Before returning home to North Carolina in February, Javonte Williams made sure to stop by UCHealth Training Center to meet his new head coach, Nathaniel Hackett.
As expected, Hackett's invigorating energy came across quickly, and Williams took to it.
"He was real cool," Williams told DenverBroncos.com recently. "We was talking about the offense and stuff like that. … He was like, 'We need to go out and play right now!' … He seemed like a pretty cool dude. I'm ready to meet the rest of the staff, see how everybody works together and just get this thing started."
In his first season, Williams was one of the more impressive rookies in the league. He rushed for 903 yards and scored 12 total touchdowns as he earned a selection to the Pro Football Writers of America's All-Rookie Team.
The truth is, Williams didn't hold those expectations coming into the season.
"I definitely did more than I expected I was going to do," Williams said. "I ain't really expect to have the season that I did. I'm pleased with myself for right now. But I know I still got a whole lot of work to do, getting better."
While the on-field work will remain a primary focus, Williams said he also wants to start incorporating some leadership into his role with the Broncos now that he's not a rookie.
"Just being more a vocal leader," Williams said of his room to grow. "I feel like the way I played last year, how I work and things like that, I've kind of got a voice on the team now. So I feel like I can use my voice more instead of being so closed off and not talking as much."
While he holds big goals of making the playoffs and someday winning a Super Bowl, Williams isn't looking past the sweat that he and his teammates will soon have to put in.
"Definitely want to win a Super Bowl and make the playoffs," Williams said, "so that's a lot of hard work we've got to put in for OTAs."
Below the Fold
Former Broncos quarterback and ESPN "Monday Night Football" analyst Brian Griese will reportedly be returning to the game as a coach for the 49ers, ESPN's Seth Wickersham and Adam Schefter reported Friday.
Griese, who spent the first five years of his career in Denver and was part of the Super Bowl XXXIII team, is expected to serve as the 49ers' quarterbacks coach. During his time with the Broncos, Griese completed 62.2 percent of his passes in five seasons for 11,763 yards, 71 touchdowns and 53 interceptions and made the Pro Bowl in 2000.