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Monday, August 12, 2013
Williams: Eagles need to be tougher

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Cornerback Cary Williams is still adjusting to Chip Kelly's way of doing business, but he's certain the Philadelphia Eagles lack the toughness that defined his former team, the Baltimore Ravens.

Williams was removed from a joint practice with the New England Patriots last Tuesday after getting into a scuffle with wide receiver Aaron Dobson. He talked about the incident for the first time Sunday and said he wasn't happy with how the Patriots' players were trying to push the Eagles' buttons and that he didn't want "to be a doormat" and look the other way.

LeGarrette Blount
Patriots running back LeGarrette Blount rushed for a 51-yard touchdown Friday against the Eagles, who allowed 248 yards on the ground.

"I was taught to be aggressive at all times, come out and compete at all times. ... [The Patriots] came in there talking. They had a lot of jokes and tee-hees and laughs," Williams said, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer. "Dirty plays that were going on. There's a reason behind what I did."

Kelly, however, said Sunday, "We practice like we play." Regarding the Williams-Dobson incident, he said, "You do that in a game, you get kicked out."

Williams said the Patriots would have had a far different experience last week if they were practicing against the Ravens.

"At the end of the day, I've still got to do things the way the coach wants me to do it, and I understand that, but it definitely would have been a different situation in Baltimore. It wouldn't have been a fun practice for the Patriots, I'll tell you that," he said.

Patriots coach Bill Belichick was asked about Williams' comments Monday but didn't give them much attention.

"We've moved on. We're coming to Tampa [preparations]," he said, referring to this week's scheduled joint practices with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Cornerback Brandon Boykin had talked last week about how the Patriots were trying to bully the Eagles during the practice sessions, but Sunday was the first time Williams addressed the issue because a hamstring kept him from practicing after Tuesday, and because he was injured he didn't have to address the media. He returned to practice Sunday.

Williams said the Eagles' defense is missing a "nasty" attitude.

"I feel like we've got to establish a toughness, a tenacity, a hard-nosed defense, something that's to be feared when it comes out there each and every week. I think [former Eagle] Brian Dawkins alluded to it a couple of times when I spoke to him, he's talking about 'bring that fear back here.' Right now, I don't know if there's anybody out there in the league who fears this defense, especially after last week," he said, according to the Inquirer.

When the two teams played on Friday in the preseason opener for both teams (a game Williams missed because of his hamstring), the Eagles' defense was manhandled by the Patriots, particularly in the ground game, where it allowed 248 yards rushing. The Patriots averaged 8 yards per carry.

LeGarrette Blount had a 51-yard TD run, reversing direction twice on the play, and finished with 101 yards rushing on 11 carries in his first game for New England. Stevan Ridley had 92 yards rushing for the Patriots, including a 62-yard run on the first play from scrimmage. He finished that drive with a 1-yard TD run.

ESPNBoston.com's Mike Reiss and The Associated Press contributed to this report.