June 20, 2017

Door’s open for Ucambre

When opportunity knocks, there is the choice to open the door or ignore the knock and stick to what you know.

Ucambre Williams was given a new opportunity and didn’t hesitate to accept it.

After making a couple of regular-season starts at right guard last year during his rookie season and then starting the Grey Cup game against the Ottawa Redblacks at right tackle, Williams is being asked to start 2017 at centre. It was a change that was welcomed.

“It has been a good transition to the position,” Williams said. “It was just a matter of getting used to making the calls and getting everyone on the right page, that was the biggest step. This is the first time (playing centre). It’s been a good change for me and I appreciate the opportunity.”

It was a move that has been on the mind of offensive lineman coach Pat DelMonaco for some time, and this seemed like the right time to put it into action.

“We thought it would be a natural move for him and he’s done a great job for us,” DelMonaco said.  “We always thought he was a multiple-position player for us and he’s developing each day. What we really like is that he’s gotten better and not making the same mistakes twice. He’s playing faster and with more confidence.”

Photo by David Moll

That confidence that will only grow as he gets more snaps as the team prepares for a Grey Cup rematch against the RedBlacks this Friday in Ottawa.

“Starting against them in the Grey Cup last year, I now know what they’re all about,” Williams said. “They’re a physical team and have a great defence. We have to be on our P’s and Q’s and be ready for a battle.”

There are areas in Williams’ game that he is is looking improve but with his work ethic and commitment to become better, he’s counting on being dialed in sooner rather than later.

“The ability to block someone doesn’t necessarily change,” Williams said. “It doesn’t matter if you’re a right tackle, left or centre. You are there to block the person in front of you. I am very comfortable with it and just getting better every day. Every day is about progress and if I can make progress each day, I can become a better player and a better man.”