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Q&A with Darrent Williams

Posted Oct 13, 2006

Darrent Williams has established himself as a key component of Denver's defense as a starting cornerback. Williams took time to answer questions from the fans.


Darrent Williams
Small in stature, Darrent Williams has come up big since the Broncos drafted the cornerback in 2005. PHOTO: ERIC LARS BAKKE

Darrent Williams arrived in the NFL with aspirations of becoming a stellar starting cornerback and becoming a standout on returns.

He's already done both.

The second-year cornerback has established himself as a key component of Denver's defense, earning the starting cornerback slot opposite Champ Bailey last year and tightening his grasp upon it at training camp after recovering from a groin injury that hindered him for the final month of 2005 and the postseason run that followed.

Meanwhile, on special teams, Williams averaged 23.8 yards a kickoff return and 9.2 yards a punt runback in his rookie year. Return opportunities have been less frequent this year, but he hopes to work his way back into more duty there as the season progresses.

Williams has made nine starts in 2005 -- the most for a Broncos rookie at the position since Ring of Famer Louis Wright in 1975.

He has 79 total tackles, a sack, two interceptions and 13 passes defensed in his 15-game career to date.

Williams sat down on Friday to answer your questions.

When you are back about to return a punt, what makes you decide to try and return it or call a fair catch?

Jake D.
Burbank, Calif.

It depends on the flight of the ball -- how long it stays in the air. You kind of go through a clock in your mind and count to four. Because if it's up there longer than four seconds, nine times out of ten you need to make a fair catch.

How does it feel playing alongside Champ Bailey?

David Flores
Laredo, Texas

It feels real good. You can pretty much compare yourself to him and see what it takes to be the best in this league. It's a real honor to play with him.

Since most quarterbacks tend to throw the ball away from Champ Bailey's side, the pressure for you to make big plays is twice as hard; how do you deal with the extra pressure?

Amarillo, Texas

You know just by playing with him you're going to get a lot of recognition if you can be on the other side making plays. I just go out and work hard and try to get better every day. That's how I've been successful so far.

How has your confidence level changed coming into this year after having a great rookie season?

Jeremy Blackburn
Surprise, Ariz.

I know more about the game. It's kind of slowed down for me. Everything doesn't seem 100 miles-per-hour. Everybody is fast, but at the same time I can read more. The game's slowed down to me and I know more.

At 5-foot-8, what in particular do you do to compensate for your height?

Myke Jo
Costa Mesa, Calif.

The game isn't really about size anymore, especially at the skill positions. It's more about speed and quickness to me. That's what I use. I'm usually smaller than guys I go up against, but I'm usually faster and quicker than them.

Aloha, Darrent! What type of receiver do you find more difficult in man-to-man coverage, a big, physical receiver or a guy with a lot of speed?

Shaun Fitzpatrick
Aiea, Hawaii

To me, fast, quick guys are harder to go against. Because once they catch the ball, they're so quick and fast they can make you miss easily. Usually with big guys their bodies are a lot bigger, so you can grab them most of the time. My hardest battles have been against small, quick guys like me.

Your hair vs. Baltimore was sweet. How much time did you have to spend to get it like that?

Carlsbad, Calif.

Man, it took me like three hours. The girl who does my hair, it took her about three hours to do it. It's the "'fro-hawk," man. That's just my look. That's something I made up, so hopefully I have to wear it a couple more times and make some more plays. I'm going to do it again. I've got to.

What was it like to make that pick against the Ravens?

Ross Kastens
Denver, Colo.

I really felt like I was due. The last two games before the Ravens game I was real close to interceptions against the Patriots and the Chiefs. I just felt it was coming my way. The coaches kept telling me to keep doing what I was doing and they're going to come. So I just felt like I was about due. Champ and I -- it was the fourth game of the season and I'm like 'Man, it's our time to get one.'

If you were to teach some young corners how to get interceptions, what advice would you give them?

Santaquin, Utah

Just work hard on every play. Every play, take it like it's your last play. You've got to go 100 miles-per-hour every play. Just take it one play at a time. The harder you work the easier it's going to come for you to get to the next level.

How do you feel playing in the defense that (Defensive Coordinator) Larry Coyer has set up?

Saheed Hakim
Philadelphia, Penn.

It's a great defense, especially the way they've got us playing on the corner now. We can really read the quarterback and the same time reading the receiver. So sometimes we get a better break on the ball than the receiver because we see the quarterback throwing the ball and a lot of times it's timing routes. The ball will come out faster - the ball is already out before the receiver turns around. So when we read that we can go and take the ball instead of worrying about was the receiver does.

How has the competition between Domonique Foxworth and yourself helped you?

Kevin Williams
Sicklerville, N.J.

Foxworth and I, we're really tight. We're real cool. We go to clubs together. We hang out together and joke around. Fox is probably my best friend on the team. We relate a lot and we're the same age and we're going through the same stuff. So he and I really became tight because once we first got here we were roommates, so we've really been gelling since then.

Are you the fastest player on the team?

Max Vogel
Coin, Iowa

I think I am. I think I'm the fastest guy. We've got some fast guys, but I think I probably could get everybody right now. I'm probably the fastest guy in here.