ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — In coverage, K'Waun Williams has proven himself as one of the league's top slot cornerbacks.
Entering each of the last two seasons, Williams has been recognized by various outlets as one of the top 10 slot players in the NFL — and he's backed it up with his coverage.
Williams, though, is more than a player who can apply tight coverage and make instinctual, athletic interceptions.
He's also a threat behind the line of scrimmage.
Throughout his career, Williams has been a menace in opposing backfields. Last year, he tied a career high with five tackles for loss and also added a sack and two quarterback hits. Since entering the league, Williams has seven career sacks, 21 tackles for loss and 12 quarterback hits.
It may not be his primary responsibility as a cornerback, but he prides himself on his ability to make an impact in that realm.
"When coaches send me on a blitz, I want to get home," Williams said Wednesday during his introductory press conference. "I want to provide a presence. … If I'm getting out of coverage, I want to be a presence inside while I'm rushing. It's just something that I've been doing since I was a rookie, and I just love it."
Williams said he blitzed from the slot "a little bit" during his collegiate career at Pittsburgh, but he took advantage of some early opportunities during his first two seasons in the NFL.
"Being able to blitz a few times and getting home, getting some sacks early, it just built confidence," Williams said.
Williams, who said he wants physical play to be the standard on Denver's defense, also has a knack for knocking the ball free. He's recorded 11 forced fumbles in his career, including six over the last three seasons and a career-high four in 2019.
"Getting the ball is everything," Williams said. "Providing the offense with more opportunities to make drives — that's what we do on defense. We just want to get a takeaway [or big play] any way possible, whether it's a forced fumble, TFL or just making big sacks. You've just got to be there and make plays for your defense and [be] able to sacrifice for the team and make plays when your number's called."
The Broncos' new slot cornerback will aim to mesh his blitzing ability with his coverage skills to serve as a "Swiss Army knife" in Denver's defensive backfield. His 27 career passes defensed and four career regular-season interceptions showcase his potential to do both at a high level.
And with Pat Surtain II, Justin Simmons and Ronald Darby among the pieces around him in the secondary, Williams said he believes he could help complete the unit.
"I'm here to be the missing piece of the puzzle for the guys here and provide an inside presence in the slot for these guys," Williams said.
Williams also arrives in Denver with high expectations. After a Super Bowl appearance and two NFC Championship Game appearances with the 49ers, he knows what it's like to win. That's his goal in Denver, as well.
"Absolutely," said Williams when asked if he has Super Bowl expectations. "I've been there. I've been close. I've played in a Super Bowl. I've been to NFC Championships.
"Moving forward, we're just trying to win here."