Super Maxx Williams Hurdles Defender In Debut

Super Maxx is alive and well in the NFL.

Ravens second-round tight end Maxx Williams gained a reputation for hurdling defenders in college, thanks in large part to this 54-yard touchdown, in which he leapt over two Missouri players.

He didn't have quite the same hang time in Thursday night's preseason opener, but Williams' athleticism and pure desire to win were on full display.

The Ravens were facing a fourth-and-20 on their final drive when third-string quarterback Bryn Renner dumped the ball off to wide-open Williams on a short pass to flats.

Williams turned up field and still had a long ways to go for the first down. He did a partial leap over one Saints cornerback trying to take out his legs, then bulldozed into safety Pierre Warren as the Saints defender tried to clobber Williams high.

Williams needed 20 yards. He got 22.

With the drive kept alive, Renner was able to later finish it with a 1-yard game-winning plunge with two seconds left. That wouldn't have happened without Williams.

"I bailed out on the hurdle," Williams said. "I was going to go for it more, but then I realized I wasn't there yet."

After having a quiet start in Organized Team Activities and minicamp, the Ravens rookie has gained momentum as training camp has progressed. He's shown a knack for making short to intermediate catches and picking up first downs.

Williams had one other catch for 14 yards. He had one pass go through his hands in the back of the end zone near the end of the first half. The back-shoulder lob pass from Matt Schaub was a bit high and it would have been a tough play, but it was one Williams had a chance to haul in for a touchdown.

"It was just exciting for me," Williams said. "I just went out there and had fun. I know all of us rookies went out there and just tried to have fun and show them what we can do against someone else."

Fellow rookie tight end Nick Boyle posted four catches for 25 yards and starter Crockett Gillmore notched two grabs for 17 yards. But it was Williams' lunge that left the best mark, and brought back memories of the past.

"That reminded me of that highlight play from college," Head Coach John Harbaugh said. "When he got the ball, I was thinking, 'we're going to need a play like that right now to keep this game alive.' And he came up with it. It was good to see."

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