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#pounditThursday, February 22, 2024

Manti Te’o defends Marcus Williams, shares blame for loss to Vikings

Marcus Williams play

New Orleans Saints safety Marcus Williams may have had a chance to seal a win for his team on Sunday, but Manti Te’o was quick to remind reporters that Williams did not lose the game by himself.

Williams, who inexplicably missed a tackle that allowed Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Stefon Diggs to break free for a game-winning touchdown, was hard on himself after the game. The rookie’s teammates defended him, most notably Te’o.

“He’s going to have so many opportunities, and he’s going to make so many great plays in the future,” Te’o said, via Josh Katzenstein of The Times-Picayune. “Everybody makes mistakes, and it wasn’t even him, you know what I mean? It wasn’t just him. He didn’t lose that game. I could’ve done a whole lot of things better. I could’ve made more tackles, I could’ve ran through gaps and made some TFLs, I could’ve done a lot of stuff. It wasn’t Marcus.

Williams had a great rookie season, recording 73 tackles and four interceptions. The second-round pick’s solid play was one of the main reasons the Saints finally had a viable secondary after struggling on defense for years.

“Marcus is a great player. He’s a young player, and he has a bright future ahead of him,” Te’o added. “He’s going to make more great plays than mistakes, and I’m just excited for the kid. He’s going to come back, and he’s going to get better. He’s really already ahead of his time as far as how he plays safety. Now, you add a lot of motivation to that. The sky’s the limit for him, and I’m glad that he’s my safety.”

Williams was reportedly crying in the locker room after the game, and it’s good to see his teammates pick him up after the way fans tore him apart on Twitter. That play will stick with him forever, but he’s young enough where he should have some chances for redemption.

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