Jimmy Williams, a cornerback who played for the Seahawks for two seasons and was a co-special teams captain in 2006, has died, the team announced Friday.
Williams, 43, died after battling an illness, according to a report from WBRZ-TV in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Williams was a native of Baton Rouge and had been serving as an assistant football coach and teacher at Episcopal High School there.
In a tweet Friday night, the Seahawks said they are “devastated’’ by the loss of Williams and send their “deepest condolences’’ to his family.
Williams played collegiately at Vanderbilt and was a sixth-round pick of Buffalo in 2001. He never played for the Bills but then played four seasons for the 49ers from 2001-04.
He was cut by his hometown Saints before the 2005 season opened and then signed with the Seahawks before week three to replace Alex Bannister, who had suffered a collarbone injury. Williams became a mainstay on special teams while playing in a reserve role in the secondary.
Williams played in the last 14 games of the 2005 season as the Seahawks advanced to their first Super Bowl, making 45 tackles and starting the season finale at Green Bay. He also had two interceptions, one coming in a memorable 42-0 win at Philadelphia on a Monday night and led the Seahawks in punt returns that season with 24 for 139 yards.
He then played in all three playoff games that year, including the Super Bowl loss to Pittsburgh, with two tackles on special teams.
Williams returned in 2006 and was named a co-captain of the special teams with snapper J.P. Darche, playing in all 16 games and making 18 tackles and returning 14 punts for 102 yards. But Williams did not play in either playoff game following the 2006 season because of a knee injury and never played in the NFL again.
“There are no words to describe the impact this man had on our school and our lives,’’ a tweet from Episcopal High stated Friday. “Thank you for being in the fight with us JW, we love you.”
Rainiers lose on the road; Lewis homers for Everett
Jarred Kelenic hit his 10th homer of the season for the Tacoma Rainiers, but that accounted for the team’s only run in a 5-1 loss at the Reno Aces on Friday night in a Class AAA game.
The loss by the Rainiers ended a five-game winning streak.
Everett defeated visiting Vancouver 10-5 in a high Class A games.
Kyle Lewis, on a rehab assignment for the Mariners, went 2 for 3 and hit a home run while serving as the designated hitter. Catcher Luis Torrens, also on a rehab assignment, homered as well.