DL Leonard Williams
June 4, 2021
Q. Talk about some of the things that he's [Assistant Head Coach/Defensive Coordinator Patrick Graham] done different from past coordinators?
LEONARD WILLIAMS: One thing I've always raved about Pat Graham is just how smart he is in terms of knowing our opponent and knowing his players. You know, we don't run the same defense every week. It's like we change our defensive coordinator to who we are playing, what type of schemes we are going to get that week, and he also does a good job of knowing his players and putting them in the right position, and I think that goes a long way.
Q. What's it like as a player, does it put more on you that you must be able to adapt to a totally different game plan week-in and week-out?
LEONARD WILLIAMS: I think it's great as a player because like I said, he knows each player's skill set and tries to put them in the best position. So, you know, if I know I'm good at a certain thing, he's going to just make sure that I perfect what I am good at instead of like changing who I am. He knows players are going to get the job done different ways. You know, me and Dex [Dexter Lawrence II] probably will play the B-gap different ways but as long as we can control our B-gap and do the job, he's going to be okay with that. I think that goes a long way, like I said, because he's not creating robots out there. Sometimes on paper, it easy to see X's and O's but it goes further as a coach and player to know each other and each other's skill set and put us in the right position.
Q. You guys laid the groundwork last year, so what are your expectations? What are you trying to accomplish with this group now in year two?
LEONARD WILLIAMS: Like you said, that was our first year together as a team, as a staff, as a whole organization, and you know, I feel like we finished the year pretty strong. That's last year and now we are coming into this year knowing each other a little bit more and we have a little bit more time together. I think we've just got to keep growing. It's kind of hard for me to look far into the future and far into the past, but I know it starts right now and it starts next week in minicamp. We've just got to keep getting better.
Q. We've heard about the recommendations from the NFLPA, not coming in, coming in, whether guys are going to be in off-season workouts. What was your thought process on the whole thing?
LEONARD WILLIAMS: I'm not sure. I think at this level you kind of trust your teammates and everybody to be professionals, which is what we are, and whether guys were in the building or not, I kind of trust people to do what they are supposed to be doing and be ready to go when it’s time to go. I'm sure guys are going to be ready to go next week in minicamp and guys are going to be ready to go in [training] camp and when the season starts and that's part of being professionals.
Q. How different does this spring feel? Do you still think of the pandemic? Do you think it's over? How do you react?
LEONARD WILLIAMS: There's obviously still a little bit of protocols going on, but you know, I'm excited that the stadium is back open. I'm excited that I don't have to wear a mask as much, and I can breathe a little better. I'm just glad that things are -- it seems to be slowly getting back to normal as much as possible.