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Tramon Williams has been 'great for the ball club'

Interim head coach Joe Philbin addressed the media on Thursday


GREEN BAY – Interim head coach Joe Philbin still remembers when Tramon Williams first signed to the Packers' practice squad in 2006.

Back then, it was the undrafted rookie cornerback's job to line up against the likes of Donald Driver and Greg Jennings in preparation for gameday.

Fast forward 12 years, the 35-year-old defensive back's profile has risen considerably in a career that's seen Williams record 661 tackles, 143 passes defensed and 32 interceptions in 181 career regular-season games.

While his responsibilities have shifted to safety during the second half of the season, Williams continues to set the standard for Green Bay's secondary. The former Pro Bowler has started all 14 games this season and leads the defense with 927 snaps (99.6 percent), according to Football Outsiders.

"He still loves the game," said Philbin during his pre-practice news conference on Thursday. "You could see then this kid had a lot of ability and a lot of natural talent. … Yeah, it's fun to see what he's accomplished as a player, and I can still picture him running down the sideline in Atlanta in 2010 right before the half. So, but he's been great for the ball club, great for the room. A real high-quality person, and, yeah, I'm glad he's on our team."

Philbin said right tackle Bryan Bulaga (knee) looked good in his return to practice Wednesday and there is no concern with running back Jamaal Williams, who appeared on the injury report with a toe injury.

Settling into the role of offensive play-caller, Philbin said he intends to keep giving quarterback Aaron Rodgers and Green Bay's skill players opportunities to make plays going into Sunday's matchup with the New York Jets regardless of whether that's a jet-sweep or dive up the middle.

"Whatever we have to do to win a football game is what we're going to do. The job since Day 1 has been to put the team in position to be successful," Philbin said. "I'm not as worried about the plays as the mindset players have. Let's give the players a clean play that has a reasonable chance of succeeding rather than Joe Philbin's gonna trick the New York Jets 27 times on Sunday. … Let's put the ball in the hands of the right players to make a play."