Monday, January 18, 2010

I'll miss Richard Williamson, Panthers WR coach

Richard Williamson, 68, retired as the Panthers' receivers coach today, and thus ended an era. Williamson was one of the few remaining "only" guys, as in "the only coach who has been with the team since its inception." There's still John Kasay, the "only" Panther left from the original roster, and Jerry Richardson, the team's "only" owner, but there aren't too many more anymore.

Williamson was as old school as a one-room schoolhouse teaching grades K-12. The guy played under Bear Bryant, caught TD passes from Joe Namath and later, as an assistant under Bryant, helped recruit Danny Ford to Alabama. Williamson was a screamer, too.

A "fire and brimstone" guy, as tight end Wesley Walls once said, adding that Williamson could have been a good Baptist preacher if he had wanted to.

If the pass route called for a cut at 12 yards and you made it at 10, Williamson would run onto the field, whip down his white visor at the spot you should have made the cut and start barking.

But man, the guy was good. It's no coincidence that Mark Carrier, Willie Green, Muhsin Muhammad, Donald Hayes, Patrick Jeffers and, of course, Steve Smith, all had the best years of their career under Williamson. Williamson could and did rub his WRs the wrong way sometimes because he was so tough on them -- at times he was very sparing with praise and very free with criticism.

But that old crusty guy could coach, and he was best as a position coach. Williamson had gigs as a head coach in college and in the pros (at Tampa Bay), and he was the offensive coordinator for the Panthers for nearly two years when Bill Musgrave abruptly quit because of a strained relationship with George Seifert four games into the 2000 season.

John Fox put Williamson back at the WR role when he came on the staff in 2002, and that was probably about right. That's where Williamson seemed to flourish. It won't be the same around Panther land without him.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

Won't be the same without him?
You mean, maybe we'll be able to develop a second quality WR opposite Smith?

Anonymous said...

He must have been really nice to sportswriters, because he's the only member of the Panther staff that got a free pass in the press for his lack of results. He might have still been a decent coach ten years ago, but he's had a steady stream of high draft picks with a world of talent go completely bust this century.

Anonymous said...

Let's not judge Richard Williamson so harshly. When Siefert was the coach the team was not very good but the receiver corps was one of the most productive in the League. The decline in the passing game outside of Steve Smith is probably more of a reflection on Fox and his superstitious dread in throwing the ball. I've been a Panthers fan since the very beginning and hope the best for Williamson, who has certainly done his part to build the history of the ballclub.

Panthster said...

If your QB can't hit the broad side of a barn, you can't blame your receivers. Williamson has been a great coach.

Anonymous said...

Again, how can anyone call him a great coach, when he's produced exactly one decent receiver in the past 10 years?

thomas said...

richard williamson was of the west-coast offense mindset (built around solid receriver corps)... fox is a runner. it was time for a change

Anonymous said...

Richard Williamson is a quality guy. Why do you clowns have to gripe and moan instead of treating him like the class coach he is: pat him on the back and tell him "good job coach, go enjoy some golf"?

Anonymous said...

Im laughing out loud at the nutcase that said he had a lack of results. I wouldnt call producing a Pro Bowl running back, playoffs, division and conference titles and coaching in a super bowl a lack of results. Get a grip

erin said...

It's sad when it's time for heroes to go. Especially when we are so fond of them. Times do come when retirement seems a little more important than playing ball, however. Have a nice one Coach!