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Aaron Williams: "I’m very blessed to have a great opportunity to be with a team like this"

Posted Mar 5, 2014

Aaron Williams speaks to the media about signing a long-term contract extension with the Bills.

DB Aaron Williams

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

President/CEO Russ Brandon Opening Statement:
Appreciate everyone staying around. On behalf of the Buffalo Bills organization, Mr. Wilson, Coach Marrone and Doug Whaley, we’re very pleased to announce that we’ve come to a contract extension with Aaron Williams. After the season we had a comprehensive off-site with Coach Marrone and Doug Whaley and Jim Monos, our Director of Player Personnel, and really laid out in detail our master plan moving in to the future. Obviously extending a player like Aaron was a priority for us and we’re thrilled that he’s going to be with us long term. I would be remiss if I did not give major kudos to Jim Overdorf and our negotiating team along with Aaron’s representative Ben Dogra who worked tirelessly through this process. I know I’m going to be asked this question so I’m just going to net it out. This is completely independent from any other negotiations we have going on at this team because we have a lot of negotiations going on at this time. Today is all about Aaron, about our future and I’m thrilled to have him in the fold moving forward. I’ll turn it over to him and the only reason I’m doing this right now is because Doug Whaley is out scouting.

Aaron Williams Opening Statement:
Just want to thank Russ (Brandon), Doug (Whaley) and Jim (Overdorf) for allowing me to sign long-term with the Bills. It’s been a great opportunity and I’m very blessed to have a great opportunity to be with a team like this. I know that Russ has a great plan to build this team in to a playoff team again and we talked at the end of the season that they’re going to give me the responsibility of leading this defense to where it used to be. That’s a dominant defense and being aggressive and being nasty out there and making plays. I told them I accept the role of leading this defense to where it used to be and just blessed that they gave me that opportunity and they trusted me to be here long-term to get this team back to where it started.

Q: When did you first learn of the possibility of this?
A:  In this business you never know, anything is a possibility. Things change left and right. They brought the subject up to me at the end of the season and I said, ‘Hey, it’s a great opportunity and I’m glad you think that. I’m going to let you guys handle the business side and I’m going to go out there and enjoy my time off and keep working out. When I hear from you guys is when I hear from them.’ My agent actually called me last night and said we feel comfortable with the deal, so let’s sign it. I said, ‘Ok great.” That was the last I heard.

Q: What do you think about your development as a player and how do you view the season you put together last season?
A: I just have to keep working and trust in the coaches and what the scheme and how they want it to be played. I don’t see too many changes to where we have to do everything. I haven’t met with Coach Schwartz yet, but speaking with Donnie (Henderson) in the offseason and just checking up on him and seeing how he is doing, we haven’t talked any football yet, but I feel real confident that nothing major is going to change. There might be a few things here and there, but I think team wise once we get all the pieces together we will be fine.

Q: Obviously the move to safety was a big change to a certain degree and it seemed like it suited you. Looking back do you feel pretty good about how you made that transition?
A: Moving to safety wasn’t a huge change. The only change you have is just more responsibility of play calling. I keep saying when you’re at corner you don’t really have a responsibility of knowing what everyone is doing. You’re out there on an island man to man the whole time. Coming to safety I do feel comfortable out there. I like being in control and making sure everybody is in the same position and the right position. Putting people in position to make plays. It’s being back there as a quarterback and it’s something I grasped in the last season and Jairus (Byrd) taught me a lot in how to control the defense and how guys can trust me to put them in the right position. Moving safety is probably one of the best things to happen in my career.

Q: You talked about how there won’t be many changes schematically. There could be a big change in the defensive backfield. We would be remiss not to ask you what it might be like with the Jairus Byrd situation hanging over your head.

A: The whole thing about Jairus Byrd, people ask me every day if we’re going to sign Jairus back. To be completely honest, that’s none of my business to even talk about. I’m going to let Russ, Doug and Jim handle that. If Jairus does come back that would be the greatest thing ever because our chemistry is unbelievable. I said it at the end of last season that we can look at each other and not even talk and know what we are talking about. If he doesn’t come back, good luck to him. We’re always going to be best friends. The business side is never going to change our relationship outside of football. We just have to move on and find another piece to try to replace his role and whatever we’ve got to do I know Russ and the office upstairs is going to have a game plan for that to happen.

Q: Did you say you haven’t met Jim Schwartz yet?
A: I have not.

Q: Have you been in town?
A: No I haven’t been in town. I just came in.

Q: As far as being a free safety and playing with range, would the fact that you played corner your whole life have helped you to be able to control the deep half when you need to?
A: Being with Coach Henderson, he really helped me out with how to be rangy like Jairus has been for us the last few years. It takes repetition and practice. Yeah I’ve been at cornerback, but sometimes I’d goof around and be a safety. I think my rookie year I played safety for our scout team for a little bit. It’s never just been about cornerback. I’ve always tried to help my craft out anyway possible. I think moving to safety, it helps me. My man coverage is a lot better, I’m obviously good in the box and my range, and I’m perfecting it a little more. I keep studying film and seeing other players like Jairus and Earl Thomas and other great safeties like Troy Polamalu. See what they do and what makes them great. Match my game and how can I increase my value in the backfield.

Q: It seems like the move to safety has become the best position for you and it certainly paid off.

A: Yeah. Wherever Coach wants me to play I’m going to do the best of my ability to be the best player out there on that field. Just like last year we had an emergency where we didn’t have enough cornerbacks out there so they said we need you at cornerback. There is no if, ands or buts about it. I’m not going to question any of their process of wanting me to be out there. I just go out there and do it. I try to remember everything I’ve learned to get me to this point and just do it. As far as moving to safety, it’s a great opportunity for me and it helped me in my career in getting to where I’m at today. With the help of my teammates as well, I always have to thank them as well.

Q: Is it a four year extension?
A: Yeah.