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DeAngelo Williams Says 'Reserve Judgment' On Social Media - Months After Tweeting That No One Likes Bill Belichick

By Matt Dolloff, CBS Boston

BOSTON (CBS) -- DeAngelo Williams earned himself plenty of enemies in New England when he labeled the team "certified cheaters" and claimed that Tom Brady is the only player who likes head coach Bill Belichick. Now, the outspoken Pittsburgh Steelers running back is taking charge of the title "King of NFL Twitter," which FOX Sports bestowed upon him.

To refresh your memory, Williams built up intrigue to the Steelers' Week 1 game against the Patriots at Gillette Stadium last September by tweeting negative things about the Patriots - mainly that he was still offended that the Patriots drafted Laurence Maroney over him in the 2006 NFL Draft. Tom Brady still uses the fact that he was the 199th overall pick as motivation, so that's all good and fine.

It was when Williams made this outrageous claim about Belichick earlier this year that he started to cross the line from honesty to stupidity.

And don't forget this unnecessary barb against the Patriots launched at a well-meaning fan:

Fast forward to Tuesday. Williams posted a "four-point plan" on SI's MMQB website, detailing the ways athletes can use their social media presences to their advantage - without ever having to deal with the media, something that Williams dedicated himself to blocking out early in his career.

He's not entirely wrong - social media is certainly a great way for athletes to communicate directly with fans in real-time on a daily basis, something that for decades was impossible without newspapers, TV, and radio acting as conduits. His four points all make perfect sense - in a vacuum. The problem is, Williams went against his own policy when he attacked the Patriots' integrity with what appeared to be surface-level knowledge of the team and its culture.

Point No. 1 reads, "Take control of the message." He would not be able to control his own message if he played for the Patriots, so there's one reason he would never bear the Flying Elvis on his uniform. But I'd much prefer someone with honesty and transparency, so as offended as I may come across in this column, I think sports needs more athletes to control their own message like Williams does.

Point No. 2, "Preserve the moments that matter in a way that matters," is also good advice that anyone using social media should take. It's possible to enjoy the benefits of social media and also put the phone down once in a while when the moment calls for it.

It was at point No. 3 where Williams began to contradict himself: "Reserve judgment." Meaning, don't take one tweet as a judgment of a man's entire character or point-of-view. That's fair, but people judge each other all the time and personal judgment is a two-way street.

For someone who wants people to reserve judgment on his tweets, Williams seems awfully judgmental of the Patriots, a team he never played for. Should he not be judged as a Patriots "hater" when he openly admitted to holding a grudge against the team and made a completely unfounded claim against Belichick that quite clearly holds no merit? It's not OK for fans and media to judge you by what you tweet, but it's OK for you to judge everyone else as you see fit?

Williams does deserve credit for being steadfast with point No. 4, "Own your tweets." It's great that he speaks his mind and won't apologize for what he says. I wouldn't expect him to apologize for feeling the same way about the Patriots that most of the country feels.

However, Williams' entire four-point plan collapses on itself with the "reserve judgment" part. He had an obvious bias against the Patriots and made an utterly baseless judgment against their head coach - who, surely, has not led the Patriots to four Super Bowls without more than just a single player who wants to play for him.

Even if it's true that no one else "likes" Belichick, the Patriots head coach is in the business of winning, not making friends. Maybe if Williams cared more about that and less about protecting his feelings, he would have a ring by now. The only thing he proved in whining about the Panthers releasing him is how much better the team got without him.

My advice to Williams is to revise or remove the third point because he has long given up the idea that he reserves judgment on people. When you use second-hand hearsay (at best) to declare "no1 likes the coach lolz" you give up that right. Say whatever you want and, like you said, own it. Just don't complain when the same misinformed judgments come back your way.

Oh, and any man who has to tell people, 'I am the king of NFL Twitter,' is no king.

Matt Dolloff is a writer for CBSBostonSports.com. His opinions do not necessarily reflect that of CBS or 98.5 The Sports Hub. Have a news tip or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff and email him at mdolloff@985thesportshub.com.

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