Damien Williams has had games he’d like to forget before.
Which player in the NFL hasn’t?
But Williams said Thursday that never before had he been as disappointed in himself as he was following Sunday’s 35-14 loss to the New England Patriots. His fourth-quarter fumble ended the Dolphins’ outside chance at a rally.
Williams quickly packed his belongings and left the locker room that day, declining two attempts by reporters for a comment. It wasn’t until Thursday that the smile was back on Williams’ face and he could address the media.
“I have times like in high school and college and all that,” Williams said of various examples of games that left him feeling down. “But we’re in the pros now. You can’t make little mistakes like that.”
It was clear from Williams’ body language Sunday that he took the fumble as anything but “little.”
The Dolphins had cut the deficit to 20-14 on Kenny Stills’ 25-yard touchdown reception in the third quarter. The Patriots needed just three plays for Julian Edelman to respond with a 77-yard catch-and-run.
As the fourth quarter rolled around, the Dolphins were hanging in, and even drove from their 32 to the New England 9, where the fateful play began.
Matt Moore threw a 3-yard pass to Williams, who was hit from behind by Devin McCourty, causing the ball to pop out. Shea McClellin scooped it up and returned it 69 yards to the Miami 18, setting up an easy, clinching touchdown.
It took a long time for Williams to get over it.
“I feel like after the game and the whole next day, really,” Williams said. “But I had my family down here and I had people who are close to me, who know me, who know I don’t do things like that and know how hard I take it.
“I’m a very competitive person, so I take things like that to heart.”
Check out The Palm Beach Post‘s Miami Dolphins page on Facebook.