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Original Issue


Kyle Williams


Filling in for the injured Ted Ginn Jr., the second-year pro was responsible for two turnovers on punt returns in San Francisco's 20--17 overtime loss to the Giants in the NFC Championship Game.

DAN PATRICK:Did anything good happen to you after the NFC Championship Game?

KYLE WILLIAMS: I wouldn't say good exactly. But there's some comfort when your teammates give you a pat on the back and let you know that it's not all on you, that we win and lose as a team. It makes it a little better, but it's still not good.

DP:Did you feel as if you touched the football on the first turnover?

KW: I still don't feel like I did. When it comes down to it, I have to get away from the ball. Making it that close was my error.

DP:Did you try to make up for that mistake on the last punt return in overtime?

KW: Every punt returner in the league will vouch for this—anytime you get an opportunity to make a play, you want to. Especially in the situation we were in. We were searching for a play. They were getting stops. We were getting stops. It wasn't really going anywhere. [But] I wasn't trying to do too much.

DP:What were you thinking when you went to the sideline after the second turnover?

KW: A million things, really, but the Number 1 thing was about facing my teammates and having to look them in the eye. These guys that busted their tail all year right alongside me to get to where we were. Having every one of those guys come to my side and tell me it wasn't on me ... it's tough to do that and it says a lot about them.

DP:How bad was the fan reaction?

KW: It was pretty bad. Before I got out of the locker room, the social media was going crazy. There's a line, and some people crossed it. If I do something wrong, I've been taught to take responsibility for it. But when it really comes down to it, a lot of that is irrelevant. You want the guys who are immediately affected by your mistakes to come to your support. You want to make sure these guys aren't saying those kinds of nasty things. To have my teammates take my back kind of overtook [the fan reaction]. People are going to try to kick you when you're down.

DP:Did you get death threats?

KW: Yeah. It's probably some guy who's not too serious. But when you get something like that, you don't want to totally ignore it, because somebody could be serious about it. These guys are passionate about their teams, and you never know what somebody will do in that situation. But you also don't want to sit there and think about it all the time and fear for your life.

DP:Your dad, Kenny, is the general manager of the White Sox. Did you call him right after the game?

KW: He was the first person I saw when I got out of the locker room. He let me know what was coming. First thing he said to me was, "Are you tough enough and are you man enough to bounce back from this?" He had no doubt that I was. There's nothing good about what happened. But you have to learn from it if you expect to be anything moving forward.

"A Final Four--like model could be perfectly sensible, and there is a lot of interest in it. This year would have been something like LSU playing Stanford. That would have been exciting. I'm concerned about notions of moving toward a 16-team playoff."

—NCAA president Mark Emmert on a college football playoff system

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