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Thomas Williams conference call


The following is a transcript of Thomas Williams' press conference following his selection in the fifth round of the draft.

(on being recruited my USC) "USC recruited me. Coach (Pete) Carroll, Coach (Nick) Holt, Coach Tim Davis, the whole recruiting staff saw my highlight film and took a couple of visits up to Vacaville High School. They liked what they saw and wanted to bring me aboard. They liked my enthusiasm, my energy, the way I played, and then I went onto campus."

(on if he was disappointed by not being a full-time starter in college) "When I was a freshman, absolutely, because I didn't understand the complexity of Rome wasn't built in a day. You have to understand about the defense, the schemes, how intense the defense was in a college game environment, the speed. I wasn't up to par when I first got there as a freshman. I redshirted and played behind a bunch of great football players like Lofa Tatupu, just a whole bunch of great football players. I wanted to continue to learn football. That is why I stayed there and I wanted to keep competing and enjoying every moment of it. You learn from all the great players who played before me."

(on if it was still a good experience at USC) "Absolutely. I prepared every single day and every single week like I was a starter. I think I was only 15 tackles behind the leading tackler on our team, playing all three linebacker positions, special teams. I just really enjoyed playing the football game."

(on if he has ever met Jaguars Head Coach Jack Del Rio) "No. I haven't met him but I have seen all the Inside Training Camps and I watched him play when he played for the Vikings and a little bit of tape at USC. He seems very similar to a coach I would love to play for."

(on the Jaguars saying he was a special teams standout and what makes a good special teams performer) "I love to play the game of football no matter what it is. I played fullback as a junior. I played linebacker my whole life and fullback in high school. With special teams, you compete against almost yourself. You are competing against the other guy, but you are competing against yourself. So many people take special teams downs off just because it's kickoff, kickoff return, punt or punt return. I look at it as another opportunity for someone to see what I can do. I look at it as another opportunity to defeat my opponent."

(on how many special teams units he played on in college) "I played everything on special teams even field goal when I was a redshirt freshman."

(on what he thinks he can offer the Jaguars) "Versatility, being able to play all three different linebacker positions. If something happens and I need to play short-yardage fullback then I can do that. I am definitely looking to come in and learn from the veteran players, all the great linebackers that are there now. Hard work and hopefully learning from the older guys, learning the system, enjoying being a professional athlete. This is something we dream about ever since you are a little kid. This game isn't promised and this game isn't forever so every single second I am going to give everything I got."

(on if there is one of the linebacker positions he is most comfortable with) "No. I have learned all three and played all three in a single game. Playing all three doesn't confuse me or doesn't make me hesitant. I'm a linebacker. I'm not an inside linebacker, outside linebacker. I'm a linebacker. That is what I am."

(on when he saw film of Jack Del Rio playing) "Somebody showed some film on NFL Network of him playing with the Vikings. His kind of motor…I consider myself guys like that, high motor, passion for the game, love to hit, love to run around and make plays and love to stop the opponent from getting an inch."

(on the perception that it's hard to duplicate in the NFL what players come from at USC) "I don't think it's a problem. The NFL is the best of the best. Every single week you are going to face the best offensive line. Every single week you are going to face the best running backs, tight ends, quarterbacks, etc. By coming from USC has helped prepare all of us go to the next level as far as the style and the system we play. As far as a step down of going to the next level, absolutely not. It's the elite, the best players that ever play. By going to the NFL you really challenge yourself to see what kind of player you are, (what kind of) man, (what kind of) human being, and that is why every time you get a chance to step on the field you have to give everything you have."

(on if he knows Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew) "Absolutely. Going to UCLA and reading about him at De La Salle, I followed his whole career in high school and college. We played across town. Up in Jacksonville I have watched him do a lot of great things. He's a tremendous running back and so is Fred Taylor. I remember playing with him (Taylor) on Madden and watching him and having some of my other buddies who are in the NFL now tell me that Fred Taylor is monster on Sunday's."

(on if he played against De La Salle while he was in high school) "No. We didn't play them. If we would have we probably wouldn't have made it past halftime."

(on his agent) "Jim Izler."

(on how many kids are in his family) "I am an only child."

(on if his father played football) "No. My father was a boxer. He was a Golden Glove amateur and he was number two in the world. He was in the military so he had to stop that."

(on if he grew up in a military environment) "No. My parents were divorced so I lived mainly with my mother. My mom was still tough on me. She played the mother and the father in the relationship. I think that is where I get my determination, my drive and my toughness from."

(on wanting to play all three linebacker positions) " Injuries or just me wanting to go in there and play. Somebody gets tired, I will jump over or come in or anything like that. That is how I enjoy playing the game of football and I want to compete. I want to test myself to see if I can be great at all three positions instead of just mediocre at a couple or just good at this one. I want to be great and I want to learn and I want to know what every position on the defense is supposed to be doing."

(on how difficult he thinks it will be to make the final roster) "It's going to be very difficult to make the squad. I don't think it's just going to be Jacksonville, Cleveland or Cincinnati. It can be any team in the NFL. It's the elite of the elite and by playing with the best of the best it's going to be very difficult. That is how it was at USC even though they couldn't cut players. Nothing was etched in stone. Every week was competition. If you are not producing or you're not competing then you're not going to play. Making the team…nothing is guaranteed."

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