Williams expects an overall improvement from the defense

Read what long-time Bills defensive tackle Kyle Williams said with Howard and Jeremy on Thursday

Howard & Jeremy | Weekdays 6a-10a
September 08, 2017 - 6:38 am

Defensive tackle Kyle Williams is about to enter his team-high 12th season in the National Football League, all of which with the Buffalo Bills.

The Bills took Williams out of LSU in the fifth round (134th overall) of the 2006 NFL Draft. In his tenure with the Bills, Williams has accumulated 345 tackles, 40.5 sacks, three forced fumbles and an interception in 151 games played. Williams is a top-10 player in franchise history for tackles, and is currently sixth in franchise history in sacks.

Shortly after the 2016 season had ended, there were rumblings that the 34-year old Williams was considering retirement because of prior back issues and the uncertainty of the team's direction. In March, Williams decided to return to the Bills for the 2017 season.

"It really wasn't this big, agonizing decision. I always wanted to play," Williams said with Howard Simon and Jeremy White on WGR Thursday morning. "It was just the question mark of what our new direction was going to be and if [the team] wanted me to be a part of it. When I talked to Sean [McDermott], he was like, 'Yeah, we definitely want you to be part of it.' That's really as far as the conversation really went. I said, 'If you want me to play and you want me back, I'm definitely in to play.' So here we are: year number-12, getting ready to go."

After being towards the top of the NFL on defense in 2013 and 2014, the Bills defensive unit took a bit of a nose dive in the rankings, finishing 19th overall in both 2015 and 2016 under Rex Ryan. While the stats did not look all that bad, the play on the field was very underwhelming for the talent the team had.

Now under new head coach Sean McDermott, Williams expects the Bills to bounce back as a defensive unit and play with more discipline and consistency.

"I expect us to go out and play well and hopefully put our team in a position to win, continually give the ball back to our offense to give them more opportunities and limit points. That's what we want to do," Williams said. "We expect to win, we're working every day really hard to try and prepare to win. We're trying to pay the price now to have the right to win on Sunday. That's what I expect, and I don't expect anything less."

"Hopefully we can communicate better, and limit mental mistakes. That way, we can play fast and be in better position to make plays when they come our way. I think if we can do those things, they're gonna make us a better overall defense."

Since Williams made his decision to play the 2017 season, the Bills have gone through a lot of transition. The team lost players like Stephon Gilmore, Zach Brown, and Mike Gillislee among others to free agency. Also in that time, the Bills have fired general manager Doug Whaley and brought in Brandon Beane. Most recently, the Bills have moved on from players like Sammy Watkins, Ronald Darby, Reggie Ragland and Jonathan Williams. But the veteran defensive tackle has not been affected by any of the changes that the Bills have made over the past several months.

"I've been around long enough where nothing really surprises me. Whether it's retirements, trades, cuts - you learn to roll with the punches. A lot of that is out of your control and there's nothing you can do about it. The only thing that you can control is the way that you prepare, the way that you lead your team. That's what I'm focused on doing."

"In my short time here with Sean and those guys, I've learned to trust those guys. I know that they have a vision on what they're wanting to do and how to be successful.  I've bought into that, I'm on board."

You can hear Williams' entire interview with Howard and Jeremy below:

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