Head Coach MARVIN LEWIS and Defensive Backs Coach MARK CARRIER
ML: “Shawn Williams has great physical tools and has been a great leader down there on that defensive football team at the University of Georgia. There are a lot of good players on that team, and he’s done an outstanding job down there. Been a quarterback for the defense on the field and is an aggressive, aggressive player. He’s got great speed, quickness, measurable, moving in and out, so, we really feel like he comes here and has an opportunity again to compete for an opportunity to play and will for sure upgrade us on special teams as well. If he’s not a starting player, he’ll play and make us better on special teams. We’re just excited to again, add another guy with that caliber background. Like I said earlier today, with the addition of
You kind of finished that off today, didn’t you?
ML: “Yeah. That’s been great. It was big. Running back, safety, tight end yesterday who is really complementary to our depth at that position, another defensive end today, so it’s an opportunity to keep getting the football team better and strengthen it with quality competition, quality depth and so forth.”
The reports say this guy is a “box” safety:
ML: “That would be good because we’ve got a good field safety in
You like your safeties to do both, right?
ML: “Yeah. We feel good about him and that’s what you know, when you’re picking a young player like that, he’s got to do what they ask him to do on defense and I would say they had two box safeties at Georgia because they are physical players.”
Mark, are you impressed with his ability to think out there? You guys seem to be high on smart players:
MC: “Yeah. One thing you like about his kid is he played in a NFL-style defense with Todd Grantham, the defensive coordinator down there at Georgia and he barked out a lot of signals, they give you a lot of different looks and obviously had a lot of guys in this draft and one thing I like and fits right in with our room is that he’s not afraid to stick his face in the fire. That’s a big deal for me and a big deal for our room. You come play for us, you better be ready to go hit somebody.”
Georgia has two safeties in this draft — what gives him the edge over the other guy (Bacarri Rambo)?
MC: “What we like about him, kind of what Coach Lewis has said, is we like his size, that he’s faster, that you can see on the field where he’s the leader, the field general out there. I think personally he’s a better tackler, and if you play for Mike Zimmer and you play safety, you better be a good tackler. And this kid is a good tackler.”
Coach, what makes Georgia players attractive to draft?
ML: "Well, I think the coaching staff there under Coach Mark Richt has done a great job teaching them to play aggressive, attacking football. Whether it be offense, defense, they’re all no-nonsense guys, so we really like their work ethic, how they handle and carry themselves as people and that says a lot about the program. I think you guys would agree that they’re personable players, they’re always approachable, they’ve always been trained the right way and they do a great job of that down there. It’s good to get another Bulldog and we have a good group of Bulldogs here and he becomes comfortable right away with guys he knows and has played with.”
So he fits the trademark of personable but doesn’t really say a lot?
ML: “Doesn’t say a lot and you know, let’s do more than we say, so that’s great.”
So basically the third day tomorrow it’s more about fortifying depth:
ML: “Yeah. We’ll work hard at gaining some depth at some spots. As you know, we’ve kind of filled what were in my mind perceived open chairs, so tomorrow we have an opportunity to really fill in our roster with some guys who will come in here and compete. That’s the great thing. If you look at the guys we’ve added in the fourth round, fifth round, sixth round, seventh round the last years, there’s a guy that pops up as a very legitimate player for us. And everybody has different guys you can name. So we just have to keep at that. They have to have some special qualities. What I always remind the coaches is they’ve got to have a quality that enables them to really have an opportunity to stay here. They have to have the work ethic and energy within them.”
Do you put Williams in the mix there to start at safety?
ML: “No, I don’t think we have to put anybody in any mixes right now for anything. We’ll let guys play and go and see who earns what.”
SW: “It was exciting because I know that I have so many Georgia players that have been here, and they’re in Cincinnati and doing great things with the Bengals. When I got the phone call and they told me, I was like, ‘Add me to the list of Bengals from Georgia, and let’s go off and do something great and help the team win and do whatever I can.’ ”
Is that something you Georgia guys know going into the draft, that the Bengals frequently pick players from your school?
SW: “We go into the draft hoping and praying to be put in that best situation to help whatever team we go to, and just to win and play the game that we love so much.”
How well do you know some of the Georgia players that are currently on the roster, like TE
SW: “When I came in my freshman year, I remember Geno being positive and being a role model for me to look up to. Same thing goes with
What do you think is the biggest thing that you bring to the table?
SW: “I’m just a football player, man. Just a great guy in the locker room, and play football and put my heart into. Just do whatever the team needs and play football, that’s what I love doing.”
Georgia had a great season this year, and you were considered one of the big parts of it. What do you think was the biggest thing you brought to the team this year, and what did you learn this year from a leadership standpoint?
SW: “Leadership is one thing that I do bring to the table. I try to be a leader that leads by example — go out, practice hard, prepare and just do the best that I can do. Hopefully that’s what I can bring to the table for the Bengals — be a player that’s going to come out hard each and every day. In the secondary, we’ll just try and make plays and ball like DBs do.”
The coaches just mentioned that you are physical out on the field. Is that something you pride yourself on?
SW: “I do pride myself in being very physical. That’s the only way I know how to play the game — hard and physical. I just try to put fear in the offense that I’m going against. Put fear in them and make them have to account for me all the time. Make the wide receivers and running backs know that they’re going to get hit. I just try to make a big play.”
Other than the all of the Georgia players being here, what do you know about the Bengals and their defense?
SW: “Not much right now. But it won’t take me long to get to know a lot. I’m just going to come in and learn, and help the Bengals win.”