In an effort to learn more about the 2011 Buffalo Bills draft class members, Buffalobills.com has launched a new Q&A feature called FOUR DOWNS …
Today, Texas assistant head coach/defensive backs coach Duane Akina talks about Bills second round selection (34th overall) Aaron Williams. Akina has tutored three Thorpe Award winners and more than 25 defensive backs who went on to play in the NFL. Akina cites Williams’ ability to play multiple positions in the defensive backfield and passion for the game as some of the player’s best qualities.
Akina shares more impressions of Williams in today’s edition of FOUR DOWNS …
Describe Aaron Williams in 30 seconds or less.
He is very athletic. He is very passionate about football. He has the ability to make plays at a number of different positions. He can play outside on the edge. He is physical. He is able to play inside in the nickel and safety in my opinion. He has tremendous position flexibility not only athletically but mentally. There are a lot of kids that can play a number of different positions athletically but cannot quite do it mentally. Aaron is able to do both.
What is Williams’ best quality as a football player?
I think his ability to make plays. The numbers did not bear that out this year, but he does have that play-making ability. I would also say his position flexibility. I would say it is unlimited for him on what his potentials are and where you can play him.
Editor’s note: Williams recorded 46 tackles, 5 tackles for loss, 1.0 sack and 13 pass break-ups in 2010.
What is the most memorable moment or biggest highlight in Williams’ college career?
It was his freshman year (2008), as a true freshman. He only played in some mop-up situations in the first couple of games. But, we were in the Red River Shootout, our big rivalry game against Oklahoma. Our starting nickel got hurt late in the first quarter and Aaron had to out there with the likes of Sam Bradford, Demarco (Murray), Juaquin Iglesias and all their outstanding receivers. I thought he was ready for that situation, but he exceeded my expectations. He went out there as a true freshman, in a very big setting against outstanding offensive personnel, and performed very well and gave us a chance to beat that team.
Editor’s note: Williams posted three tackles and one pass break-up in a 45-35 victory over Oklahoma on October 11, 2008.
What is the biggest change you noticed in Williams from the time he entered school to now?
I would say his overall maturity and his willingness to prepare and take this game very seriously.
What will Williams bring to the Buffalo Bills football team?
He will bring a lot of emotion. He loves to play and has great passion for the game. Plus, he will make plays.
The best players that I have coached – guys like Earl Thomas, Cedric Griffin, Michael Huff, Quentin Jammer, Nathan Vasher, Aaron Ross – all were very passionate about the game. I think he has fallen into that and they were great models for him. He watched those great players ahead of him and he modeled his game after those guys.
If you compare Williams to a current NFL player, who would that be?
Probably Aaron Ross is the one I think about. He was a Thorpe Award winner for us. He was very athletic – he could play nickel and outside on the edge at corner.
What will Williams contribute to the Buffalo community?
He has been a real model for us here in the Austin community. He does quite a bit of work in Austin. His voice has been heard in a number of different high schools. He is an older brother and takes that role very seriously also. I think he will be a positive member of the community in terms of spreading good will there in Buffalo.
What is Williams’ best quality off the field?
I think he is a very likeable and energetic young man who enjoys having fun. He is a real magnet to people. People gravitate to him because he is just a good person. He has great family values established by his two parents. As I watch him interact with his brothers and sisters, regardless of his profile status, I think that always says a lot about a young man who makes time for his family. That is always something that I have respected about him.