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Transcript - Marcus Williams Conference Call 1/15/21 | NFC Divisional Round 2020

New Orleans Saints defensive back Marcus Williams praises teammate Marshon Lattimore and talks about the Bucs offensive unit prior to the Saints divisional playoff matchup against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday, January 17, 2021.

New Orleans Saints Safety Marcus Williams 
Video Call with New Orleans Media
Friday, January 15, 2021

How have you seen this Tampa Bay offense kind of change from week one to week nine, to the film that you're watching now?
"They've been taking a lot more explosive shots down the field. Their game's evolved, they've got a lot of different people involved with AB (Antonio Brown) and 14 (Chris Godwin) is back and number 10 (Scotty Miller). So, you just see them with a more explosive offense and taking shots. So, that's what I've seen from week one to now."

Kind of following up on that, you guys have, you know, really seemed to kind of cut out the big plays that opponents were, you know, when they try to take shots on you. Just how much confidence do you have that you guys are able to go out there and kind of eliminate some of those opportunities?
"It starts in practice. We focused on eliminating plays in practice, and you see it translate in the game. So, we just take it one play at a time and that's our mentality, one play at a time and eliminate the explosives. That's how you win games."

I know in season, in the moment, it's hard to realize the magnitude or the history of the moment, with Drew (Brees) turning 42 today and Tom Brady being 43, is that.. like, can you? How do I word this, appreciate the history of the moment, just knowing that these are two guys that you grew up watching and you're playing in a playoff game, where both of them are still playing in their early 40s?
"It's just a blessing to be able to actually play with Drew and go up against Tom Brady. Just as young as I am just, growing up watching them, now I'm actually playing with and against (them). It's a great opportunity. I appreciate it and I know everybody else appreciates it as well."

How important when you're looking back at those first two games against Tampa was the pass rush in your limiting them the way you did and the turnovers you guys forced, like, I know that you guys aimed to play kind of a complimentary style there. But important was it specifically?
"Takeaways are a major part in every game, being able to take the ball away, able to disrupt the passer, that's all complementary. And that helps you all around. So, being able to rush the passer helps us in the back end take the ball away. We just have great guys that are covering, rushing and that just contributes to us getting those takeaways and stopping them on offense."

Just being on the field from your perspective, is it as impressive to you guys, the way that Marshon (Lattimore) is able to play against Mike Evans consistently as it is to everybody else? Like just the way he kind of erases him?
"Marshon locks up everybody, it is not just Mike Evans. Marshon goes out there and everybody in our backend does one play at a time. And we try to go out there and lock everybody up. We're not just worried about Mike Evans, we're worried about every single person on the offense. We work as a team. And that's how it works. The line does their job, the DBs do their job, linebackers do their job. And when we all play with confidence, it's hard to beat us."

Maybe if you think back to like the first time that you ever met Drew Brees, whether it was in the locker room or whatever the moment was, I mean, is there an aura that like Tom Brady has to him? Like a presence when he's on the field, maybe similar to Brees, that when you guys play him there's like an excitement level just to be playing against somebody that's one of the game's greatest?
"I mean, I'm not really, I'm not really shell shocked. I am not like, when people are famous or anything I am not shocked at that. It does not really matter. Somebody is somebody, he is a great player, but when I go out there, I am ready to dominate him. And that is just how it is. I'm not going to go into a game like, oh this is Tom Brady. I am going into the game like, this is a quarterback, I have to stop him. This is my defense against their offense. I am not looking at him like, oh, I am scared. We are not scared of anybody. I'm not scared of anybody. But, so when I go out there, it's like, it's just another quarterback to me."

I mean is there, I imagine as a competitor though, does it add like some extra juice or just any type of intensity when you play someone like that? I mean I'm sure when people play Drew Brees they get that extra level of excitement, maybe?
"I'm intense versus everybody. You don't pull up just because of somebody that may not be in the Hall of Fame or something like that. You've got to go out there every week willing to dominate, you do not go out there just because it is Tom Brady and elevate your game. Your game should already be elevated. So, when I go out there, I'm already planning to play at a high level, not just because of him, but because I got to do what I have to do for my team. But, not just because I'm going against Tom Brady."

Just personally how do you feel like this year went for you? Do you feel like you have, obviously with the team goal of advancing still in front of you? Do you feel like you accomplished what you wanted to accomplish this year personally in the regular season?
"Personally, there is always more for me. I usually keep my goals to myself, but there is always more. I never just go into the season like trying to just shoot for this particular number. I shoot for a particular number but then I try to exceed it. But, I'm always trying to make myself better in any way it could be, find my deficiencies and try to fix those and just continue to get better. And that is what I felt like I improved on this year, just finding the deficiencies, whatever they are and get better each play and each game."

Last week was your first week back after missing a couple games with your injury. You played every snap, but how did it feel to get back out there after missing a couple?
"It felt great to be back out there with the team. You never want to be watching from the sideline. But I know my guys were going to hold it down and that's what they did. They held it down and there was let off. That's just what we do and that's what we preach in our DB room. If somebody goes down, next man-up mentality. And that's what we have back there. And that's just kudos to my guys back there."

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