Former Alabama edge-rusher Tim Williams had a pre-draft visit with the Pittsburgh Steelers a few days ago and later that evening he was asked how it went during an interview on ‘Movin’ the Chains’ on SiriusXM NFL Radio.
“The visit was nice,” said Williams. “It was my first time being in Pittsburgh and really going up North, and so I got to talk to Coach [Mike] Tomlin a bit and talked to the general manager and Coach Joey Porter, also and just see how I overall fit in their scheme and how I can come in and make an impact. Those guys are one pass rusher away from being in the Super Bowl last year, so I can see myself going in and making an immediate impact and providing and producing for the team.”
Williams was then asked about how his talk with linebackers coach Joey Porter went specifically.
“He was just telling me that whatever I do, just don’t forget that you have a last name,” Williams started. “There’s a lot of people that bear that last name and you just want to make them say, ‘Ok, that guy Tim Williams’, you want them to always say ‘and’, don’t ever get them to say a ‘but’ and just learn from your mistakes and learn from what you’ve been through, because as a man, you’ve got the power to change that. You’ve got the power to walk that path and it’s the path that you’re walking right now, you’re writing your own story. You’ve got your own paint brush to paint your own picture. So, he was just telling me that whatever team that I go to, or whatever, if it’s Pittsburgh, he said he just knows that I’ve got a chip on my shoulder and I’m going to do great because it speaks on film that I play with a lot of passion.”
Williams, who registered 21 sacks in the 48 games that he played in at Alabama, also talked about the pass-rushing skills that he exhibited during his college career.
“My pass-rush game is basically like a chess game,” Williams said. “Get the offensive linemen to never know what I’m about to do next. I always have him on his heels and forcing him top react off me. My get-off is second to none and I just feel once I get off in my three step, either his shoulders are going to be turned, or he’s going to be sitting inside to stop me from making an inside move, then I can just run the loop. I always have what I’m going to do in my head. I never hesitate. If he stops my first move, I’m going to go in and make a counter move.”
Williams’ indiscretions off the field at Alabama that included him failing multiple drug tests in addition to being arrested last September by campus police on a misdemeanor charge of carrying a pistol without a permit, has led to him having to answer a lot of questions about his character during the pre-draft process. He talked about how that interview process has gone during his interview.
“It was just taking ownership and just realizing that, ok, what I did, it was my young career and now I’m heading into a big-boy league, a professional league,” said Williams. “So, I have to earn the trust of those head coaches and GMs and more importantly, the guys in that locker room of whatever team that I’m going to be going to. The interview process went great.”
Williams is border-line first-round prospect with two weeks left until the 2017 NFL Draft takes place for multiple reasons. For starters, not only are teams around the league likely concerned about Williams’ character, he was also primarily used as a pass-rushing specialist at Alabama and thus wasn’t on the field as much against the run as the other top pass-rushers in this year’s draft class were.
It’s worth pointing out that Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert was present at the Alabama pro day again this year but with that said, it’s hard to imagine that Williams was the only player he was there to watch and talk to as that school once again has several players who will ultimately wind up being selected in the first two days of the draft.
While it just might be a coincidence, the Steelers haven’t drafted an Alabama player during Colbert’s long reign as the team’s general manager. Former Steelers cornerback Deshea Townsend was the last Alabama player that was drafted by the team and that was in 1998 and he was selected in the fourth-round that year.
As for Williams, he knows it’s now out of his control as to which team will ultimately draft him and in what round.
“I just leave it to God and just know that he’s going to lead me in the right way and know that he’s going to lead me to a great team and so I can go there and produce and be productive, and hopefully take that team to a Super Bowl,” Williams said.