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Transcript: Defensive Lineman Leonard Williams

Eric from BBI : Admin : 1/12/2023 7:06 pm
Defensive Lineman Leonard Williams

Q: How do you think you'll approach it (Sunday's game) emotionally? Do you have to kind of take the emotions down a little bit? How does that work for you, you try not to get too jacked up?

A: I don't think so. I think I'm naturally not getting too jacked up. (Head) Coach (Brian) Dabs (Daboll) has been doing a good job of letting guys know that whatever has got you to this point, keep doing that. This isn't the time to try new things and get too emotional, get too high, or get too low. I think this is a time to sacrifice a little bit more, meaning like spend maybe an hour more on film when get home than you usually do, get to work earlier, stay here a little bit longer. Do whatever it takes in that way, but I don't think you should be getting too high or low right now.

Q: How are you feeling physically?

A: I didn't play last week, so my body got to rest a little bit. Overall, this season, I'm excited that we're in the playoffs, and I'm super ecstatic to be here. That's been like the light through the season for me because individually, I had an elbow injury in camp and had to miss all of preseason and then I had a knee injury and had to miss three or four games early in the season. Now, I've been having this neck injury that I've been dealing with for the rest of the season now. For me individually, I've been having to go through a lot of ups and downs and adversity. Going to the playoffs is all worth it for me. I would do it all over again if I had to.

Q: Is that like you know Sunday it's going to act up again? Like it's not going to get better, it's inevitable? You're going to feel it and have to play through it?

A: Yeah, for sure. It's something that's been inevitable for the last few games that I've played in. I'm trying to get a neck brace or a neck collar. I don't know what it's called. I tried one out a few weeks ago and when I get in my stance, I just didn't really have much vision because it's hard to lift my neck up, but I think at this point I need something. Maybe something small even because when I'm getting single blocks or I'm just pass rushing it's not really happening because I can just get hands on a guy, but when I'm getting a hard double team or I'm shedding off a block to make a tackle that's when I'm really getting that jerk in my neck and it kind of just happens. It's been happening every game; I've been dealing with it and trying to fight through it.

Q: Are they working on something for you on the equipment side? Are they trying to get something smaller for you?

A: Yeah, we ordered a few different sized collars this week, so I came in Monday, Tuesday on are off days to test them out. I got in my stance, and I saw how the vision was for it. They shaved one of them down for me because I liked how it felt but it was still just a little bit too high, so I'm going to go try it out after this. I feel like I have to find something because it's been happening a lot.

Q: You'll wear it to practice tomorrow to get a feel? Or do you just do it in the training room?

A: Yeah, just in the training room because if I go out on the field with the pads and they start stretching then it's going to count as a full padded practice or something like that. I have to find like my own time to do it.

Q: Do you think at all Sunday that you might have (inaudible)

A: Yeah, I was joking with (assistant defensive line coach Bryan Cox) B Cox and I told them that after I tried on the neck the collar, I looked up a bunch of highlights on him because he had this huge iPad looking thing behind his head. I wouldn't be able to use something like that because maybe he was off the ball and standing up, so it made sense because he still had the vision but, in my stance, I try to lift my head and I can't see what's in front of me. Me personally, I would rather have my vision and know that's going to happen in a game then to not be able to see what I'm doing.

Q: Do you think you'll need surgery for that in the off-season?

A: I don't think I'll need surgery, but it's definitely something that's not going to go away until I get rest. As long as I keep playing football on it right now it's just not going to go away. It probably will be something that sticks with me for a while to be honest. B Cox told me that once he started getting them in his career, it kind of just stuck with him.

Q: What would it take to get you out of not playing this week?

A: I don't know, no leg. I'm definitely going to play with this.

Q: So, it's a stinger, is that accurate?

A: It's like a stinger, but it's like some nerve stuff. The stinger happens in the game, but it's like because it was like some nerve stuff going on.

Q: Do you think they'll be a moment at all on Sunday when everything happens before the game, you'll look around and have a just know that you're in that first playoff game? I don't know if you do that kind of thing at all.

A: There probably will be, yeah. That's what I've been saying even about being in this building every day, I've been feeling that way. I've been embracing work even on a different level than I normally do. Like coming in on a Wednesday, Thursday, during this week when everyone else is going home already feels special to me. So, I know going out there on gameday, knowing that I'm playing and there's so many other teams that are at home, it's going to feel special to me. I'm going to embrace it while it's there, while I'm having that feeling, but after the National Anthem, I'm going to treat it like another game.

Q: (Defensive coordinator) Wink (Martindale) was telling us a little earlier today, I believe it was after the first Minnesota game that he talked to you and (defensive lineman) Dexter (Lawrence) and some of the guys and said we're building a playoff defense here. Do you remember that moment and what did you take out of it?

A: I do remember that moment.

Q: It was on the plane I think he said.

A: He's been saying it quite a few times the last few games and what I take from it is that he has a lot of confidence and belief in our defense and he's reminding us because we should too. He always talks about how this is a great group and one of his best groups that he's coached. I agree, this is one of the best groups I've played with. This is a selfless group. There's a lot of times in certain packages or pressures where you just know the play is not designed for you, but at the same time you know that you have to do your job for it to work for someone else. Everyone is willing to do that job to make the defense work, and I think that's what makes it so fun playing with these guys.
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