Cary Williams had no idea, he said, that his absence from last Friday's final OTA session to attend his daughter's dance recital had generated controversy.
"I feel like everybody around me that gets to know me knows what I'm about," Williams said at the end of a long, relaxed session with reporters following the Eagles' first of three minicamp days this week, their final activity before rookies report to training camp July 22. "Ask anybody on that Ravens staff what kind of person I am. They know I come to work each and every day. No complaints, I get the job done. I understand what it takes to be successful ... I love the fans, I love the people that support the team, but at the end of the day, if I worry about what the fans think of me, I won't be here long."
This all started a week ago, when Williams, a free agent signee from Baltimore, talked to reporters about previous OTA time he'd missed. He said he'd gotten married, had some complications arise with the house he's building in Tennessee, and had some oral surgery done. Williams also said he had some catching up to do, that lots of stuff had been installed since his previous visit to NovaCare. Then, three days later, he was in Tennessee for the recital of his 3-year-old daughter, Amari.
"I don't think that coach Chip (Kelly) took it as disrespectful," said Williams, who said he does not plan to attend the Ravens' White House visit tomorrow, which occurs during this mandatory minicamp. Williams indicated that he did not ask if he could go to the White House, he just figured when the schedule came out and he saw this week was the mandatory camp that he wasn't going.
"You think seeing the President is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity; it's definitely something I thought of. But at the end of the day, I'm an Eagle. I understand my responsibilities here ... I'm happy to be here, and I wouldn't want to be anywhere else."
Asked about the earlier absences, in particular the homebuilding, at one point Williams explained "I had to pick out my wood, my sconces."
The Eagles' likely starting offensive line practiced together for the first time, with Jason Peters at left tackle, next to Evan Mathis, Jason Kelce, Todd Herremans and Lane Johnson. Today was the first full-squad activity for Kelce (foot) and Mathis (ankle). Tight end James Casey (knee) sat out. Nose tackle Isaac Sopoaga (death in family) was absent, as were two rookies, tight end Zach Ertz and corner Jordan Poyer, who can't participate because their schools haven't held graduation yet.
Today on PhillyDailyNews.com: DeSean Jackson has a meeting with Chip Kelly and says their relationship is fine.