Virginia Tech running back Ryan Williams was selected in the second round with the 38th overall selection of the 2011 NFL Draft by the Arizona Cardinals.
Williams spoke to the media after his selection by the Cardinals. The transcript of his remarks was provided by the NFL Communications department and ASAP Sports:
Q. How does it feel to now be an Arizona Cardinal?
RYAN WILLIAMS: It feels great. They told me they were going to get me at pick 38 and they got me at pick 38. So, hey, I don’t know how many other players any team said that to, but they told me that, and I feel great, man. Words can’t describe.
Q. What was it like waiting a whole day before you get your name called?
RYAN WILLIAMS: I was a little bit antsy. I tried not to expect too much because I heard a lot that they are not going to take that many running backs in the first round. I tried to psyche myself out a little bit because I know teams need running backs, but they really didn’t.
You know, they said Mark really was going to be the only one taken and he was. But I stand my name as the No. 2 running back and the Cardinals took me. And I didn’t wait all that long on day two. And all of my family and friends out here got another day in New York.
Q. Do you go to the Cardinals now with a chip on your shoulder, getting passed over in the first round?
RYAN WILLIAMS: I’ve always got a chip on my shoulder because I always feel like people out there are saying somebody else is better than me. I want to be the best, so if you’re telling me somebody else is better than me, then I’ve got to work hard. I’ve got to work harder than you.
So in my eyes, there’s nobody that’s really going to be classified as the best because there’s so many opinions out there, but I always have a chip on my shoulder which he can check.
Q. As an explosive guy ‑‑ do you feel you’ll get great offensive balances with the Cardinals?
RYAN WILLIAMS: I’ve played football since I was four years old and I’ve only been that guy one year in my life and that was in 2009 when Darren Evans had an ACL tear. So I have no problem sharing the ball. Even if there’s a d‑back rotation, I went through a d‑back rotation this year so we can all contribute to help this team win.
Q. Do you feel like that’s preserved your health and made your career longer?
RYAN WILLIAMS: I don’t know. I mean, there was guys back in the day who played ten years plus and they were that guy, you know, are for the team, three down back, four down back, whatever you want to call it. Sometimes people get hurt. Sometimes they don’t. I mean, they can’t help, but I want to be on the field as much as I can.
Q. A lot of running backs come in right away and have an impact.
RYAN WILLIAMS: I really believe I can come in and make an impact ASAP, but I have to do my homework first. I have to make sure I know the offense and I have to be the best student before I can go out and perform, so that’s what I’ve got to do.
Q. You’re pretty explosive. How high should the rating be on Madden Football?
RYAN WILLIAMS: 100.
Q. What do you feel that you need to do now to put yourself in the top and not be in a rotation?
RYAN WILLIAMS: Well, I just need to be the best student before I go out on the field and perform. I’m not saying it’s going to be really slow but there’s going to be some adjustments and I feel like I adjust very well, so I’ve got it going on the playbook. I know the playbook is going to be like a dictionary – big. I’ve got to do that and I’ve got to study and I’ve really got to pay attention to what’s going on and I’m willing to do it. That’s my job now and I have to take care of my job.
Q. Do you feel like you have the ability to make people miss, being explosive in space ‑‑ giving you an advantage?
RYAN WILLIAMS: Yes, sir, I really feel like that. I can be any type of runner that you want me to be. I feel like I cover all cylinders as a running back, whether I need to make people miss or whether I need to be a goal line running back, if you need three or four yards, if you need somebody to come often backfield and catch, or if you need somebody to stay in at third down and block; so I feel like all of the times that I have as a running back will help me on the next level.
Q. Obviously you’re focused on your team first, but how is it going to be when somebody says, I have you on my fantasy football team?
RYAN WILLIAMS: It’s going to be cool. I love people that admire when I do because I love doing what I do so it makes me feel ten times better.
