Our series of offseason interviews continues with Jamal Williams (JW), a 6-3, 348 pound defensive tackle whom the Broncos signed as a free agent. Williams spent the first twelve years of his career with the San Diego Chargers and figures to anchor the middle of the Broncos’ defensive line this season.
850 KOA: You had opportunities to play elsewhere. What was the deciding factor in signing with Denver?
JW: (Broncos’ defensive line) Coach (Wayne) Nunnely was one of the deciding factors. I wanted the opportunity to play for a few more years and I’m very familiar with the AFC West. That’s an advantage for me, too, because I’ve played against these guys all the time, Kansas City, the Raiders and I’m going to play against the Chargers. Being familiar with the division foes was a big plus.
850 KOA: You guys had your fair share of success in San Diego and the Chargers have dominated the AFC West the last few years. Aside from having a lot of good players at a lot of positions, what were a couple of keys to the kind of success you had defensively?
JW: It was a tight-knit group. Everybody played hard for each other. Football is football. You have to make sure you’re the most prepared team on Sunday and play the hardest.
850 KOA: There have been a lot of changes to the Broncos’ defense this offseason. How do you feel being a part of that and what is the key for this new defense to be successful?
JW: Our team has a player pretty much in place at each position and the guys we brought in are going to help out even more. We’re just trying to be pieces of the puzzle and win some games and bring a ring back to Denver.
850 KOA: You look at the odd-man front you played in San Diego under Wade Phillips and others and then you come here and this is a 3-4 defense as well. Even though you haven’t been here very long, do you know if there will be differences in what you’re asked to do with the Broncos compared to how the Chargers used you?
JW: A 3-4 is basic. The only changes here are going to be terminology. I’ve been coached by Coach Nunnely for 11 years so we know each other. Coach Martindale can make things pretty simple for me and he’s giving me an idea of what he wants me to do. I’m just trying to do my job and get in the trenches and get the job done.
850 KOA: What will it be like to play against your former team and maybe even get a hit or two on Chargers’ quarterback Philip Rivers?
JW: When I signed here, Philip sent me a text and I sent him a text back saying the red jerseys you wear in practice are off now. We kid around with that stuff but it’s going to be interesting. Being there for so many years, it’ll (be) a change but football is football and that’s what I like to do. So come Sunday, it’s on.
850 KOA: How have you adjusted to the altitude in Denver?
JW: Wow. It takes minute to adjust to it but I think I’m doing pretty well. The training has been pretty good so I’m up and ready and getting used to everything.
850 KOA: Now that you’re in the mountain time zone, when you talk with people in San Diego you can wake them up in the morning since you’re an hour ahead of them.
JW: You must have heard because I do it every morning. I say, ‘Hey, I’m one hour better than you guys so get ready. Mark it on your calendar (when the Broncos play the Chargers).’ I can be a pain in the morning for those guys.
I would love to get your thoughts on how Williams will fit in to the Broncos’ revamped defense and what kind of impact you think he will have.
I’ll have another interview in a few days.
Thanks for reading,