Tank Williams Q&A, 5/28

Posted on May 28, 2008 
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Veteran defensive back Tank Williams spoke with the media at the end of today’s passing camp workout at Gillette Stadium. Here is a portion of his Q&A with the media.

On how it’s gone so far with the Patriots…
It’s gone pretty well. It’s all a process when you switch to a new team. You’re trying to learn the terminology, learn the defense and get all your calls right and basically take it from there.

On first impressions…
It’s similar right now. Whenever you switch a team or come on to a new team, it’s kind of like a whirlwind. It’s like learning a new language. You just have to go in there, get into your playbook and try and be as perfect as you can on the field, because the more mistakes you make, the less opportunity you get on the field.

Has it been more difficult to try and learn this defense as opposed to past defenses?
Not really. You just have to apply yourself. You have to take the extra time to get inside your playbook, make sure you know all the little nuances. If you put enough effort into it, it’s going to come around, as you get more reps. It’s not something you’re going to get overnight — you have to put the work into it to try and perfect it.

Have you have much of a chance to talk to Rodney [Harrison]? Has that helped?
Definitely. When those guys were out there last week with us, just watching him and seeing his reactions and moves and calls he makes in certain defense, it definitely helps to try and take the edge off the learning curve.

On any preconceived ideas he may have had about the Patriots…
None whatsoever. After you’ve been in the league for awhile, you know that one perception you might get from TV and all that is not necessarily how it is in the locker room, so I just try and keep an open mind and come up in here with the mindset that none of that affects me anyway, I just have to learn my plays, get inside my playbook, and just try and perform on the field. That’s the only thing that affects me in this organization.

Where did the name come from?
When I was a baby growing up, my sister told my Mom they should give me a tank of milk because I used to drink so much, so many bottles of milk. So, the name kind of stuck around after that.

Have you worked out a ‘got milk?’ ad out because of it?
No, but I need to get one. Y’all need to get that out there for me [laughter]. That’s what y’all’s job is for.

You like the name?
Yes. I’ve had it growing up, and I’ve been able to kind of mold it into being a tank on the football field. I like to think so. I like the nickname. I’ve had it since I was a baby. It works.

Do you kind of play up to the nickname?
Nah.

This is your seventh season in the NFL, and you’re out here with rookies. What is that like for you? Is it just part of the process?
It’s part of the process. It’s an extra opportunity to get up in here and learn the plays and get a head start, you know what I’m saying? I’m ready to use every opportunity, every avenue I can get just to get more reps, get more opportunities and get inside the playbook and get my mindset to where the veterans are so when they come back there’s not a dropoff from when they’re on the field to where I’m on the field. So this is a good way to show the coaches you know what you’re doing and perform out here on the field for them.

On what he thinks his role with the team will be…
Just helping this team any way I can. I really don’t know what my role is. I just know that wherever they put me at, I need to be on top of my game and try and make plays when I’m out there. And usually, when you do that, they’ll find a role for you.

Coming here, did you see it as a place where veterans come in and find roles, like Junior Seau and Roman Phifer were able to do?
They’ve had a lot of veterans come in, but most importantly, wherever you go in the league, you perform, you’re going to be there. You don’t perform, you’re not going to be there, whether you’re a veteran or a rookie coming in. So, the mindset you have to have is that whether you’re a second-year player or seventh-year player, you have to come up in here, make plays and catch the coaches eye so they will put you out there on the field.

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