Two days in, he nailed the attire. After Tuesday's organized team activity, Tramon Williams wore a T-shirt featuring the face of the "Star Wars" character, Yoda. Williams is a huge fan of the movies. But he also wants to be the older, wiser, go-to voice of reason in the Green Bay Packers' secondary. Or, in other words, the resident Jedi Master. When Williams looks left and looks right, he sees a lot of youth. "I know the guys are going to look to me for guidance, and I will embrace that role," Williams said. "I will be the leader of these guys." That player — for seven years and 100-plus games — was Charles Woodson. Talking about "leadership" is too often an abstract, vague conversation in sports media. In Woodson, however, the Packers had a legitimate locker room presence, a battle-tested veteran who led by example and his words. With Woodson released and off to the Oakland Raiders, Williams aims to serve that role in 2013 and beyond. It's time, he says. His shoulder healed, Williams wants to be the one younger players look up to. "We know that when Charles was here, he had that role," Williams said. "He was the leader of this group. He taught us things. And I'm going to keep that alive — I'm going to keep that alive. I'm going to come out and do the same thing. The younger guys usually come to me for things anyway. So whatever they need, I'm going to try to get those guys up to speed to play." There was Woodson's speech in Chicago after the 2010 NFC Championship Game. And there was another blunt message to the team the Wednesday after Green Bay's crushing loss at Seattle last season. But when asked to quantify Woodson's leadership ability, Williams immediately points to what the vet did away from the field — away from Wisconsin entirely. Two off-seasons ago, Williams said he dropped by a training facility in Houston, where one of the trainers raved about Woodson. The trainer called Woodson "the hardest worker I've ever seen." Williams made a mental note, visited another facility in Houston and a second trainer said the same exact thing. "Everybody was saying the same thing," Williams said, "that he was one of the hardest-working guys they had." Past minicamps, Williams explained, can paint an inaccurate portrait of Woodson. He often wasn't practicing. But he was "always working," Williams said. Hearing two different trainers from two different places — miles and miles away from Green Bay — anoint Woodson the hardest worker they've ever seen further made him a believer. At his peak in Green Bay, Woodson was the heartbeat of the defense. "You can't get those results without working — what he got," Williams said. "To see that and witness that, I think it helps you out. ...I was like, 'Charles Woodson?!' Everybody thinks 'Wood' just shows up and he can ball, but he put in the work." Entering his seventh pro season, Williams hopes to do the same. The nerve damage in his shoulder from the 2011 season has dramatically healed. And with trainer LeRoy Franklin in Sugar Land, Texas, he's trying to build his own word-of-mouth legacy. Workouts typically run from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. The two do a yoga workout for about 75 minutes, dive into an hour-long warm-up that consists of 1,000 jump ropes, the dot drill and sprint-agility work. Then it's off to the workouts. They'll work with weights for a couple hours and — when the Texas heat reaches triple-digits around 2 p.m. — they head outside for running drills. "He does the things in the off-season that a lot of guys don't want to do," said Franklin, who has been Williams' trainer since his rookie year. "I have a motto — 'Outwork everybody.' That's something Tramon does and takes to heart. We always talk about the fact that you have to do the things that the other guys don't want to do. "He's literally going to outwork everybody."
Tramon Williams takes over leadership role of Packers' secondary
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel | May 23