Today’s “blog bit” is with rookie running back Andre Williams, the team’s fourth-round draft pick who can could very well emerge as one of the steals of the draft made by the Giants.
Williams of course ran for 2177 yards and 18 touchdowns last year for Boston College, so he has the tools to be an effective weapon in this new offense.
“A big fit,” is how running backs coach Craig Johnson described Williams when asked if he was a fit for this offense.
“He’s a big, strong physical runner. He led the nation in rushing last year in college football. He is strong; he’s a very explosive runner. I hear that from the defense, they say, ‘Man, that guy has really got it going.’ I’m really excited to see what he’s all about and you can tell, he runs hard and you can tell.”
During the spring, Williams seemed to work mostly as a short yardage/goal line back. Of course if he can demonstrate an ability to pass protect, he’ll probably see his role increased even more in the offense, which is something that Johnson said he stressed to the rookie.
“As I have told him, that’s all great. When the pads come on then you’ll get the chance to separate a little bit,” Johnson said.
“Am I concerned about how he is going to do? Not at all, but I still have to see it for all of the young players before I get real excited by the young guy.”
Q: So you survived your orientation to the organization and this offense. How did things go for you?
A: I’m glad that I got through the offseason training healthy. I had a good introduction to the offense and the team in general. I’m excited for the time off just to get myself in order and ingrain myself in the area and to set myself up for the season.
Q: What’s your plan for these next few weeks as far as building on what you’ve learned this spring?
A: I would just say to maintain; don’t lose anything you gained over this offseason. I’m actually going to be around here. I’m moving into my new apartment in July. I have to find out where the yoga studio is – I’m into yoga and Pilates–and just get back into that, maybe swim a little bit. I’ll also be here training, doing the strength and conditioning stuff.
Q: Do you anticipate you’ll get to watch any film?
A: I’m sure there’s film somewhere we can watch. Usually we do that on our iPads, but they collected those. We can’t watch film with the coaches, but I think we can watch film on our own.
Q: What do you like about this offense and how does it suit your skills?
A: I think it has a good combination of gap schemes and zone schemes. I’m familiar with both. I ran a little bit of everything at (Boston College), having gone through so many different offenses, so I think I’m going to fit in well. I like the different combination of things they’ve got going on, given the running back to be versatile in the offense.
Q: Coming out of college, a knock on you was your pass receiving abilities. How have you progressed in that area?
A: I think I definitely progressed in that area. That’s the feedback I’m getting from the coaches as well, but there’s definitely always work that I can do, so that’s definitely going to be a focus the rest of this offseason into training camp.
Q: Can you talk about the dynamics of the running backs room and how everyone is getting along in terms of building that camaraderie?
A: I think we have a great mix of talent at the running back position. Rashad (Jennings) is a very versatile running back. He’s the only seasoned guy, besides Peyton (Hillis). Peyton is a big, thicker back and is great at protecting the quarterback. He picks up the blitz very well. David (Wilson) is the speed guy, and I’m more of the slasher, get-up-the-field-and-finish-the-defense type of guy. So I think that we’re going to be able to do a lot of great things in terms of stressing defenses out.
Q: What about your lead blockers?
A: Absolutely. John Conner – Chugga John. That’s the nickname I gave him. Chugga John and the Hynocerous (Henry Hynoski).