DL LEONARD WILLIAMS
Q. Are you still basking in the 'media good guy' award?
LEONARD WILLIAMS: I forgot about that (laughter). I appreciate you guys for voting for me. I was honestly surprised I won because I feel like I give (Director of Football Communications) Dion (Dargin) a lot of crap whenever he tries to call me up to talk to the media.
Q. What do you think of Martindale's defense and aggressiveness? Different than what you played before.
LEONARD WILLIAMS: Yeah, any position you play, any defensive player is going to love that type of style from a defensive coordinator. Every defensive player wants to make big plays, get TFLs, get sacks, get those big type of plays. This is the type of defense to do it in. He's blitzing guys from all different directions. What I've gotten from him that's been helping me with the defense is to learn it as a concept because if we learn it that way, it will show you that it could be the same pressure, but five different guys could be doing that same pressure. I think it's a fun defense so far.
Q. You talk about the business in the NFL, how year to year you never know. For your career, when you take a step back and realize how many changes, coaching changes, GM changes, how do you approach change for this season?
LEONARD WILLIAMS: I've really been dealing it with my whole career, even in college. But the way I approach it is every team is different every year. The same team is different every year regardless of the coaching staff or anything like that. I think I learned that very early on in my career. When I would come back after my rookie year, and at least 15, 20 guys in the locker room have been changed. Even throughout the season, the same locker right next to me, I've seen like five different faces throughout the year, stuff like that. You kind of really have to adapt to change pretty quickly. It's different every year. So I don't know, you just got to adapt.
Q. Given the scheme and the nature of the scheme, the personnel you guys have, what type of pass-rushing production do you expect from your defense this year?
LEONARD WILLIAMS: I'm not sure yet. We've only put in the basics of install. We watched film on the Ravens. We know this is a Wink style of defense, attack and aggressive mentality. We definitely want to see a lot of TFLs, sacks, big plays like that, make the offense play behind the sticks. The faster we can pick it up on defense, the faster we'll be able to play it on the field.
Q. Were you surprised to see Michael Strahan here yesterday?
LEONARD WILLIAMS: I wouldn't say surprised. This is his stomping grounds. It was awesome to see him out here. Even though it was day one of mini-camp practice, stuff like that, we're not even competing yet. I think guys just seeing him boosts morale and energy around the guys.
Q. Did he address the group?
LEONARD WILLIAMS: Yeah, right after stretching, he broke the huddle, talked to the guys a little bit. I talked to him a little bit walking into the fieldhouse because he said he remembers he came to a Jets practice one time when I was there. And then two off-seasons ago, he spoke at a financial seminar I was at so we met again. He's a good guy to get some advice and wisdom from.
Q. Do you have a sense of this new coaching staff, the vibe here, compared to the last two years?
LEONARD WILLIAMS: Yeah, I mean, they haven't been here too long. I'm actually glad that I came to OTAs, new coaching staff, pick up on the energy around the building, and learn everybody. They've been doing a good job I think just letting us know that it's our team at the end of the day. No amount of coaching changes or anything like that is going --at the end of the day, the players are the ones on the field. We have to learn how to take over the team, take it into our hands on how we're going to approach practice, how we're going to approach just everything about being a Giant. I think they're doing a good job of giving us the keys.
Q. Given the fact it's early, not supposed to be very intense right now, do you sense a different intensity now compared to the last two years?
LEONARD WILLIAMS: Yeah, I mean, there's always going to be differences if there's a coaching change. I obviously feel like there's some differences, different systems, different guys, different energy and stuff like that. I mean, I think right now they're doing a good job of making it fun, but also work at the same time. They're trying to make sure guys are, like, being loose, being able to communicate without too much pressure. I think it's even starting in the classroom when we're in meetings. I remember like the first day, Wink asked us a question. It was like an open question where anyone can answer basically and it was just like a silent room. Now in meeting rooms, it's only been a few days, you see a lot of chatter. That's the type of defense that he wants. That's the type of leadership he wants to see in the guys.
Q. People are still talking about this team about still being in a rebuilding phase. How sick are you of hearing that? It's been since '16. How do you think this team could maybe surprise some people and actually compete this year?
LEONARD WILLIAMS: Yeah, I mean, trying to get accustomed to change, like I said, being adaptive, knowing every year is different. Sometimes rebuilding isn't always a bad thing. Sometimes change is good. You know what I mean? At the same time it's not the rebuilding that I'm sick of, it's the losing that I'm sick of. I want to take that into my own hands. That goes back to the last question I just answered about putting the keys in the players' hands, taking accountability on our own, not just putting everything on the coaches. I'm ready to win. I'm in year eight now, going into year eight, and I haven't even been to a single playoff game yet. This game doesn't last forever. It goes by very fast as well. I'm definitely ready to start winning.
Q. Does that include urging guys to be here who aren't?
LEONARD WILLIAMS: Yeah, I mean, also respecting people's decisions at the same time. I do know this is voluntary. I even questioned if I was going to be here or not at the start of it.At the end of the day you have to respect everybody's decision because it is a voluntary program. I'm sure guys are professionals and they've been around long enough to know what their body needs in order to play when Sunday comes during the season.
Q. Why was it a question for you? Guys say they could do some of the physical stuff elsewhere.
LEONARD WILLIAMS: Just like you said, I feel like the physical work is something that I can possibly get on my own time. But it's the camaraderie that I kind of leaned into coming. Just building that camaraderie with the guys and the new coaching staff.
Q. When you watched the Ravens' film from the last couple of years, is there a player you fixed on, that you see that guy in my game?
LEONARD WILLIAMS: Calais Campbell actually. I see the way they move him all around the line. We play similar positions. Yeah, I first started watching a bunch of Ravens' defense to see what type of style was. After figuring out the style, I was like, 'Ok, where would I fit in the defense?' I started looking at Campbell, just started watching him on all these different pressures, how they used him.