For defensive tackle
Williams spent the last two seasons in Cleveland in a 3-4 defense after four very productive years as an interior lineman in a 4-3 system in Green Bay.
Now with the opportunity to get back to his roots, Williams couldn’t be happier.
“I’m coming along pretty good. I feel like I’m back to my old self, finally back to a 4-3 defense,” said Williams. “I’m just trying to knock some of the rust off. It’s been a couple of years since I’ve been able to just line-up and get off the ball, so I’m trying to get my steps and everything back down.
“Coach (Jim) Schwartz, Kris (Kocurek), Kyle (Vanden Bosch) and the rest of the guys, we’ve been doing a good job of helping each other. They’ve been pushing me and I’ve been pushing them, so I think everything is coming along really well.”
Kocurek in particular has been a big factor in Williams’ ability to ease back into the defense he’s most comfortable in.
“He’s a great motivator, he has just as high of a motor as the players do, you know and I think that’s a great thing when you have a d-line coach like that,” said Williams. “It makes the players want to play for him and it makes them want to give that extra effort.”
One of the biggest draw backs to playing in the 3-4 for Williams was that he wasn’t able to make the same amount of big plays he made previously in a 4-3.
Adjusting his style of play into the scheme was a long process.
“It was hard because I was used to lining up and getting off the ball, and in a 3-4 defense, it’s totally different,” said Williams. “You’re stance is different and all of that, so it was kind of hard for me to adjust to it.
“I was finally starting to get into the swing of it, but then God blessed me to come back to a 4-3 where I’m comfortable.”
After being in Detroit for the past few weeks, Williams has had time to get acclimated with his new teammates and coaches, but hasn’t really experienced too much of a learning curve.
Having spent four years in a defense similar to Detroit’s, Williams is feeling comfortable in his new environment and is enjoying being in a system that he’s better suited for.
“This defense has always been in the back of my mind, even when I left Green Bay and I went to Cleveland for those couple of years,” said Williams. “I was always thinking that 4-3 and maybe one day I would get back to it and now I’m finally back.”
Williams is particularly looking forward to working with Lions’ first-round draft selection, defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh.
The idea of having a young, aggressive player to block-up the middle alongside Williams is an exciting prospect.
“I can’t wait for him to get in and get in there where we can start working and playing together,” said Williams. “When you have a young, talented guy like that coming in, not only is that a great thing, but it helps motivate and push all the other guys and the older guys.”