Some thought his absence in the locker room Wednesday was a sign of disappointment or perhaps even frustration over not being named to the AFC Pro Bowl roster on Tuesday evening. But nothing could be further from the truth for Bills nose tackle Kyle Williams, who addressed being a first alternate for the Pro Bowl on Thursday.
"I'm not disappointed in any way. I'm not disappointed," said Williams. "They told me first alternate so it's kind of a bittersweet deal. It's an honor to get recognized by your fans, the players you play against and the coaches that coach against you. I'm honored with anything I get."
Williams got enough votes from opposing coaches and players to be right behind the three defensive tackles that will represent the AFC in Baltimore's Haloti Ngata, Oakland's Richard Seymour and New England's Vince Wilfork. For the fifth-year defensive lineman, who switched to the nose in Buffalo's new 3-4 front, that was enough.
"Anytime that you have the respect of your teammates, number one, and your coaches and then you get it from the guys you play against and the coaches you play against that's a big honor," he said. "When they're willing to put you up for any postseason award or recognize your play as good or they mention you that's a good thing."
Jets head coach Rex Ryan had yet to check the entire AFC Pro Bowl roster this week, but did feel Buffalo's starting nose tackle was worthy of that kind of recognition.
"I love Kyle Williams," said Ryan via conference call. "I haven't really studied the Pro Bowl list, but if he never made it there's something wrong because that guy plays his tail off."
Williams seems to understand the way Pro Bowl voting works often recognizing established veteran players on winning teams.
"You know that the Pro Bowl gets a lot of guys in there that have been there and done that and have been good players and have good years and that's what it is," he said. "I would much rather be the guy that people say is the guy that should've gotten in for the way I'm playing rather than to be a guy that gets in on reputation. And I'm not saying that about any of the guys that got in this year at D-tackle. I'm just saying in general I would much rather be viewed as the guy that should've gotten in because I'm playing my tail off."
If Williams is able to put together a 2011 season like the one he has in 2010, the rest of the league will have no choice but to elect him to the Pro Bowl. As far as Buffalo's defensive MVP is concerned that's something for down the road.
"I know this. I know that if we come out next year and we win some football games and I play well and we win some big games things are going to happen for a lot of guys," said Williams. "That's a long way off and there's a lot of work that's going to go into to replicate or even improve the way I played this year. A lot is going to go on between now and then so I can't look that far ahead. There's a lot of sweat that's going to go on to get back there."