Leonard Williams wore a lavender masks as he met the socially distanced media, as a result of he got here to the conclusion lastly that for him to make life depressing on quarterbacks and working backs once more, he couldn’t afford, even as the $63 Million Man, to make life depressing for himself.
“I got my first shot; I still have to wait to get my second shot, and going forward I think I have to wait another two weeks after that,” Williams mentioned.
Freedom of selection and all that, it dawned higher late than by no means on the rising star defensive finish in whom the Giants made an enormous funding and determined that assuming the management position Joe Judge is anticipating from him can be severely compromised as an unvaccinated second citizen.
“I think I would encourage most people to do it, at the same time, everyone had their freedom to do what they want to do,” Williams mentioned. “The only reason why I encourage to do it is because certain protocols hinder us from being together in certain ways. I think it would just be better going forward health-wise and not preventing any loss of games, cancellations or anything like that, just making sure everyone’s on the same page.”
Asked why he waited, Williams mentioned: “I just had a busy offseason, training, and as soon as I got back I got it.”
There was Nate Solder, who opted out of 2020, conducting his socially distanced interview on the patio outdoors the Quest Diagnostics Training Center, Devontae Booker sporting his lavender masks for his, Blake Martinez (COVID record) absorbing conferences through Zoom.
Williams, who solutions to Leo and Big Cat, had offensive linemen throughout the league asking, “Who was that masked man?” when he erupted for a career-high 11.5 sacks final yr.
Big contract. Big expectations. Big pressure not to be a one-hit wonder.
“If I was looking at it in a pressure way, it would be the same way last year,” Williams mentioned. “You try not to focus on the contract or anything like that you’re involved in or what to expect or anything like that, you just really want to focus on the grind, focus on your specific task, your specific ability and what you can bring to the team and how you can make the team better.”
Keep being a disruptive pressure. Keep sacking the quarterback.
“I’m not focused on numbers, I’m focusing on having another great season,” Williams mentioned.
Williams, partially as a result of he’s so popular with his teammates, is being counted on by Judge as one in every of his key locker-room lieutenants, together with Logan Ryan.
“I think I’ve always been a good leader by example, which at this point I think that’s like the easiest thing to do,” Williams mentioned, “and I think just stepping out of my comfort zone and being more of a vocal type of leader. I always make sure I’m on time, I always make sure I’m running and conditioned well and do everything right that way, but speaking to some of those younger guys and speaking to the team is something to step out of my comfort zone and be a bit better if a leader.”
Williams plans on sooner play recognition and taking part in sooner, and provides some credit score to defensive coordinator Patrick Graham for his breakthrough.
“I think that’s something that Pat Graham talks about a lot is adapt or die,” Williams mentioned. “And it goes to show the way he coaches and the way he plays his defense, we change our defense mid-game sometimes, we change our defense week in and week out depending on who we’re playing, and we have to learn how to adapt, and quickly. I think I have to learn how to adapt a little faster and just elevate my game more.”
Williams silenced all of the critics who panned the controversial midseason 2019 commerce with the Jets, and now it’s legacy time for him.
“Obviously they’ve had great defensive linemen come through here for years now,” Williams mentioned, “and hopefully I’m gonna be a part of that tradition for a longer time now. I’ve been able to talk with Justin Tuck and guys like Michael Strahan and those guys. We’ve obviously had a great defense in Giants for a long time now, so we’ll continue to build on that.”
He is 27 years outdated. He has but to expertise a playoff sport.
“It’s obviously been frustrating, I’m going into my seventh year,” Williams mentioned. “That’s obviously a goal of mine, and I’m looking forward to working towards that.”
He caught his first bluefin tuna, and custom had him consuming its still-beating coronary heart.
“It didn’t taste that bad, it was a little salty,” Williams mentioned.
Now that he’s begun the vaccination course of, he ought to educate reluctant teammates that if he had contracted COVID, he won’t have been in a position to style it.