After rehabbing from offseason knee surgery, and in the later half of the year playing on knees that he knew would need another surgery in the following offseason, big Jamal still managed to be a force in the center of the defense. As the season wore on Jamal seemed to get stronger, angrier and eventually showed himself to the fans as a leader with his "Game Over" proclamation.
Going into 2009 the Chargers have complete and total faith in only a handful of players, like most NFL fans we fear the speedy decline of a player's talent or health in any given year. Those players that we know will be okay in 2009 are Cooper, Jammer, Williams, Dielman, Hardwick and Rivers. Everyone else has either a question of character (VJ), health (Merriman, McNeil, LT, Cro, Castillo) or talent (Forney, Hart, rookies). Going into 2008 the list was almost completely different but certainly included Williams. The same in 2007, 2006, 2005, etc. going all the way back to 2002. Jamal not only plays the most important position in the defense, he plays it well and he plays it with unmatched consistency in the league and on the team.
The fact that these last two seasons have been the two he's gotten paid the least amount for since his rookie contract may just be the way his current contract is set up (front-loaded), but when you're looking at one season by itself I don't know that it's possible to find anyone in the league who is not on a rookie deal, was such a big part of his team's success and such a small part of their payroll. In 2008, the money paid to Jamal Williams was certainly money well spent. And after taking over 40% of the three-man vote, its obvious that you fans feel the same as I do.
Congratulations go out to Jamal Williams for being such a valuable asset to the team in 2008 and we wish him even more success in the upcoming season.