught!

  • AZDynamics

    lol – Sometimes the best answers contain the fewest words . . .

  • Paradisimo

    Not to mention that if we do cut him Lord knows the Patriots will sign him and he will come back to haunt us.

  • Jon Broncos Heath

    Excellent player. Messed up dude.

  • MiamiMike

    I agree but the problem is he so far frim being a choir boy he is hurting us by not being on the field. Athletes are not angles for sure but be at least be smart. Party in the off season have a driver and learn from your mistakes. Your not in college anymore. Time to grow up.

  • Doom92

    I think enough is enough. He is better than what is there now but he is no super star by any means. Again, enough is enough!

  • Doom92

    Trog I’m with you all the way. We do need help at LB but at what expense. I want very much to get back to being a team that doesn’t tolerate this kind of behavior, at all. Someone else mentioned that all the “good successful” teams have these guys. We didn’t need them before and we don’t now. I think before now the closest we came to this was Romanowski but he wasn’t criminal (at least that we for sure know of). I’m sure we have had others as well but we all KNOW they didn’t stay around long. Heck I always thought when we had Henry we should have signed Ricky Williams also so they could get their burn on together… Joking of course!

    I don’t want to be the Steelers or Eagles or any other team that turns a blind eye to this type of behavior. We just don’t need it.

  • anthony33

    None of us are perfect. He has been adequately punished. Let him back and see what happens. Absolutely no risk. He has always been a good team guy, just some very, very stupid decisions off the field.

  • David

    I think we need him. But he better be in shape and I hope he does learn from his mistakes. If he doesn’t you have to get ride of him.

  • Carlo Scuri

    Except Von, DJ is by far the best linebacker we have. He can run he can tackle and most of all he can cover in the passing game. Maybe the will position is his natural one, but i remember some years ago he played all year at mike and he made 150 tackles. Joe Mays proved is a terrible mike, he cannot cover and he misses tons of tackles because he try always to put the knockout tackle. It’s clear that DJ made a bunch of stupid decisions on and off the field, but now he can redime himself. In my opinion with Woodyard will, DJ mike and Von sam, the Broncos improve dramatically on defense.

  • TD30isMVP

    i am all for second chances, however, with DJ Williams there is a pattern of behavior which suggests a level of immaturity and sefishness which is not only self destructive but eventually will cost us games. I find it hard to believe that his mindset that rules (both professional and public) don’t apply to him won’t bleed onto the field and into his play.

  • Aaron McFarland

    Being we really don’t have alternative, that is as good as DJ, I think we pretty much need to bring him back. Also if we let him hit the free market, he will probably be picked up a nano second by another team, and I don’t want to see the Raiders acquire him.

  • TheTroglodyte

    Solid post

  • TheTroglodyte

    I hear you

  • Ricky Hardesty

    DJ should be welcomed back, hopefully as a middle linebacker though. Probably why he was upset and tweeted out pics of the playbook. Regardless he is twice the player Joe Mays is, and lets be honest, Al Wilson was quite the partier too. He just played in a different age where the commissioner didn’t really care about the image of the NFL. Williams would help our D a ton and i can’t wait until him, Woodyard, and Miller are all on the field together.

  • Toxik Zine

    thought I’d share this video here. It’s a comeback against SEA in 1979 at MileHigh,

  • Eric Price

    D.J. is a boss. End of story. It doesn’t really matter what he does off the field. “There still one rule; don’t get caught”

  • herc_rock

    The SD stick-um story is GOLD!

  • ajones

    Fans drink , smoke pot at games and drive home . We party on weekend but act like ball payers should be perfect . As for DJ as always done his job at a high level in Denver. He plays hurt, stays in shape always in top each year in production at his position . Still no love from Denver fans. Has played all LB position and produce , still no love. You right he’s no Al , he doesn’t yell or get in your face nor does he dance after making a play like Von. Still has better number than both. He can go out make 150, 110, 97 ect. tackles still no love, but Denver fans will vote others to pro bowl. Fans in Denver will never appreciate his play, just judge him for his personal life. I say let him go to another team that appreciate a job well done. Not wait until you go thru some thing to finally start talking about you. It’s like the guy showed up last year screwed up or something. No love from Denver fans for 9 years. DJ not on steroids just like every other player in pro sports (pot). Test your whole team and there would be no games.DUI need to stop just like the other 29 players who got them in this league .

  • Speer999

    Well said and thanks for posting. As if the fans on here personally know him. I would love to see his peers and other player reactions to this issue. Some of us are making a judgement call without enough evidence of character to see the big picture. And as far as fans are concerned, it could be worse, KC for instance. DJ is appreciated, we may not see it on this blog, but he is.

  • Doom92

    Dooood where have you been hiding?

  • Doom92

    There are a bunch of “if’s” in your argument but a well stated one and “IF” he has already (not if he can) realized that he’s been a complete shit head off the field and has already started making changes then I would be inclined to agree with you.

  • Jim_Jebow


  • Dante_Pakistan

    He makes bad choices off the field but I’ve never heard of him causing any problems in the locker room and is a very solid player on the field. He paid his time, hopefully he learned something, can’t wait to have him back.

  • BeastFromtheEast

    WE NEED DJ……MAYS SUCKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Nisath Vaidya

    I really really like DJ Willliams, but I dont think the suspension has, in any way, ‘humbled’ him. If you follow his twitter, he is still repping “Dyme Lyfe”, so I think off-field issues will still be a problem for him, while he will maintain a discipline on the field and during the game.