D. J. Williams (linebacker)

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For other people named D. J. Williams, see D. J. Williams (disambiguation)
D.J. Williams
DJ Williams.JPG
Williams with the Denver Broncos
No. 58     Chicago Bears
Inside linebacker
Personal information
Date of birth: (1982-07-20) July 20, 1982 (age 32)
Place of birth: Sacramento, California
Height: 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m) Weight: 242 lb (110 kg)
Career information
High school: Concord (CA) De La Salle
College: Miami (FL)
NFL Draft: 2004 / Round: 1 / Pick: 17
Debuted in 2004 for the Denver Broncos
Career history
Roster status: Injured Reserve
Career highlights and awards
  • USA Today High School All-American (1999)
  • 2× First-Team All-Big East (2002, 2003)
  • AFC Combined tackles leader (2007)
Career NFL statistics as of Week 10, 2014
Tackles 885
Sacks 22.5
Interceptions 2
Stats at NFL.com

Genos Derwin “D. J.” Williams, Jr. (born July 20, 1982), more commonly known as D.J. Williams,[1] is an American football linebacker for the Chicago Bears of the National Football League. He played college football at the University of Miami. He was drafted by the Denver Broncos in the first round of the 2004 NFL Draft.

High school career[edit]

Williams, born and raised in Sacramento, California, lived with family in the Bay Area during high school. Williams did this in order to play high school football at California's De La Salle High School. He earned USA Today Defensive Player of the Year honors as a senior and was regarded as the top defensive player nationally. He compiled 130 tackles (87 solo) and rushed for 1,974 yards, six sacks, five forced fumbles, three fumbles recoveries. On offense, he broke the school record for touchdowns in a season with 42 (33 rushing, five receiving, three punt return and one kickoff return).[2]

College career[edit]


Williams started his collegiate career at the University of Miami at fullback due to a logjam at the linebacker position. Although he was used sparingly in his freshman year, he recorded 18 career rushes for 142 yards (7.9 avg.) with two touchdowns while catching 12 passes for 153 yards (11.9 avg.) over his career.[2]


Williams switched back to his favored linebacker position in 2001 and was quiet but productive member of the National Championship team. He compiled 51 tackles (25 solo), and one crucial forced fumble in the Rose Bowl against Nebraska.[2]


In 2002, he was one of 11 semi-finalists for the Butkus Award along with teammate Jonathan Vilma was also a second-team All-BIG EAST selection. He registered 108 tackles (55 solos) to rank second on the team, notched four sacks, forced two fumbles, and broke up eight passes.[2]


In his final year at Miami he blossomed into one of the best players in the country, finishing his senior year in 2003 as a semifinalist for the Butkus Award He also a named third-team All-American by the Associated Press and a first-team All-Big East Conference choice. Williams' finished second on the team with 82 tackles (44 solo) and tie for the team-lead with six sacks, forced a fumble and recovered another. His highlight of the season was a 61-yard run for a touchdown off a fake punt.

Professional career[edit]

NFL Draft[edit]

Williams was selected by the Denver Broncos in the first round (17th overall) of the 2004 NFL Draft. Williams emerged as one of the league's top linebackers.[1]

Denver Broncos[edit]


In his rookie year, he started 14 of 16 games and led the Broncos with 114 tackles (82 solo). He also recorded two sacks, one interception and one forced fumble.[3] Although an early candidate for Defensive Rookie of the Year,[4] the award went to then-New York Jets linebacker Jonathan Vilma.