Q. The lockout is back on again, and you don’t get a playbook for who knows how long.
RYAN WILLIAMS: Well, I don’t know how much I can actually work on the playbook, but it’s funny because when the Cardinals told me that they were going to pick me at pick 38 and that they knew that ‑‑ and that they hoped that I would be around for pick 38 — they gave me Beanie Wells’ number and I haven’t used it today but I’m going to text him today and say what’s up and see if he’s willing to help.
Q. Do you think he will?
RYAN WILLIAMS: I hope so. I think he will. I heard that he’s a really good guy, a good kid, and heard he’s a team player and I’m a part of the team now, so I hope that he’s willing to help.
Q. What are the other couple of teams you’re talking about ‑‑
RYAN WILLIAMS: Yeah, I can’t lie. I thought the Redskins would take me. I thought the Atlanta Falcons would jump 20 picks ‑‑ and I knew I was going to go seventh, so I wasn’t going to lie to myself about that. I heard that the Packers needed a running back so I thought they would take me, too. And that’s just my fault for listening to everybody and paying attention.
But yeah, those are the teams that I thought, and it didn’t happen. There was one team that told me that they would get me and they got me.
Q. What was your favorite team growing up and did you have any favorite players growing up?
RYAN WILLIAMS: For a couple of years I was a big Dallas Cowboy fan, and how much the game has changed now, you can’t really have a favorite team, because teams change so much.
So I’m just a fan of players. I’m a big fan of Michael Vick and Adrian Peterson, but I’m really big on players in the past. I paid attention to the players in the past more than I do in the present so I’m a big fan of Walter Payton, Barry Sanders, Marshall Faulk, just guys in the past. So I watched more than I watch the guys in the present.
Q. So watching film might help you out, too.
RYAN WILLIAMS: Yes, sir.
Q. You seemed to be very emotional when the pick came down; can you describe the whole moment for you?
RYAN WILLIAMS: Well, I was about eight years old when I knew what I wanted to do. And I just turned 21, so that was about 13 years of hard work, blood, sweat and tears combined in about 10 or 15 minutes. So that’s what it was. It came pouring out.
I don’t like crying. I don’t like showing people that I cry or anything like that, but today, it’s an excuse.
Q. Did you ever wonder about leaving early and just whether you got picked?
RYAN WILLIAMS: I don’t know. I mean, I always saw myself getting picked pretty high, and being one of the top backs to get picked. I never thought I would leave as a redshirt sophomore, but I did it.
So, I don’t know, man, the hard work paid off and I’m glad one of the teams realized that I can contribute to the team’s success.
Q. What type of player are the Cardinals getting?
RYAN WILLIAMS: A playmaker. A playmaker. However you want it. If you want to slash north and south ‑‑ like I was telling the guy previously, I can make plays and I can also do it special teams‑wise, too. That’s what they expect, somebody that loves football, will do anything to be the best out there, and you know, I’ve worked my butt off for this. It has been a long time. I’ve been dreaming about this day and it’s come true. So the Cardinals should you know expect 100% loyalty, and a playmaker out there.
Q. You may not be the biggest of the running backs, and you’re not afraid to run inside.
RYAN WILLIAMS: I play ten feet tall, man, that’s the tallest guy out there. That’s the biggest guy out there. So you know every time I step on the field, I tell myself, play ten feet tall, because there’s a guy named Hop that we call on the team — Hopkins. One day he came up to me and he said, “Man, you’re small.”
I was like, “Yeah, I know.”
But he was like, “You’re play ten feet tall.” I never thought about it. The next game I just kept telling it to myself game after game, “play ten feet tall.” And nobody’s ten feet tall, so I’m the biggest guy out there.
Q. Did you watch guys like Tiki Barber?
RYAN WILLIAMS: I paid attention to Tiki Barber. I really started paying attention to him when he had that funny running style and through the ball, rotate. He was a good running back. I didn’t really pay attention to him that much but I know that he did damage.