Between the $55.5 million free agent acquisition at left tackle, the right tackle who’s been in the concussion protocol for nine months and a rookie who was drafted in the second round, the only Panthers tackle who seemingly wasn’t discussed much during the winter and spring was the guy who started 10 games in 2016.
Daryl Williams doesn’t mind the lack of attention. But he made it clear he expects to be the starting right tackle when the Panthers open in San Francisco the second weekend in September.
“Definitely,” Williams told me recently. “That’s where I ended at during the season. So I feel comfortable.”
Williams moved into the starting lineup when Michael Oher entered the protocol, forcing right tackle Mike Remmers to shift to Oher’s spot on the left side. Williams had his ups and downs, but the former fourth-round pick from Oklahoma was far from overmatched.
Williams wants to work on his pass protection, and will do so this summer with former NFL lineman Jackie Slater in Los Angeles. He also has a Cancun vacation planned with his wife.
Then he’ll return to Charlotte and prepare for training camp, where he’ll start out with the first-team offense opposite left tackle Matt Kalil, and ahead of rookie Taylor Moton. While Moton has drawn a lot of media interest, Williams plans to keep plugging away.
“It is what it is. (Moton) is a good kid. He’s a hard worker. So I don’t discredit him at all,” Williams said. “I’m just out here worried about myself.”