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Transcript: Marcus Williams training camp conference call - Thursday, August 13

New Orleans Saints safety spoke to media about adding Malcolm Jenkins to the secondary and playing Week 1 with no fans

New Orleans Saints Safety Marcus Williams
Training Camp Videoconference with New Orleans Media
Thursday, August 13, 2020

We all saw the news yesterday that the first game is going to be played without fans in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Just curious how much you thought about that and the possibility of that and how much does that actually kind of hurt you as a defense, not having fans?
"We'd love to have the fans out there. The fans give us energy and life, but due to the pandemic and all that stuff, it's unfortunate that they cannot be out there, but we still have to do our job regardless if we have fans or no fans. We'd love to have them out there, but if they can't, we've still got to go out there and do our job."

What's it sort of been like just working with Malcolm Jenkins?
"It has been good just being able to learn new things. Just being able to learn, getting more knowledge about the game, you can never stop learning, picking up new things, new trades, new skills. He's obviously come in and gave us that leadership role already. So it's been good working with him right now and just look forward to continue working with him."

I wanted to ask you about the face shield. Have you used it? And if so, what do you what do you think about it?
"I haven't actually used it. So there's no comment on that really. I can't. I haven't used it so I couldn't tell you how it is."

What about any of your teammates, have they been sort of giving you any feedback on what they think about it?
"I actually haven't seen anybody wear it, so I can't really comment on it."

When you have two corners as good as Marshon (Lattimore) and (Janoris) Jenkins, does it change anything about the way you do your job, the way you see the field? Can you like wait longer? Is there any difference when you have two guys that good?
"I think it's just about that extra knowledge of the game. They bring experience to the game in our back end and they do their job to at the highest level. It takes some pressure off everybody around us really, me included. I mean, as long as they do their job I can continue to do mine. It's not really changing what I do. I still have to do my job and continue to be the best I can be regardless of who's on the outside."

Is it possible to take more risks or anything for you? Can you maybe like wait and try to jump something that you know like they're gonna hold it down if you have that confidence in them?
"I've had confidence in every corner I've been playing with. So I don't think it's really going to change what I do. I'm just going to continue to do what I've got to do, go get the ball and make those plays."

What are you looking to improve on to make yourself into the player you want to be this year?
"I definitely have to improve on my tackling. Last year was a down year. The few years before that prior, I was doing well. Last year, I kind of let off and I shouldn't have and 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. That's just my own, personal opinion. 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 gonna shy away from it. I'm going to go out there and do what I have to do work on it at practice, work on it in walk through every single day. It's what I worked on in the offseason. So that's one area I feel like I need to improve on and the film doesn't lie."

What were you able to do in the offseason? Because obviously you don't have any teammates around and it's kind of isolated. So did you have tackling dummies? What were you able to do?
"Actually, I had a trainer who was who was out there with me (in California). Of course we were being safe in that aspect, made sure we got tested and all those things. But we were out there, my trainer, Josh Mitchell, me and him were out there working on the field, tackling open field, just different little tackles that we could work on that are going to translate to the game."

The last couple years as a team, you have been one of the best in the NFL just in terms of turnover margin. A lot of that has to do with the offense not turning the ball over, but how big of a priority has that been for you and how do you kind of assess where you've been there and why is that number so high?
"The ball is the number one important thing on the field. Having the ball, having control of the ball. (The) offense, you can see the last year they're not giving the ball away. So if they don't give the ball away and we take it away, our takeaway margins are going to be in the plus. So I think that's an area that we continue to get better at. Just continue to take the ball away and once you do that you win games."

Where do you see your role in the defense and forcing turnovers just as playing that kind of deep middle part?
"I just do what I have always been doing. Go take a ball away, try to force turnovers, takeaways, interceptions, forced fumbles, whatever I have to do. I am hungry for the ball and every single person around me on that defense is hungry for the ball. We are attacking it. We are doing it in practice and then it is going to translate to the field on gameday."

Are you staying at the team hotel, and if you are, what added bonus that for you in just keeping everybody safe?
"Right now, I'm currently not staying at the hotel, but I'm isolated in my own apartment just three minutes away from here. I know that the hotel is a pivotal thing that we're doing here. It's like a hotel bubble, keeping people away from all those outside distractions and other people trying to (spread it). The virus is around so we have to make sure we're all isolated in our own special way so it's different of course this year. You can't really be around our teammates like that, but just having that bubble is really is really good."

Just with all the safety protocols, have you kind of gotten a sense of how this training camp is going to work in terms of you getting better and working to personally improve?
"Yeah, we're out here now. We're getting tested, we're going through our safety protocols, and now's the time to get better. We're all together. We're all working to get better and one percent every (day). So I'm doing my part, the trainers are doing their part, staff, everybody is doing their part to make sure everyone is safe. When you go into the training room they wipe down all the tables, weight room wiping down all the equipment so everybody's doing their part to keep us safe and just helping me be able to do my job and getting ready for the season."

Having gone up against him in practice a bunch, what did you think of Jared Cook his first year here in New Orleans and what are you kind of expecting from him this season? Like how difficult is he did to guard?
"I think he is a beast. I think he goes out there and competes every single day. He is just a monster. He is going to go up over anybody and go up and get the ball. He is going to make those tough plays. He's going to block, do what you asked him to do. He's not selfish. He just he just a team guy all around, he talks to everybody and he makes us all better."

Can you speak to the addition of Malcolm Jenkins and what you think he can do to help you grow as a player both on and off the field?
"Like I said earlier, Malcolm is already coming in, giving his knowledge. He's showing me different things that I may not have known about (playing) safety. He just comes in and there are some things I may have not known and that he knew from the Philadelphia Eagles. So he's coming in, he's bringing that new style and just being able to add those little different things to my game will help me elevate my game and also help everybody else around us. I think he's contributed in that way."

With two practices, not full pads, but getting back out there on the field anyway, did it feel different in that you're trying to stay away from people, but you're trying to practice a contact sport?
"Obviously, we're out there together. I'm not really going to change how I'm practicing because of this. We're out here, we are all going to test this. So we know at least we have those protocols that are safe enough, right now. I do not really know how it's going to go for the rest of the season, but right now, we just have to take it day by day and continue to just do what we can. But every day I just do what I have to do to get better. And if something happens, we'll handle that and then we'll go to the next day."

Just following up on what you said about Jared Cook, what is it specifically about him that makes him a monster that makes them kind of hard to guard?
"He's fast. He's quick. He's tall. He has all the (things) that you need. There's going to be a lot of safeties that try to go up against him. It's going be a tough guard. I think he's just that that type of player that you want on your team and we have him."

Does anything about this being a contract year change your approach? What are you looking to accomplish given you are coming up on the potential pay day?
"I don't think it's changing anything for me. It's about ball, it's about going out there and doing my job. It's not about the money, it's about being the best I can be for my team. The ultimate goal is to win a Super Bowl and if I don't do my job, I'm obviously not going to get paid and if I don't do my job, we're not going to win. So I just have to do what I have to do, just like I've been doing, and that will take care of everything else."

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