Williams was moved from his weak-side linebacker position to strong-side linebacker following the Broncos signing of Ian Gold.[5] He finished with 55 tackles (39 solo) while adding three pass deflections and one forced fumble.. Williams also contributed two tackles and a forced fumble on special teams.[3]

He pleaded guilty in September 2005 to driving drunk and was ordered to perform 24 hours of community service.[6]


In the 2006 season, he amassed 76 tackles (59 solo), a sack, one forced fumble, two pass deflections.[3]


Following the injury-related release of Al Wilson, Williams was moved to his third position, middle linebacker.[5] He finished the 2007 season 2nd in the NFL[7] with 141 tackles (106 solo) along with one sack and one interception.[3]


2009 brought change to the Broncos defense when former Patriots offensive coordinator, Josh McDaniels was hired as head coach. McDaniels hired former 49ers head coach and defensive guru Mike Nolan as defensive coordinator. Nolan installed the 3-4 defense, in which he moved D.J. Williams to inside linebacker (ILB). Playing the "Jack" ILB position (same as Patrick Willis - 49ers), Williams finished the season with 122 tackles, 3.5 sacks and 3 forced fumbles.[3]

On November 12, 2010, Williams was pulled over by a Police officer for driving without headlights on. He was cited for DUI, a misdemeanor and driving without headlights. As this was his second DUI charge, Williams faces a mandatory 10-day jail sentence and a minimum of two years probation if he is convicted - he was ordered to appear in court on December 13.[6]

As a result of the arrest, the Denver Broncos fined Williams and demoted him from Defensive Co-Captain. It was also announced that he would not start the Week 10 match-up against AFC West rivals the Kansas City Chiefs.[6]

By the end of the season, Williams finished with 119 tackles (94 solo), 5.5 sacks, 9 pass deflection and 1 forced fumble.


In March 2012, Williams was suspended for six games after failing a mandatory league drug test.[8] Wesley Woodyard replaced Williams at linebacker. Williams' suspension was extended by three games by the NFL.[9]

Williams was released by the Broncos on March 11, 2013.[10]

Chicago Bears[edit]


On March 22, 2013 the Chicago Bears signed Williams to a one-year contract.[11] In week six against the New York Giants, Williams ruptured his pectoral tendon, and will be out for the remainder of the season.[12] He was placed on injured reserve on October 18.[13] Williams was a free agent after 2013, but resigned with the Bears to a one-year deal on March 11, 2014.[14]


  1. ^ a b "NFL - Players Rosters - National Football League - ESPN". Sports.espn.go.com. 2011-01-02. Retrieved 2012-03-22. 
  2. ^ a b c d  D.J. Williams. "Player Bio: D.J. Williams - HurricaneSports.com - The University of Miami Official Athletic Site". Hurricanesports.cstv.com. Retrieved 2012-03-22. 
  3. ^ a b c d e "D.J. Williams Stats - Denver Broncos - ESPN". Sports.espn.go.com. Retrieved 2012-03-22. 
  4. ^ Andrew Perloff (October 25, 2004). "SI.com - NFL - Marquee Matchup: Bengals-Broncos - Monday". SI.com. Retrieved November 13, 2010. 
  5. ^ a b Ted Rossman. "IDP focus: Willis...". NFL.com. Retrieved November 13, 2010. 
  6. ^ a b c NFL.com (November 13, 2010). "Broncos LB Williams fined...". Retrieved November 13, 2010. 
  7. ^ "NFL Stats: by Player Category". Nfl.com. Retrieved 2012-03-22. 
  8. ^ Associated Press (2012-03-09). "3 Broncos suspended for violating NFL drug policy - WSJ.com". Online.wsj.com. Retrieved 2012-03-22. 
  9. ^ "Broncos linebacker D.J. Williams' suspension increased by NFL". NFL. Retrieved October 5, 2012. 
  10. ^ Wesseling, Chris (March 11, 2013). "D.J. Williams released by Denver Broncos". NFL.com. Retrieved 2013-03-11. 
  11. ^ "ChicagoTribune.com", "Bears find a replacement for Urlacher", "March 22, 2013".
  12. ^ Mayer, Larry (October 11, 2013). "Williams out for season with ruptured pectoral tendon". Chicago Bears. Retrieved October 11, 2013. 
  13. ^ "D.J. Williams placed on IR". KFFL. October 18, 2013. Retrieved October 25, 2013. 
  14. ^ Mayer, Larry (March 11, 2014). "Bears retain linebacker D.J. Williams". Chicago Bears. Retrieved March 11, 2014. 

External links[edit]