‘Un­der­rated?’ That’s just fine by DT Wil­liams

Baltimore Sun - - SPORTS - Mike Pre­ston

All through train­ing camp and the pre­sea­son, the Ravens re­turn­ing from in­jury — Joe Flacco, Ter­rell Suggs, Steve Smith Sr. and Bre­shad Per­ri­man, among others — seemed to draw the most at­ten­tion.

But what about Brandon Wil­liams, the Ravens’ con­sis­tent de­fen­sive tackle? He might not have the same name recog­ni­tion as some of his team­mates, but this off­sea­son, one na­tional writer dubbed him the most un­der­rated player in the league.

Here are some of Wil­liams’ opin­ions about the com­ing sea­son. So, what do you think about all these re­ports and spec­u­la­tion about you be­ing un­der­rated?

What do I think about it? I re­ally don’t think much about it be­cause I do what I need to do on the field and that’s all I’m

con­cerned about. I just try to work my butt off on and off the field and be the best team­mate I can be. What do you think of your de­fen­sive line this sea­son?

I love them. We’ve got a re­ally good group. We’ve got a bunch of guys back and some new faces to fill in some holes. I think we’ve got a real good shot of be­ing a re­ally good de­fense this year. Lawrence Guy and Timmy Jerni­gan are the two guys you’re up there with — what do they bring to the ta­ble? What do you like about Jerni­gan’s game and what do you like about Guy’s game?

I’ve said this time and time again, that Jerni­gan is just a pit bull. I mean he is go­ing to go hard on ev­ery sin­gle play, he is go­ing to be in your face, he is gonna do what he has to do. He is quick, strong and pow­er­ful. He can get you with the shim­mies be­cause he has a lot of fi­nesse. He is kind of like an all-around an­i­mal, and I love play­ing next to him. He gets the guys mov­ing to where peo­ple start think­ing they have to get more peo­ple on him be­cause they can’t han­dle him, so it frees up other peo­ple for me and Lawrence Guy. Lawrence Guy is a vet­eran, so he has tech­nique and power. He is one of those guys who he can pretty much play any­where on the de­fen­sive line and suc­ceed. He is great leader, a vo­cal guy who proves him­self on the field with his tech­nique. Both of those guys, hands-down, are great guys I love play­ing with. You know ex­actly what they’re go­ing to do. I can feel Jerni­gan go up the field and I kind of play off him be­cause when we are in sync, it’s a beau­ti­ful thing and pretty un­stop­pable. Can you talk about the ex­tra time you Brandon Wil­liams said he doesn’t think much about whether he’s un­der­rated. put in train­ing dur­ing the off­sea­son?

Yeah, I went down to Pen­sacola, Fla., and trained there for al­most three to four months, just get­ting the body right. I wanted to be in con­di­tion so that when I came back here I wasn’t go­ing to be be­hind the eight-ball. My weights are good, and I wanted to be at a point that once I got here I could build off that plat­form. So what’s your play­ing weight?

My play­ing weight? I have to be un­der 341 but right now I’m 336, so I’m good. What was your weight be­fore train­ing camp started?

I was 343, so I was good there. When I got into train­ing camp, it was more about get­ting every­thing else in or­der, not my weight. How much has Steve Saun­ders, the new di­rec­tor of per­for­mance and re­cov­ery, helped the Ravens with con­di­tion­ing?

He has a good work ethic and he makes sure you get good work in. He has some great rou­tines, and the big­gest thing is that he lets you know he is here for you any time you need him. So if you want a lit­tle ex­tra, he is there. He isn’t try­ing to track you down to get work in, but he wants you to get bet­ter. That door is al­ways open, even if it’s about get­ting a lit­tle stretch in or af­ter prac­tice. I like him a lot — he has brought a lot to this team as far as work­ing on foot­ball move­ments, not just con­di­tion­ing. Can you feel the dif­fer­ence? Can you tell the dif­fer­ence not just in you, but in the team?

Yeah, I see, for ex­am­ple, Eric Wed­dle — he works out with him all the time and Eric is in there grind­ing, bust­ing his butt. His physique is chang­ing and he looks bet­ter out on the field. I mean, he al­ready looked good, but now he is the to­tal pack­age. Tough­est cen­ter you’ve played against in the AFC North?

He’s not there any­more, but it’s Cleve­land’s Alex Mack. When I go against him, it’s al­ways a real good bat­tle. I’m a power guy who also has quick feet, but he has those old vet moves. Some­times he’ll get me, but I’ll get him more times than he gets me. You have to re­ally work to play against him. [Mau­r­kice] Pouncey from the Steel­ers is a good ath­lete and a Pro Bowler, but Mack is bet­ter be­cause he has quicker hands and more ex­pe­ri­ence. Who are some de­fen­sive line­men that you’ve tried to em­u­late?

Well, No. 1 is Warren Sapp, just his high mo­tor and how he didn’t take plays off. He just went hard all the time, and pretty much dom­i­nated up front. For a big guy, he could move and take on dou­ble teams. ... It was great see­ing him putting his hands on peo­ple and de­mol­ish­ing things up front. Were you sur­prised at his longevity, play­ing for 13 years in the league?

Man, that’s def­i­nitely where I want to be later in my ca­reer, just be­ing that guy who still has it be­cause of the time he put. As long as he was go­ing for­ward, he was un­stop­pable. Warren Sapp wa­sunashamed­of­be­ing a big man, and he loved it. He em­braced it, and that’s what I liked about him. Hewas big and he knew he could out-big you. Last year in the sec­ond half of the sea­son, the de­fense got a lot bet­ter. What do you at­tribute that to?

We don’t quit, and that’s it, pretty much point-blank. We saw how things were go­ing at the end of the sea­son, how things were pan­ning out, and we kind of had a come-to-Je­sus mo­ment. Guys knew the sea­son had not gone how we wanted it to go, but we weren’t go­ing to throw in the towel. We are the Ravens and we are go­ing to be re­silient and are go­ing to keep go­ing un­til we can’t any­more. We just don’t quit, we don’t have the right to quit. There were plenty of guys be­fore us who cleared the way for us to get where we are to­day, and for them we don’t de­serve to quit be­cause they never did on us. Your con­tract is up af­ter this sea­son. Have you given that much thought?

I try not to be­cause we’re not at that point, so there is no use think­ing about it. If I go out there and worry about that, then it takes me­off my ac­tual goal, which is beat­ing Buf­falo. You can’t worry about things that haven’t hap­pened yet. Right now, I’m just try­ing to do the best that I can for my team and that is to win Game1. Do you want to stay in Bal­ti­more? Yeah, I’d love to stay in Bal­ti­more.

KEN­NETH K. LAM/BAL­TI­MORE SUN 2015

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