While the stats may not show it, Marcus Williams thought last season was a down year with regards to making tackles.
“The few years before that prior, I was doing well,” he said. “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.”
Williams had 55 total stops in 2019 compared to 59 in 2018, but said his deficiencies in that area were easy to spot when watching game film.
“You can see it on there,” Williams said. “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.”
So the fourth year safety out of Utah has made it a personal goal to improve in that area.
“I’m going to go out there and do what I have to do,” he said. “Work on it at practice, work on it in walk through every single day. It's what I worked on in the offseason.”
Despite COVID-19 pandemic restrictions, Williams found ways to safely work on his tackling this offseason including getting his own COVID-19 tests.
“My trainer, Josh Mitchell...me and him were out there working on the field, tackling open field, just different little tackles (drills) that we could work on that are going to translate to the game."
Saints coach Sean Payton said he expects to see the results of those efforts this year.
“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, 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,” Payton said.
Payton said he hopes Williams continues to excel at creating turnovers. In his three years as a pro, Williams logged 10 interceptions and forced two fumbles.
“He's someone we feel like that can turn the ball over (back to the offense). He has good instincts and range; he can break and each year we've been able to see that in his instincts on the back end.”