Former Utah safety Marcus Williams has a flair for the dramatic, and it showed up again Sunday as the New Orleans Saints rookie helped a teammate pull off an improbable interception.
First, though, here's a brief history of other memorable turnovers Williams has made, examples of the type of impact he can have on the field.
Last year, Williams had a diving interception for the Utes against Arizona after fellow safety Chase Hansen used a big hit to jar the ball loose from Wildcats receiver Nate Phillips. The ball bounced off Hansen’s back, then the receiver’s ankle before Williams corralled it with his right hand before it hit the ground.
In Week 3 of this year’s NFL season, the Saints' second-round pick made his first pro interception a memorable one. Williams again made a diving interception as Carolina quarterback Cam Newton tried to hit running back Christian McCaffrey with a pass over the middle. McCaffrey tipped the ball, and it bounced off the hand of the Saints’ Kenny Vaccaro before Williams dove and hauled in the interception with his right hand.
On Sunday, Williams added to his big plays, this time as the assist man in New Orleans’ 23-13 win over Atlanta.
Like the other two plays, the ball was tipped. Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan threw to Marvin Hall, who had the ball bounce off his hands.
This is where it gets tricky.
The ball then landed on New Orleans cornerback Marshon Lattimore in the area of his backside and thigh. With the ball in danger of falling off Lattimore and onto the turf, Williams dove and, as slow motion shows, he grips the ball momentarily and tips it further back up on Lattimore.
That assist gave Lattimore enough time to get his right arm around and grab the football for the interception.
The play has been dubbed the “butt pick” by multiple media outlets and on social media, and it proved critical in the game. The Saints turned the interception into a touchdown in the final minute of the first half to build a 13-0 lead at the break.
"I must be living right, I don't know," Lattimore told ESPN. "Who doesn't love the term 'butt pick' but saw that social media was already rolling with it."