Defensive tackle Dan Williams got to the Raiders complex in Alameda, and Justin Tuck was there to meet him. Charles Woodson showed up on Wednesday to speak to Williams and share his passion for turning things around in Oakland.
Even a big guy like Williams was moved.
“Meeting those guys, guys who have won Super Bowls and reading their energy and dedication and how much they really want to turn things around in Oakland. Today, I just decided, I definitely want to be a part of this.”
Williams has been part of a turnaround before. The Arizona Cardinals, his former team, were 5-11 before Bruce Arians was hired in 2013. They went 10-6 that year, and 11-5 the next.
“I can now speak on how things can turn around quickly the quicker that you buy into the coaching system,” Williams said in a conference call. “…A lot depends on buying in and just seeing if everyone does it we can definitely have great results. If we ever have an issue like that, I can probably, from experience, speak on that because I’ve seen what has happened when a new head coach comes in and everyone buys in.
“It doesn’t have to be a rebuilding year or we only one two games last year, let’s win five. We’ve got a new coach, we’ve got new people, a new system, let’s win right away instead of waiting two or three years or something. Just trying to change the mindset a little bit and just trying to get off to a good start.”
The Raiders must play better against the run in order to do that. They were No. 22 stopping the run last year. Williams will be vital to improving that cause. The 6-foot-2, 330-pound monster in the middle is an excellent run stuffer and should be a fixture in the Raiders’ 4-3 base defense. Williams doesn’t want to pigeonhole himself. He believes he can contribute on every down.
Williams primarily played nose tackle in Arizona’s 3-4, but has experience at three technique (where a 4-3 defensive tackles line up). He believes he can move around some and, when asked, get after the quarterback.
“They definitely said they want me to push the pocket,” Williams said. “But, definitely, we need to stop the run and just try to make the team more dimensional.”