Camp is underway, and Pat Williams is feeling frisky.
Just ask rookie Toby Gerhart, who during an early practice session on Saturday, found himself on the wrong end of a salty Williams tackle.
This wasn’t just any old run-of-the-mill second-day-of-camp blindside shot either. This one had a specific intent.
Namely, to show Toby Gerhart who is the rookie and who is the 14-year vet.
“I don’t care who it is, man,” Pat declared to reporters after the shot, which drew applause from the assembled fans. “This ain’t college no more. They’re grown mans [sic] out there. [Bleep] Paying these college boys like they already played before, so [expletive], we just show ‘em. This is a different breed out there. This is grown men. It ain’t boys no more. But they pay ‘em like they done played in the NFL now.”
Toby, in case you were wondering, just signed a 4-year contract worth $3.767 million, $2.259 million of which is guaranteed. Not chump-change, but probably not a big enough contract for Pat to be that bent out-of-shape about.
What really caught Pat’s attention, I assume, was the 5-year, $86 million contract with $50 million in guaranteed money the Rams signed Sam Bradford to. But Sam wasn’t around to knock on his keister, so Pat settled for Gerhart.
Oh, yes, Pat had more to say about his big shot. When asked if he said anything to Gerhart after laying him out, Pat replied, “[Bleep]. I don’t apologize to nobody. [Bleep], get your ass up. Let’s go. Point blank. That’s how I roll. I’ve been playing for like 14 years. I don’t complain about nothing. I don’t whine about nothing. I’m just coming to camp to have fun. Same old, same old every year.”
Gerhart, to his credit, took it like a man. “It’s expected,” the rookie said. “Younger guy out here and it’s the first day with some pads on. People are flying around, and I got hit twice. It’s good. It’s good to be playing football again.”
Or, in Gerhart’s case, playing tackling dummy for a giant, pissed-off defensive tackle trying to make the most of probably his final year in the league.