Defensive Lineman Leonard Williams
September 13, 2021
Q: Obviously, there are such high expectations for this defense coming into the season, but when you look at yesterday's game, is there something in particular that makes you most frustrated or disappointed with the way you guys played on defense?
A: Yeah, I think that was something we talk about as a team and as a defense is starting fast and not dipping our toes in the water. I think from the very first play of watching film today, I think we did that. I think we started fast. (Linebacker) Blake (Martinez) had that big TFL (tackle for loss) to start off the defense. I think as far as the run game, I think we were pretty stout for the most part. Overall, we played pretty decent. I think we just have to do a better job of getting off the field on third downs and fourth downs. Like you said, we have high expectations of ourselves as a defense and there were a few plays that we left out there that we would obviously want to take back.
Q: What did you see from the pass rush? Why do you think you couldn't get consistent pressure as a whole on (Broncos Quarterback) Teddy (Bridgewater) yesterday when you watched the film?
A: From what I've seen watching film is we were focusing on getting middle push and not giving Teddy a step-up area and I think we did a good job of collapsing the pocket in the front of him and not allowing him to step into his throws. But like you said, we weren't being consistent at making him feel uncomfortable. I think what we have to do is while we're getting that middle push and stopping the step-up lanes, we also have to get off of the block and get hands on the quarterback.
Q: You've been in this league long enough to know the Sunday-Thursday turn around is certainly difficult. Is it easier in a sense to put aside a loss when you have to concentrate on the next team so quickly or is that not the case?
A: I don't think it's necessarily the case. I think coming off of a loss, people obviously are going to be in their heads about it a little bit. Like you said, I've been in this league long enough to know that good teams will look at this short turn around as an opportunity to get that bad taste out of our mouth. The faster we're able to play a game and get a win under our belt, the faster we can move on from the loss that we just had the past week. It's a short turnaround as far as guys’ bodies recovery-wise, and mentally being able to prepare for a team with a shorter week. But like I said, we're trying to be optimistic and opportunists about it and we're looking at it as an opportunity.
Q: (Head Coach) Joe (Judge) always talks about not riding the roller coaster. Is that particularly hard after Week 1? It's always going to be either half the teams in this league are going to be going to the Super Bowl, and half of them are never going to win again. How do you handle that going forward?
A: With the roller coaster stuff, like you said, we can't dwell on the past and dwell on the fact that we just lost. There was a lot of good stuff that we put on tape, and there were some bad things that we had on tape that we have to correct. We have no choice but to move forward. The games gonna keep going, there are more games every week. We can't dwell on the past. We just have to move forward and continue to do what we did well and change what we need to change.
Q: I'm wondering what do you know about (Washington Quarterback) Taylor Heinicke? Is there any disappointment that you don't get an opportunity to face (Washington Quarterback) Ryan (Fitzpatrick)?
A: I mean, I love Ryan. I would’ve loved to play against him. He's a big vet in this game. I played with him when I was on the Jets. I obviously had a lot of excitement being able to play against him. If Heinicke ends up playing, we have to prepare for him just as much as we would if Ryan was going to play. He's capable of making plays in this league and he's also athletic enough to make plays on his feet, just like Ryan. I think it's pretty much the same type of game plan that we have to prepare for.