JACKSONVILLE – He's living a dream, and savoring the moment.
Jaguars cornerback Darious Williams is not only playing for his hometown team, he's doing so at a time when the franchise is ascending with a strong recent past and promising future.
That makes a cooler situation even cooler.
"It's special," he said. "It's always cool to help start a whole new road."
Williams, a sixth-year NFL veteran and a starter for the Jaguars the past two seasons, spoke to senior writer John Oehser for this week's Week 6 2023 O-Zone Podcast. He discussed multiple topics, including his path to the NFL from Creekside High School in St. John's County near Jacksonville.
Williams, after beginning his college career at Division III Marietta and finishing it at the University of Alabama-Birmingham – which dropped and restarted the program during his time there – first made the NFL as undrafted free agent with the Baltimore Ravens in 2018. He joined the Los Angeles Rams off waivers in 2018, playing there until signing with the Jaguars as an unrestricted free agent in the 2022 offseason.
"I'm a big believer, so I always say, 'God's going to label me,''' he said. "All I do is work just for his glory, then for the glory of the team. I'm always going to put in work even if it's not to where people are seeing it. I don't have to do stuff in public or do stuff to have it be seen and let people know that I'm working. My goal is to be the best at whatever I do."
He registered his first two interceptions with the Jaguars during their London games the past two weeks, returning an interception 61 yards for a touchdown in a Week 4 victory over the Atlanta Falcons and intercepting Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen in the fourth quarter of a victory this past Sunday.
Those have been two highlight plays in season in which the Jaguars' defense is improving from last season, allowing 21 or fewer points in four of five games and emerging as a solid unit for a first-place team.
"I think we got a taste of what we actually could be from last year," Williams said. "We're all just trying to ride off that momentum, ride off the high and now we know we can be a good defense.
"That's just our team in general. And I think it's all just coming together."
Listen to the entire O-Zone Podcast with Williams below. To view more episodes of the O-Zone Podcast, click HERE.