Throughout Doug Williams’ historic career he has never been overwhelmed by the moment.  Whether becoming the first Black quarterback to win a Super Bowl or restoring the championship credibility to the Grambling football program Williams has traditionally risen to the occasion.

When the Washington professional football franchise named Williams the Sr. Vice President of Player Personnel – arguably the third most important position in the organization – they gave him the opportunity to guide the talent acquisitions of the team.  It’s a big responsibility. He is replacing Scott McCloughan, who built championship teams in Seattle and San Francisco before his embarrassing failures in the District.

Newly announced Washington Redskins Senior Vice President of Player Personnel, Doug Williams, speaks during an NFL football press conference, Tuesday, June 13, 2017, in Ashburn, Va. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)

Williams is poised to handle this moment.  Many of the same mentors whose footsteps he walked in have prepared him for this challenge.  Grambling’s Hall of Fame coach Eddie Robinson prepared Williams with the art of meticulous detail and pride which has served him well in the face of pressure beyond anything on the field.   

Former Grambling and NFL quarterback turned NFL executive James Harris has mentored Williams on how to comport himself in the pocket against menacing defenders as well as many other important skills that Williams has used in achieving the many successes in his career as a Super Bowl Champion quarterback.

Williams has been up close and personal with elite college players for the last 20 years.  Coaching stints at all levels of the game have given Williams a unique prism into evaluating college talent. He spent time both at major colleges and smaller schools that involve long bus trips and few resources.

His time at Navy has given him the insight into how to sift through the hype of the major college athletes who often don’t live up to their blue chip projections and turn pro in something other than sports. The humbling bus trips as head coach of Grambling also gave him a chance to watch small college gems who may not be draft worthy but in some cases become late round picks that extend salary cap money and provide roster depth for championship teams.

There are also intangibles in credibility that can’t be dismissed. In this digital world Williams blends the ability of speaking millennial with old school virtues that resonates because of his iconic status in football history. His resume speaks volumes to the young players he’s trying to acquire via draft or in free agency. Unless you bring the arrogance of Robert Griffin III to D.C.  and feel that his experiences aren’t worthy of listening to there’s not a talented player throughout the NFL or in college who won’t at least listen to Williams’ sales pitch.

Those who think that this is a figure head hire are missing the point.  Williams has been groomed to become more than just a scout. That team president Bruce Allen also hired Williams in Tampa and again in Washington speaks to the impact he was having behind the scenes as those two franchises began moving toward respectability.

However, Williams doesn’t have autonomy when setting the team’s final roster.  It will be the same collaborative effort involving Williams, coach Jay Gruden, salary cap expert Eric Schaffer, and Allen who have input into the players who take the field this September.

Williams has already proven that he can lead men while in the huddle to a championship. He’s always wanted his chance to build one through the front office. This is his chance and he appears ready for it.