|01-02-2007, 03:41 AM||#1|
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Arcadia, CA
Random way his friend died stuns Paymah
Random way his friend died stuns Paymah
Dennis Schroeder © News/2005
Darrent Williams, right, poses with fellow 2005 draftees, left to right, Maurice Clarett, Dominique Foxworth and Karl Paymah. Clarett was cut, but Williams, Foxworth and Paymah each made the team.STORY TOOLS
By Lee Rasizer, Rocky Mountain News
January 2, 2007
They shared a flight, a position and dreams.
In April 2005, Darrent Williams and Karl Paymah were the first two draft picks selected by the Broncos. They also were strangers, traveling on the same plane to their introductory news conference in Denver.
"We were just talking about how we didn't know what to expect," Paymah said Monday, hours after Williams was shot to death after leaving a nightclub in a rented limousine on Speer Boulevard.
"But even on the plane, we were talking about what we were going to do. We were going to be the class to remember."
Along with Domonique Foxworth, the Broncos took three cornerbacks that spring on the first day of the draft, a resounding answer to a couple of blowout losses in the postseason that had exposed a weak secondary. Those three players would be inextricably linked because of those circumstances.
Paymah eventually would settle into a role as Williams' backup. And on Sunday afternoon, with Williams reaggravating a left shoulder separation during a 6-23 loss against the San Francisco 49ers that ended the Broncos' season, Paymah replaced "D-Will," as he was affectionately known, in a game for the final time.
Williams approached Paymah on the sideline during the second half and reportedly told him to get ready because he physically couldn't continue playing.
"You would think people in our positions wouldn't be thinking about each other. But he cheered me on the whole game," Paymah said. "He just kept telling me, 'Keep balling.' "
Yet that was the type of support there always had been between the competing players, "which was kind of unusual," he added.
A week earlier, Williams proudly had talked about how the young cornerbacks were living out their promise in a win against the Cincinnati Bengals that had kept the Broncos' playoff hopes alive for another weekend.
"He was like, 'That's why they brought the three of us in,' " Paymah said.
Williams, 24. was the most outwardly brash of the trio. His smile was omnipresent and he liked to talk the talk. Foxworth, on the other hand, always appeared to be the intellectual of the group, with Paymah the quiet type.
Paymah related Monday he always knew Williams' driving force was to "prove everybody wrong," even if his friend didn't discuss it much.
Williams' persona, playing and media style were one and the same because of that mind-set.
"He wasn't going to hold back in anything in his whole life," Paymah said.
The last time Paymah would chat with Williams came in the locker room Sunday night.
The topic was about the plans for the evening, and specifically, how Paymah could secure a limousine to get to the party Williams was later leaving when he was shot.
"I was actually thinking about riding with him," Paymah said.
Instead, Paymah secured his own transportation, taking a limo to the party with receiver Javon Walker, who later was in Williams' vehicle when the player was gunned down.
"It's just crazy how everything unfolded," Paymah said, shocked by the randomness of it all. "It can happen to anybody. We took a limo there ourselves, and when you're in a limo you're not really cognizant of what's going on outside.
"It's hard to even think about a situation like that, what goes through your mind."
• "We all know that Darrent was an excellent player, but as a person, he was a first-class young man who brightened every room with his smile, attitude and personality. I cannot express how heartsick I feel at this loss."
Mike Shanahan, Broncos coach
• "To lose a young player, and more important, a great young man such as Darrent Williams, is incomprehensible. To lose him in such a senseless manner as this is beyond words. My deepest feelings, all my thoughts and prayers, go out to Darrent's mother and family."
Pat Bowlen, Broncos owner
• "It is a terrible tragedy."
Greg Aiello, NFL spokesman
• "He was a serious competitor. He had heart. We were kind of alike. Everyone talked about us both being undersized. We knew we both had a chance in this league and wanted to prove what we could do."
Elvis Dumervil, Broncos defensive end
• "You just feel shock. That's it, just shock."
John Lynch, Broncos safety
• "He was a great dude to hang around with, a good friend. He was real outgoing, just a good guy."
Ron Dayne, former Broncos running back now with the Texans
• "I had a player get killed in an automobile accident when I coached in Spain (Fernando Martin on Dec. 3, 1989). It was devastating. My sympathy, sorrow and support goes to the Broncos. . . . I'd love to support them in any way possible, and we will do that through our prayers and our emotions."
George Karl, Nuggets coach
• "He, obviously, was a very good football player. More importantly, he had come a long way in his life, to the point where he was really enjoying himself. It's just disappointing his life was cut short."
Mike Gundy, Oklahoma State football coach
• "If you wanted a good quote, you went to No. 27. He was going to give it to you raw and uncut. And that was how he was as a person. There's absolutely nothing fake about him. I absolutely loved the kid. This is a tragedy."
Jeff Griffin, Williams' agent
• "He is in a limo, you think he's doing all the right things, he's not driving. . . . I mean, who shoots up a limo? But you've always got to watch your surroundings."
Joey Porter, Steelers linebacker and a former Colorado State player who was shot outside a Denver nightclub in 2003
|01-02-2007, 03:46 AM||#2|
"Nemo Me Impune Lacessit"
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Northern California
Man... it still stings like when I just first saw the caption on DWill's picture.
Its hard to discuss football at a time like this. I hope that Fox and Paymah take the field next year with the spirit that DWill brought to the field.
|01-02-2007, 03:48 AM||#3|
highly touted recruit
Join Date: Mar 2006
good article...can't imagine how foxy and karl are reacting to this...could not ever imagine losing one of my best friends especially in such a stupid way
|01-02-2007, 01:55 PM||#4|
Ring of Famer
Join Date: Apr 2005
honestly at this point.. I don't care about football anymore... it hurts to even see NFL shows on the tv