Defensive Lineman Leonard Williams
Q: I saw you blowing kisses to the crowd. Is that what you were doing after the safety?
A: Yeah, I was joking around with one of the fans in the crowd pregame, so then after I got a safety, I was doing it again to him.
Q: So you were joking around? So what was the exchange?
A: I think while we were out there for pregame warmups, he was kind of doing that (motions) like how I did last game and instead of doing it back, I just like blew him kisses (laughs) and then when I got the safety, I did it again to him.
Q: How much did the defense need a game like this?
A: This is big time. As a unit, we kind of talked about putting the team on our back more and how our team is—what we think our team is built around the defense. We take pride in being a defensive team and you know so far this year we haven't really been stepping up to the plate and I think this was a really big game for us. We didn't allow any touchdowns and we're putting our offense in some good field position and we closed the game out like we wanted to.
Q: What was the biggest difference? What did you do differently?
A: I think we did a good job on first and second down. That was probably the biggest difference to me, so it allowed us to get in some good third down situations where we were able to pass rush and then also actually be successful at the pass rush. I don't remember how many times we got him down but at least six times I think, and I think, like I said, it was the first and second downs that helped us get in those situations.
Q: (Giants FS) Logan (Ryan) said that coming in this week you guys kind of heard (Panthers Head Coach) Matt Rhule say that they wanted to establish their offense by running the football, you took that as a challenge. Did you feel the same way as Logan did?
A: It's kind of been the talk a little bit this week, but at the same time, you don't want to overcommit to something because they obviously have other parts of their offense, so we weren't focusing too much on it. We knew that it was something that we as a unit had to focus on—stopping the run—regardless of if they said that they were going to run the ball or not. We knew focusing on ourselves, that that was something we needed to do, so it wasn't really as much about them. It was more like what can we do to be better and instead of what can we, we weren't trying to adjust on them, we were trying to fix ourselves.
Q: How did you feel about the two quarterback sacks? What was going through your mind?
A: The safety was pretty big. I was excited about that. We were talking about getting points on defense and getting turnovers and stuff like that and that was points and a turnover, so I think that was a pretty big play. But overall, I was just excited about the energy that the guys were playing with today and how when I make a play, I love just seeing how much it energizes the environment. The crowd gets crazy, the players get hyped, and I love feeding off my teammates and I love when they can feed off of me as well.
Q: (Inaudible) the chemistry building with the young guys, (Giants DL) Raymond Johnson (III) and (Giants OLB) Azeez (Ojulari).
A: Those guys are definitely stepping up. Raymond Johnson was one of the guys that I said was going to be a sleeper this year. He hasn't been getting as many snaps as Azeez obviously, but Azeez had a great day today on the field and Raymond also went in there when his name was called and stepped up. I think he got a half a sack and you know I'm happy for both of those young guys.
Q: How much do you guys need this as a springboard type game? How much do you guys view this as sort of a game you can build on and play like this consistently?
A: Yeah, I think that's the biggest word is consistently. It's something that we can definitely build on, but we have to be consistent with it. We can't take any falloffs next week. Obviously teams are going to make plays at times. I think the biggest thing that we have to do is to learn how to adjust when a big play happens and don't think that it's over and just stay poised.
Q: Are you a Marvel fan? What did you think of the promotion?
A: Yeah, I was a little bit of a superhero fan growing up. I can't name too many things so don't question me on it, but I was hyped to see the little—I kept one of the little comic books and had some of those guys like Logan and (Giants RB) Saquon (Barkley) and those guys and that's definitely going to be something I show my kids one day (laughs).
Q: Tackling was a problem last week, right? What did you guys do specifically to address that? How did you work on it?
A: I think it was more just pointing it out and more emphasis on it in practice. Even when we're not in full pads and there's not much contact in practice, it's more like making sure your feet and your body are in good position to make the tackle and I think just overall like the focus on that was hyped up this week.