ENGLEWOOD, Colo. --Nutrition is as much a part of Sylvester Williams' quest to improve his play in 2015 as anything he does on the field.
So as he works to learn the nuances of playing nose tackle in the 3-4, he also monitors his intake, changing his diet.
"I just try to eat a lot of protein and a lot of green. That's really my main focus: protein, greens and a lot of water," he said.
When he reports to Dove Valley for offseason workouts, the Broncos' cafeteria offerings make it easy for Williams to stay on course. Lean meats, fish and vegetables are easy to find.
But Williams' diet covers just six days a week. On the seventh, anything goes.
"Cheat day," he said. "I might go to Ruth's Chris."
Given the work Williams puts into his offseason, he's earned that day. He said that in the early stages of the offseason, including last week's voluntary veteran minicamp, he's lined at nose tackle and at defensive end.
The responsibilities at end resemble what he handled as a three-technique tackle in the 4-3 alignment last year. But Williams is the Broncos' heaviest returning defensive player at 315 pounds, which makes him a logical choice to work on the nose as the offseason continues.
"They're kind of moving us all around right now and seeing where we all fit in," he said.
"You just get different blocks," he added later. "In the nose, you might get more double teams than you do single blocks. In the three-technique, you've got a little bit more freedom."
But the new defense emphasizes penetration from the nose tackle, not simply holding ground and occupying two blockers. That fits Williams, who was one of the nation's best interior pass rushers at North Carolina in 2012, cementing the first-round status in the 2013 draft that he hopes to justify this year.
"I already kind of went into the offseason with a lot of motivation from within," he said. "It's just something that I put on myself. I put a lot on myself, wanting to get stronger this year and come back next year with a better year."