Now in his third season NFL season, Ravens nose tackle Brandon Williams has big shoes to fill after the team traded five-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle Haloti Ngata to the Detroit Lions this offseason.
With Ngata gone, Williams will be responsible for anchoring a rush defense that ranked fourth in the league last season (88.3 yards per game) and finished tied for fifth in touchdowns allowed (eight). The 6-foot-1, 335-pound Williams played a big part in that success, starting 14 regular-season contests and recording 46 tackles, two forced fumbles and 0.5 sacks during a breakout sophomore campaign.
As Williams continues improving and gaining more experience in his new role, he believes the Ravens' defensive line can make an even bigger impact on the team's success this season.
Morgan Adsit: Before training camp, and even the preseason, you were very vocal about the defensive line and the expectations for that unit. Where do you think you guys are, realistically speaking?
Brandon Williams: I think we look very well. We look very good right now. The younger guys, Carl [Davis], guys like Kapron [Lewis-Moore], it's his first year finally getting on the field, so we're looking great, looking good. I mean, Carl still has a little way to go. But he's still raw a little, but [defensive line coach Clarence Brooks] is getting him in shape. We're looking good. I'm excited for what we're going to do this year.
MA: Packages depend sometimes on defense of who's starting. Some people get wrapped up in who's a starter, who's not a starter. But you are going to be starting this season. Did you prepare kind of different, knowing what was lost and the expectations on yourself this offseason?
BW: A little bit. Usually, I go off somewhere -- maybe down to Florida to train. But this year, I trained up here, and I actually trained with Haloti, because I saw the season he had last year. He had a great season, so I kind of wanted to see what he was doing and practice and train with him, just so I could get a feel of how he does his training workouts. I felt like it's definitely helped a lot.
MA: During the third preseason game, you guys played the Redskins. Everyone always talks about the "Battle of the Beltways." Do you guys get into that as well, like the Ravens have to be the team in this area?
BW: You've just got to beat them. It's just like in high school with that team down the street. ... You have to beat them, so that's kind of what it is like here in the same little area. ...
MA: Your name is slowly getting out there across the league as a player, but you got your name out there another way with the videos of you dancing. Do you enjoy dancing, or is it just a goofy moment that comes out for you?
BW: I love dancing. I love it all. I love dancing, singing, all of it, everything. That was just a goofy moment that came out, but I can really dance better than that.
To listen to the full interview, click here.