I got the opportunity to interview Thomas Williams, one of the Jacksonville Jaguars’ fifth round draft picks. He is a linebacker who played at Southern California. Thanks to the internet, we’ve had a lot better picture of who Thomas Williams is and how he feels about his sport. He in one of the many bloggers over at yardbarker chronicling his life as an athlete. You can read it here.
I did send him these questions earlier in the season so you’ll notice a distinct lack of “So what needs improvement in the locker room?” type questions.
The Jacksonville Jaguars have had a lot games that came down to the last play. Have you had your blood pressure checked lately?
No. It’s the NFL. Its the best of the best and it’s tough to win. When you play good teams you know you’re going to have close games. Every week we expect them to be close, long hard games.
I would like to know a little bit about you. Basically, all we get as a fans is that you were drafted out of USC and you’re a rookie. I like to know more about the players of my favorite team. How much influence has you family had on you?
They were very supportive growing up. There was never any time I couldn’t play a sport or they couldn’t take me to practices or games. They have always been there cheering me on. They were always proud to be there and played a tremendous role in making me believe I could do anything I set out to do. And they gave me the genes to help me play the game.
What made you interested in the game?
I didn’t start playing until High School. I was a baseball player growing up but didn’t play football because I didn’t want to get hurt for baseball. The first day of training camp my freshman year all my friends went to practice and I had no one to hang out with so I went along. I didn’t want to be alone. That’s why I started so that I could be with my friends.
How did you feel when you got the call from Jacksonville on draft day?
Very thankful. All that tension got let off my shoulders. You don’t know anything, where or when you’ll get called or if you’ll get called. Not knowing can really make you anxious. I was with my family when the call came and we were all just very happy, hugging and crying. You only get drafted once so I will always remember that moment.
I think it was Vic Ketchman who said that the coaches basically have to retrain and stomp out all of the bad habits of the players coming out of college so they can play at a professional level. How true is that?
You have to get adjusted to the speed, the playbook and the routine. Instead of having class all day long and then practice you have a different classroom environment so that’s an adjustment. I would say it’s more about learning the new routine, adding to your technique and perfecting the things that you are learning.
Continuing on that line of thought, a lot of fans believe that rookies should be ready to play day one. How realistic is this expectation?
It depends on what type of system you come into and how quickly you can get adjusted to that system and who is in front of you. The coaches might have a plan to ease a rookie into the lineup or they might want to put guys in right away. It really depends on the situation.
What veteran player has had the most impact on you so far?
All the older linebackers. Learning from them on the field and off, they teach you the things they have learned over the years and give you valuable insight on what to expect. They have been very helpful to me.
What is something that would surprise fans to hear about the Jacksonville Jaguars?
How much we’re involved in the community. Being able to help other people is really special.
Remember to check out Thomas Williams’s blog on yardbarker!