Thursday, August 2, 2012
Jacquian Williams is bigger, not slower
By Ohm Youngmisuk
ALBANY, N.Y. -- There have been times in camp when Jacquian Williams literally makes noise in practice.
Williams twice stuffed rookie David Wilson at the line of scrimmage and hit him hard enough to make noise with his pads hitting the rookie's pads. Even though this is in non-tackling practices, Williams made sure to let the first-round pick know he could have put a licking on the running back.
"It's just welcoming him to the NFL," Williams said. "I had my time, he has to have his."
Last year as a rookie, Williams impressed the Giants with his speed and ability to cover tight ends and running backs. But physicality was never really one of Williams' traits, since he was a slender-but-fast linebacker.
This offseason, Williams added 20 pounds to his frame and now weighs 240. He says he was able to add muscle without sacrificing speed. And that is why he has been more physical in practice as well against the run.
"I'm definitely bigger," Williams said. "And I like the weight. I feel comfortable playing there. That's something that comes along with being a linebacker. Nobody wants to play linebacker at 220."
"I'm still as fast as I always was," he added. "Quickness hasn't gone anywhere."
Williams' speed makes him a valuable commodity on Perry Fewell's defense. Besides playing on passing packages, he may play some of Deon Grant's old role as the third safety.
Safeties coach Dave Merritt said Williams and Keith Rivers have the ability to play that role with Antrel Rolle matched up with slot receivers, unless the opposition has three receivers on the field.
"Right now, we're trying to figure out who that guy will be," Merritt said. "You look at some of the linebackers that we have here. We have so many athletic linebackers. These guys [Williams and Rivers] can actually go and do some of the things that we did last year. They are so athletic. But once you put three wide receivers on the field, you're going to have to have that third safety in the field."
Williams said he is looking forward to having more on his plate in his second season.
"It's something that I'm already familiar with so it's something that I can get used to doing," Williams said. "I expect a lot from myself. I worked hard throughout the offseason and I have very high expectations for myself and the team."