He wasn’t expecting it when he walked in the door at One Bills Drive a few weeks ago for the start of the team’s offseason conditioning program.
“Coach said, ‘We’re going to move you to safety. That’s where you’ll best benefit the team.’ So after that you just go with it,” said Williams. “There’s no second guessing it. You don’t second guess coach. He’s the man and the head honcho so I ran with it and it worked out so far.”
If his first day of practice is any indication the coaching staff is going to look awfully astute.
“I had a pick and a fumble recovery, so it was a good starting off point,” said Williams. “Wherever coach wants me to play I’m going to play. It’s not that I don’t like it or I do like it, it’s about coach putting me in the best position for the team.”
Since the time he was drafted as a second-round pick in 2011 it’s been speculated that Williams may eventually transition to safety. Bills GM Buddy Nix didn’t even rule it out the day he drafted the Texas product. Now two years later Nix explained the value of having a cover corner at safety.
“Everybody is playing four or five wide so sometimes you’ve got five corners in the game,” said Nix. “That’s one of the things that’s a big advantage for Aaron Williams is he’s played corner. So if he needs to walk up and play the slot he can do that.”
“I’m a corner playing safety. That’s the way I look at it,” said Williams. “They want me to have an advantage of covering tight ends or covering guys in the slot. I could still play corner if they put me back there. It’s a corner playing a safety.”
At the same time Williams doesn’t deny that lining up at safety is dramatically different from corner.
“Everything changes, not just your reads,” said Williams. “You’re telling the cornerback what they’re doing, you’re telling the linebackers what they’re doing and you’re telling your other safety what you’re doing. So it’s a completely different way from playing corner when you’re playing safety, but I’m adjusting to it and I’m having fun back there.”
Williams said he’s been leaning heavily on teammate Da’Norris Searcy to get acclimated to the position sooner rather than later.
“Me and Da’Norris talk a lot,” he said. “We’re next door neighbors so we go through the playbook every day. He’s helped me a lot because he’s played this position and he’s real experienced with it. So as long as I go with him and be in the film room with him and coach I’m fine.”