ENGLEWOOD, Colo.** – At the end of the second day of training camp, Head Coach Gary Kubiak told the media that he instructed his players to watch their training camp film backwards. It was maybe an odd instruction, but Kubiak had a specific reason.
"Probably the majority of the mistakes we made, with the mistakes we made in practice, most of them are at the end of practice," Kubiak said. "That tells you you're making mistakes when you're tired."
Of the 90 players on the Broncos roster, one in particular stood out to Kubiak among the masses.
"A guy jumped out at me: Sly [Sylvester Williams]," Kubiak said. "I'm looking at one-on-one at the end of practice, and Sly looks like he had one heck of a period over there. So that's what you looking for. You're looking for guys making plays when they're dog-tired. That's what you have to do in the league—make them in the third, fourth quarter when the game is on the line."
Williams, a third-year nose tackle, has seen plenty of face time on the Broncos starting line up since he was drafted in 2013, but this training camp he's been a standout on the defensive line and deserving of praise from the head coach.
"I think the main thing is that I can hold down the middle of the defense, be slotted in the middle and make some plays, as well as make the plays that come my way," Williams said of his goals for training camp. "Also [I wanted to] just show them that overall that I'm ready to be the player that they want me to be. I think that was my goal overall."
One aspect of Williams success this year is his work with newly appointed Defensive Line Coach Bill Kollar. Williams says that Kollar has changed his game and has "brought the best out" in him.
"He's a great guy," Williams said. "The biggest thing about him is if you give him all you have, he's a pretty laid-back type of guy. He just really wants guys that work and go out there and make plays. He expects that from us."
Williams says he feels more comfortable in this defense than last year, which is a good sign for the Broncos. Considering last season, Williams started 13-of-16 games and totaled 21 tackles for the league's second-ranked run defense that allowed the fewest rushing yards per game (79.8) in franchise history. It seems Williams can only go up from here.