Reporters are learning to hurry over whenever Cary Williams starts talking, because what comes out is never boring.
The crowd around the Eagles' cornerback in the Lincoln Financial Field tunnel after Sunday's practice was treated to a long discourse on disrespect and toughness, prompted by a question about last Tuesday's workout with the New England Patriots, in which Williams and Pats wideout Aaron Dobson were benched after a post-whistle skirmish.
Nobody had talked to Williams since, since he'd been sidelined by a hamstring problem that caused him to miss Friday's preseason-opening loss to the Pats. Eagles coach Chip Kelly has explained that he and New England coach Bill Belichick decided before the three joint practices that any combatants would be benched, to keep the focus on football.
Williams didn't seem to think keeping the peace was such a great idea. He suggested his former team, the Baltimore Ravens, would have reacted differently.
'They came in there talking. They had a lot of jokes and tee-hees and laughs," Williams said of the Pats, whom he accused of blocking in the back. "Dirty plays that were going on. There's a reason behind what I did. There's a reason behind the madness. At the end of the day, I've still got to do things the way the coach wants me to do it, and I understand that, but it definitely would have been a different situation in Baltimore. It wouldn't have been a fun practice for the Patriots, I'll tell you that.
"We need a 'nasty' no question. I feel like we've got to establish a toughness, a tenacity, a hardnosed defense that's something to be feared when it comes out there each and every week. I think Brian Dawkins alluded to it a couple of times when I spoke to him, he's talking about 'bring that fear back here.' Right now, I don't know if there's anybody out there who fears this defense, especially after last week."
Kelly did not rally around Williiams' words.
"You do that in a game, you get kicked out," Kelly said, referring to Williams' scrum. "We practice like we play."
But do the Eagles, who gave up 31 points and allowed 62 and 51-yard runs Friday, need more of an edge?
"We could go get in a street fight, but that's not going to help us," Kelly said. "There's a certain way you're supposed to play this game. It's between the whistles. The stuff after the whistles is not what we're looking for ... Our players knew ... and Bill was the same way, one of the reasons we wanted to participate (in practices) against the Patriots was we knew this wasn't going to turn into a WWE brawl, because that's not what it is, it's a game of football."
Many observers felt Williams was lucky not to be ejected from the Super Bowl when he shoved an official during a scrum between the Ravens and the 49ers.