Teddy Williams is keeping the streak alive.

For the sixth straight year, a Tylerite is a member of a team taking part in the Super Bowl.

Williams, a defensive back for the Carolina Panthers from Tyler, helped ensure his team is competing in Super Bowl 50 when he recovered a fumble in the NFC Championship Game against the Arizona Cardinals.

Williams played football and ran track at John Tyler High School before concentrating on running at UT San Antonio.

The Panthers will meet the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl 50 on Sunday at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, California.

Williams, a seven-year NFL veteran, has seen action in all 18 games (16 regular season/two playoffs) for Carolina this season, primarily on special teams. The 6-foot-1, 210-pounder has recorded a career-high 14 tackles (11 solos/3 assists), one pass breakup, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery. He signed a two-year free agent contract last offseason on March 13.

Williams played for coach Dereck Rush at JT, but concentrated on track at UT San Antonio where he was a four-time All-America sprinter while winning nine Southland Conference championships. He posted a time of 9.90 seconds in the 100-meter dash at the UTEP Invitational in 2009, the fastest time in school history and the fastest time in the world that year.

In 2010, he was signed as a free agent by the Dallas Cowboys. After three seasons with the Cowboys, he was picked up by the Indianapolis Colts and then the Arizona Cardinals. He then played for the Chicago Bears and Jacksonville Jaguars before being signed by the Panthers.

"When we played the Cowboys on Thanksgiving I went up to Mr. (Jerry) Jones to talk to him and the first thing I told him was I wanted to thank him for everything he did for me," Williams said.

The streak of Tylerites in the big game includes:

Super Bowl XLV (Feb. 6, 2011 in Arlington) - Matt Flynn (Robert E. Lee) of the Green Bay Packers;

Super Bowl XLVI (Feb. 5, 2012 in Indianapolis) - Aaron Ross (John Tyler) of the New York Giants;

Super Bowl XLVII (Feb. 3, 2013 in New Orleans) - Kendall Hunter (John Tyler) of the San Francisco 49ers;

Super Bowl XLVIII (Feb. 2, 2014 in East Rutherford, New Jersey) - Jeremy Lane (John Tyler) of the Seattle Seahawks;

Super Bowl XLIX (Feb. 1, 2015 in Glendale, Arizona) - Lane.

It is the fifth straight year for a JT player to be in the big game.

"We must be doing something right," Williams told KTBB/ESPN East Texas sports director Bill Coates on Monday in San Jose, California.

"... We never forget where we come from. We love John Tyler and represent Cujo."

Williams added, "We are going out on Sunday to do what we have been doing all year. I'm going to put on for John Tyler and put on for Tyler, Texas, and hopefully come out with the victory. So y'all tune in."

Other Tylerites who have taken part in the Super Bowl include JT's Ronnie Lee (Miami Dolphins), JT's David Warren (Oakland Raiders) and REL's Fred Coleman (New England Patriots).

There have been a number of East Texans who have been in the Super Bowl - from Big Sandy's Lovie Smith (Chicago Bears coach) to White Oak's Max McGee of the Green Bay Packers who played in the first two.

Some of the other players include Winston Hill (Gladewater, New York Jets), Pete Lammons (Jacksonville, New York Jets), Billy Ray Newsome (Jacksonville, Baltimore Colts), Keavon Milton (Canton, Seahawks), Wade Wilson (Commerce, Dallas Cowboys), Jermichael Finley (Diboll, Packers), Mike Clark (Longview, Dallas Cowboys), Raymond Berry (Paris, coach of the New England Patriots), Thomas Everett (Daingerfield, Cowboys), Maury Buford (Mount Pleasant, Bears), Forrest Gregg (Sulphur Springs, Packers, Cowboys) and Stanley Richard (San Diego Chargers).


Note: Special thanks to Patrick Jackson, former John Tyler Lion and Atlanta Falcon, and Paul Stone of Tyler for player information on Super Bowl participates.






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Sports Editor

I am a native Tylerite and I grew up reading the Tyler Morning Telegraph and The Tyler Courier-Times. My parents took both the morning and afternoon papers. I came to work here 35 years ago at the age of 23, right after college.