'Big Cat' Williams sparkled for 1972 Packers

Richard Ryman
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Former Packers defensive end Clarence Williams in 1986.

Defensive end Clarence "Big Cat" Williams was a good player on mostly bad Green Bay Packers teams during the 1970s.

Williams, who played for the Packers from 1970-77, died May 8 at age 70. Funeral services were Saturday in Cincinnati.

Williams was drafted by the Dallas Cowboys in 1969 and was placed on the practice squad. He was traded to the Packers before the 1970 season and started 94 of 111 games. He missed only one game in the eight years, according to Pro Football Reference.

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The Packers had one winning season during Williams' time with the team. In 1972, they were 10-4 and finished first in the NFC Central. Williams led the team with nine sacks that year, including three of Minnesota Vikings quarterback Fran Tarkenton during a title-clinching 23-7 victory in Minneapolis.

Williams was a player representative for the Packers and stayed in Green Bay after he left the team. He was a defensive coach for St. Norbert College for two years, after which he coached at Southeast Missouri State for three years. He moved to Cincinnati in 1994.

Williams, who was from Sweeny, Texas, also was known as Sweeny Williams during his playing career. He played college football at Prairie View Agriculture and Mechanical College, now Prairie View A&M University.

He is survived by Icy, his wife of 48 years, and children Clarence Jr., Cary Leon and Marla Rachelle.

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