San Francisco 49ers defensive tackle Ian Williams got off to a strong start in the 2015 season, but like much of the defense, has had some struggles in recent weeks. The defense appears to finally be coming around after a pair of awful performances. The team has performed significantly better at home than on the road, and now face a tough challenge as they head east to face the New York Giants.
Williams chatted with the media on Tuesday, and provided some insight into how the team performed better against the Green Bay Packers. The team blitzed less, sending in more four-man pressures. They also used more man-to-man. Williams said they simplified things in the game plan this week, and it helped the unit play faster.
There was talk in the offseason about Eric Mangini offering up more complicated packages, and players having to better prepare for that. The unit struggled a lot the last couple weeks before this simplification. The question now is if Mangini will stick with the more simplified defense against the Giants and beyond, or mix things up with some of his more exotic looks.
Keys to defensive success:
Eric Mangini a great game plan for this past week, and we were able to do some good things. But at the end of the day, we didn't do enough to put a W on our side.
On not blitzing as much, more man-to-man being more their identity:
I don't know about the coverages back there, we're not focused on that back there. It was just a good game plan overall. Just helping everybody on the defense. Just simplifying everything. Helping guys play faster, and that's something we're going to look forward to in the next few weeks.
On first four weeks being feeling out process:
I wouldn't say we were kind of feeling it out. It's the NFL, so we kind of feel things out in the preseason. But yesterday was a big step, huge step for the team. And I think hopefully that'll snowball into some Ws coming up.
On expecting Packers to run as much as they did:
We anticipate everything. You got Aaron Rodgers back there with a high potent offense, you look for certain things, but you gotta expect everything.
On what changed after first series that slowed them down:
Nah, we just did what we were doing. They're in the NFL too, and they get paid. They're great players, Rodgers was the MVP last year. Then you got Cobb out there, you got Eddie Lacy. They have a great offensive line. They're gonna make plays too. We just as a defense, you gotta do everything you can to make more plays than they make plays.
On being able to sack Rodgers:
It's very important. Just to have the quarterback thinking about having to move his feet, and guys rushing off the edge. It was great to see those two guys out there playing so well. And I wish we would have had Q's sack on that first series. I wish we could have had that sack for him, but things don't always fall your way. It was definitely a great thing to look at and have going on this week, so we have that going forward.
On talking to other players as team captain about not pointing fingers:
I mean that's not our problem. We're all in their working. it's a team, we all have the 49ers on our chest and on our heads. So there's no pointing fingers. We're in this together, so we win together, we lose together. We're not worried about all that, we're just trying to go out there and win, and do what we can to help the team win. We're not worried about swagger or this or that, we're just worried about going out there, and we have the New York Giants this week, and we're just worried about going out there and trying to play the best we can to our abilities, and get a win.
On differences playing at home, where best defensive showings have occurred and how to carry it on road:
It's football, so there's no difference. I mean you may have, the offense may have a louder crowd in away games. Defense may have louder crowds for home games, I mean, that's what it is. At the end of the day, it's football. It's what we've been doing since we were kids, and you can't blame being on the road or being at home.
On benefit of prime time east coast game instead of 10am east coast game:
Not really. We're professionals, so you gotta be ready to play, just like in training camp, you may be sore Monday and you gotta go right back out there Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. It is what it is. We're all professionals, so it's a part of the job.
On being focused after Notre Dame's loss to Clemson (sarcastic):
Oh that's a tough one. [Laugh]. It's a tough one, to lose like that. I had Ferg, our head athletic trainer, he was giving me some trouble. And then we go a couple others guys that are from Clemson, so they were giving me some trouble. So I'll probably have to wear some nasty orange colors this week.
On being able to watch the game:
I was, and then I was driving. I was trying to hurry up and get to the hotel so I could make it before the ending.
On differences when he is in nickel vs. nose:
It's almost the same position, just a half man out. We work on our keys every week. It's the same thing from center to guard to tackle, just different players.