NYG Postgame (vs. Cowboys) Transcripts: DL Leonard Williams
January 3, 2021
Q: Hey Leonard, obviously you guys are waiting to find out what happens next, but now that you’ve completed this season how do you feel like this season went for you? Obviously, the numbers are what they are, but how do you feel like this season was for you?
A: I think this was a great season, one of my favorite seasons of my career not just for the way I played, but for the guys around me. I mean, playing with incredible guys on this defense, playing with incredible coaches, overall team just overcoming adversity and finishing strong right here in a division game and winning like we did and controlling what we can control. I don’t know what’s going to happen tonight, but we did what we can to control. I think whether it happens tonight or not, I think it was a good way to close the season for this team.
Q: How badly do you want to play in the playoffs next week?
A: I mean, really badly. I’ve never been in my career and this is my sixth year in the league, so it’s been a long time coming. It would be fun to play in a playoff game especially with this team that’s overcome so much. I feel like we deserve it.
Q: Hey Leonard, you talked about your motivation to play in the playoffs and all that. Was that on your mind going into today? I mean, you had three sacks, looked pretty dominant out there and also the fact that this had the chance to be your last game in a Giants uniform. Was that on your mind at all going into this afternoon?
A: I think pretty much less playoff, but more just wanting to finish this season strong with my team. Whether we win tonight or not, we still are relying on another team and that’s not something that I went into the game thinking about, you know relying on another team. I just more wanted success for my guys, success for our team and finishing strong on the season and I think we did a good job of that.
Q: Leonard, we’ve asked you a million times about blocking out the criticism from the fans and you said you’ve been able to do that. I’m wondering if you’re aware of all the heat that [General Manager] Dave Gettleman took for making the trade and if any part of you is satisfied with showing that the guy who took a chance on you maybe made the right call with your performance this year.
A: Yeah, for sure. I mean, I’ve definitely seen a lot of the criticism and the hate and stuff like that in the press and the media and by the fans. It feels good to prove them wrong, but also show why Dave Gettleman took a chance on me. He obviously took a chance on me and it feels good to show him that it was the right choice. At the end of the day, we had a good season and it was all a credit to all the guys that we played with this year.
Q: Hey Leonard, double-digit sacks, it’s the first time in your career. What does that mean to you?
A: I mean, that definitely feels good. The win feels great, feels good to be contributing to that win. For the first time in my career, I got double-digits and I feel like that’s an elite group of guys that’s been in that double-digit sack category. Feels good.
Q: Was that a goal at any point?
A: No, I don’t think it’s ever been a goal. I think just being as disruptive as possible is always my goal, whether that’s batting down passes, just making the quarterback hurry up with his passes, anything like that. Just being disruptive as a D-lineman is my goal. I never really have numbers in mind.
Q: How much do you ever think about the idea that these kinds of numbers are going to equate to a higher salary, more money when you get to that point?
A: I’m not going to lie, going into this season, throughout the season, at the end of the season, today it’s never been about money for me. I was kind of drafted high, made a lot of money already in my career. I feel like I was smart enough and I could retire now and still have enough money for the rest of my life, but it’s never been about the money. I think I just more wanted the respect and to show guys the reason why I’m in this league. Like I said, it’s just more about the respect to me than the contract.
Q: You guys celebrated pretty good on the interception in the end zone. Seemed like that was going to seal the win and then [Running Back] Wayne [Gallman] has that fumble. What was it like on the sideline waiting for that replay to come through?
A: You know what, one thing about this defense that I love is no matter what situation we’re thrown in I feel like we always take the field ready to win the game. The defense just had a great stand and stopped the offense on that long drive late in the game. If the fumble would’ve went their way, we were willing and ready to take the field and stop them again. We have a prideful defense and a proud defense, and I love playing for them.