DT Nick Williams makes strong claim for this season’s Lions team
Detroit Lions defensive tackle Nick Williams is in his first season with the team, and he’s on a mission to shake up the NFC North.
Williams spent the last two seasons playing for the Chicago Bears before signing a two-year, $10 million deal with Detroit in March—making him the second-highest paid player on the defense after fellow defensive end Trey Flowers.
Williams said that he and his new Lions teammates “know it’s a pecking order in the NFC North and we’re here to change that this year.”
If the Lions are going to make any drastic improvements as a team this season, it starts up front, at his position on the defensive line. In 2019, the Lions ranked 31st in sacks and 20th in rushing yards allowed, per Pro Football Talk.
“We’re just ready to get out there and prove to the NFC North, to the black-and-blue division, that we can play good football,” Williams said to Carlos Monarrez of the Detroit Free Press, referring the division’s storied history of great defensive lines. “And we can. We’ve got the pieces, we’ve got a defense to be able to do that. We believe in ourselves, we believe in each other. And the more we’re on the field with each other, the more confidence we’ll have in each other and we’ll get the job done.”
Detroit also signed former New England Patriots defensive tackle Danny Shelton to a two-year, $8 million deal in an effort to get better up front.
“Man, they hungry for it,” Williams said about the revamped Detroit defensive line. “We know the record. We know it’s a pecking order in the NFC North and we’re here to change that this year. They’re very hungry.”
Last year, Williams led Chicago’s defensive linemen with 42 tackles, and he added six sacks, and he’s embracing his leadership role with the Lions.
“My mindset is not to take my foot off the gas pedal, keep moving forward, keep working on things that I know can help this team win,” he said.