DL Leonard Williams
December 24, 2020
Q: Were you at all disappointed with the Pro Bowl voting and not being honored?
A: I don’t really want to say too much about it, but I just feel like I had a pretty good season this year. But I think it is what it is. It’s all a fan voting popularity thing. I’m just excited for the guys who made it on our team, James (Bradberry) and Evan (Engram).
Q: Playing Baltimore this weekend, and we know what kind of an athlete Lamar Jackson is. Does it make it even more difficult because they use him so much on runs up the middle? Most quarterbacks do the zone read stuff to the outside. Just the variety of ways they run with him, does that make it even more complicated?
A: Yeah, I think it does make it a little more difficult. But also, if you just play discipline football, which is what we’re really focused on this week is just playing old school, disciplined football, like gap for a gap, if you’re on the backside, stay on the backside type of thing, because what makes it difficult is they’ll give you the same block, but run three different directions out of that because of the way they run the option out of the backfield. If I start to get nosy and I feel like they’re running it to my left over and over with the same blocking scheme, now all of a sudden I try to jump my guy and go to the left gap, then Lamar keeps it and he comes to my right, that’s when we can get all out of whack. I think it’s just a really disciplined type of football game.
Q: Along those same lines, for the mindset, I know your mindset doesn’t necessarily change every week, but knowing that one mistake and this is a quarterback who can make you miss and make you miss badly, does that make you approach the game any differently in terms of assignments, responsibilities, but also just the idea of look, you’re an instinctive football player, too. Does he make you fight your instincts I guess a little bit?
A: Sometimes I think it’s just knowing your opponent. You’re obviously going to have your own football instincts and be a football player and try to make plays, but all within the framework of the defense and what we’re being taught through that week. We just have to trust the rush plan, trust the run plan and how we’re going to get after him. Just trusting the game plan and trusting each other up front is going to be able to contain him, get after him a little bit. What you mean about the trusting your athletic ability, sometimes if I’m going against a different guy who can’t make a play on his feet, I’m more willing to try a bunch of different stuff. Where with this guy, I have to really focus on staying on my right keys and playing a little bit differently.
Q: With Baltimore, they’re traditionally a pretty physical team. Do you like that kind of game? Do you feel like you guys have to out physical them on Sunday?
A: Yeah, I do like those types of games, especially around this time of year, it gets even more physical. Just last week was pretty much the same. We knew that they were going to try to run the ball, and we knew that it was going to be a physical game. We’re basically treating it like we have to… this is a big, physical game. Everyone just has to be ready for that.
Q: Just as a follow up, two weeks ago, you guys were very much in the driver’s seat for the division, which had everybody pretty fired up. Now you’re facing potentially elimination this weekend. How disappointing would that be if you cannot stay alive this weekend given where you were two weeks ago?
A: It’ll be a little disappointing. Not looking in the past or looking in the future, but obviously, we want to have a winning season. Not to think about the playoffs or anything like that, but we’re basically treating it like the playoffs right now. We know what’s at stake and we know that we have to win these last two games basically to go to the playoffs. Starting now is basically our playoffs. That’s kind of how we’re treating this game.
Q: I don’t know when we’re going to talk to you next, but what have you thought about your time here with New York? Is this a place you want to stay? Have there been any conversations about keeping you here past this season?
A: So far, there haven’t been any conversations that I know of. I just try to control what I can control. I’ve been enjoying my time here so far. I love the guys on this team. I love playing with these guys. I’ve built a relationship with a lot of the players on this team. I love the direction of where it’s going with this new coaching staff. I’ve been proud to be a Giant for however long it’s been. If it ends this year, then it ends this year. But either way, I’ve been happy to wear these colors and play this season. It’s been fun being a part of this defense and this team.
Q: They can tag you again if they wanted to I guess?
A: Yeah, I think so.
Q: What would be your thoughts if that happened again?
A: I’m not sure. I think I just have to focus on that when it comes around. I still have two more games to play, and then a while with the offseason until anything like that plays out. I don’t know. I really haven’t been thinking about any contract stuff to be honest.
Q: I was wondering this is the first full season you, Dalvin (Tomlinson) and Dexter (Lawrence) have played together since you came halfway through last year. How do you feel you guys have grown together? How do you feel as a group you’ve played, especially recently? How has that bond grown between the three of you?
A: I absolutely love playing with these guys. We’re all pretty much on the younger side. Dex is the youngest one in the group. But I feel like we definitely built a bond together, have a pretty solid d-line upfront. We all have different attributes, which we know now knowing each other we can play off of each other’s attributes. I think it’s a great thing when you can build some type of chemistry like that with the guys up front. With any group, honestly. But it’s been fun playing with them.