This Sunday’s game between Green Bay Packers and Chicago Bears will serve as a family reunion of sorts for cousins Tramon Williams and Jordan Mills.
Seven years apart in age, Mills often would tag along with Williams and Mills’ older brother, O’Neal Jr., to football games or around the neighborhood when he was in grade school.
Mills later followed in Williams’ footsteps at Napoleonville (La.) Assumption High School and then Louisiana State University where he played 37 games with 34 starts.
That’s mostly where the similarities end. Unlike the 5-foot-11, 191-pound Williams, Mills sprouted to 6-foot-5, 316 pounds. A fifth-round pick in Aprils’ draft, he’s been working as the Bears’ starting right tackle through seven games this season.
That means there’s a good chance the two cousins could wind up colliding this Sunday with how active Williams has been blitzing out of the slot in the Packers’ nickel and dime defensive sub-packages.
Williams said the two hadn’t spoken yet this week, but he’s looking forward to the matchup with his cousin, little in name only.
“Anytime you get a guy who kind of looked up to you, and I played with his brother, he was the guy that was following us around,” Williams said. “It’s definitely going to be good to see him out there. It’s great to see the success he’s having and the expectations Chicago has for him. So it’s good to see that.”
Williams and O’Neal Jr. played high school football together, but he still kept a close eye on Jordan’s career afterward.
After Jordan was taken by the Bears last April, Williams expected to see him in the lineup sooner than later based on the issues the Bears had on their offensive line a year ago, allowing the eighth-most sacks (44) in the NFL.
Now that he's in the starting lineup, Williams is looking forward to the challenge Mills and the rest of an improved Bears’ offensive line present.
It'll be the first game the cousins have played against one another, an obvious result of their seven-year age gap.
“I’m not going to say I’m surprised at all,” Williams said. “I mean, with Chicago, if you talk to a lot of people, their line was one of the big parts that they felt that needed adjustment. They got a couple rookies who came in and seem to have solidified that spot for them and have done well for them this year. So we’re going to have to play a good, clean game and it starts up front.”