On Seeing, A Journal
February 25, 2020
“The Shape of the NFL” – Marcus Williams, Safety, New Orleans Saints
Even for ardent fans, football can sometimes seem impersonal. We see the hits, and get to know the stars who are written about the most (often quarterbacks), but since players usually wear helmets with face guards, they are less recognizable than, say, tennis, baseball or basketball players. One of my personal pleasures during my ongoing “The Shape of the NFL” project has been to get to know them as real people who just happen to be great athletes.
Therefore, it was a special delight to have Marcus Williams, a star safety with the New Orleans Saints, come to the studio to participate in the project. At 6’1” and 187 lbs., Williams has the ideal physique for a position that demands speed and hard-hitting strength. On the field, his intensity and focus are essential for quick responses to fast-developing plays. In the studio, however, during the portrait and interview sessions, I was able to get to know a joyful, upbeat, fun-loving and generous young man.
Williams worked hard to make the shoot a success, exhibiting his upbeat attitude throughout the day. When I asked him to show me what it looked like when he jumped high to interrupt a pass he touched the studio ceiling, eleven feet overhead, with both hands!
I was in heaven.
He did this demonstrating how he functions in a game when competing with wide receivers:
We had a lot of fun.