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New Orleans Saints safety Marcus Williams aggressively targets area he wants to improve

'I definitely have to improve on my tackling'

Marcus Williams' penchant for getting his hands on the football as a safety was one of the obvious reasons the New Orleans Saints drafted him in the second round of 2017, and the film doesn't lie.

Ten interceptions (one returned for a touchdown), 23 passes defended, two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery in 46 regular-season games is a three-year resume that suggests Williams knows what to do when the ball is in his vicinity.

But the film didn't lie about his tackling in 2019, either, he said. And that's an area that he knows he has to fortify in order to become the player he aspires to become.

He recorded a career-low 55 tackles last year, and the ones that got away were his emphasis this offseason.

"I definitely have to improve on my tackling," Williams said Thursday during a media availability. "I felt like last year was a down year. The few years before that, I was doing well and last year, I kind of let off and I shouldn't have. I know I need to get better at that.

"I think that's one thing that will elevate my game and help everybody else around me. I know you can see it on film. You can see it on there, you can't be blind to it. I can't be blind to it. I know that's what I need to improve on and I'm not going to shy away from it.

"I'm going to go out there and do what I have to do – work on that in practice, work on it in walk-through. Every single day. That's what I worked on in the offseason. That's one area I feel like I need to improve on. The film doesn't lie."

Coach Sean Payton seconded the assessment.

"He's someone we feel like that can turn the ball over (back to the offense)," Payton said. "He has good instincts and range, he can break and each year we've been able to see his instincts on the back end. (But) I think he's got to work on his tackling.

"He understands that and he's got to be better in that area. But I think each season we've seen steps that have really helped our defense and we like the combination now when you start looking at smart players like him, (free agent safety) Malcolm (Jenkins), those guys on the back end that have played (a while), I feel like you're now getting to a point where his experience is showing.

"And hopefully the ball production continues and then he continues to work on, you know, some of the things. Like every one of these guys have got areas we want to really improve in and I that's the one area I think that that he needs to be better at."

Williams didn't have teammates and coaches he could work with, because offseason activities were scuttled due to Covid-19 precautions. Minus teammates, he and his trainer had to do the work. Williams said they took all the necessary precautions, but still were able to produce quality simulations.

"(We) were out there working on the field," he said. "Tackling in the open field, just different tackles that we could work on that are going to translate into the game."

The end result, Williams hopes, will lead to film that will shine a favorable light on all facets of his game.

The best photos of New Orleans Saints safety Marcus Williams during the 2019 season.

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