Florida State Press Conference: P.J. Williams

fsuQ. Offense puts up numbers, pretty good numbers. How much pressure do you feel from a defensive standpoint to try to make sure that those numbers on the scoreboard hold and hold well?

P.J. WILLIAMS: We put a lot of emphasis on that. We make sure we do our job every day. We work hard and we pride ourselves on being one of the best defenses in the country as well as the best defensive backfields in the country. I believe we work hard, and that’s our job, to get better and hold teams to not scoring as much as our offense.

Q. P.J., kind of going off of that, we hear so much about Jameis Winston and the offense and what they can do to throw the ball. You going up against the other side in the secondary, how do you define Florida State’s secondary, and looking at your game, what do you expect of yourself right now?

P.J. WILLIAMS: Well, I define the Florida State defensive backs as the No. 1 defensive backfield in the country. I believe we work hard, we hold ourselves to a certain standard, and last year we were also one of the top defensive backfields in the country. Every year we look to get better, and also myself just looking to get better every day out there on the field and working hard and trying to be a leader for my team as well as everybody else.

Q. As the defending national champ, what do you think of the new College Football Playoff system?

P.J. WILLIAMS: I think it’s cool. I think it’s cool being able to play an extra game, an extra big-time game. It’s just like playing a whole ‘nother bowl game. It’s like playing in two games and competing at a high level. We love it. The more times we can be on that big stage, the better, so we love it.

Q. What’s the personality of the defense these days?

P.J. WILLIAMS: The personality is just to be mean, be mean, be physical, compete at a high level, and just work on being the best defense in the country and just every element, defensive backs, linebackers, defensive line, getting pressure on quarterbacks, making turnovers, and just keeping the offense from getting points on the board.

Q. This I think will be your third defensive coordinator in three years. How have you guys managed not to miss a beat so far?

P.J. WILLIAMS: Oh, it’s really just we’ve got the players. We’ve got some of the best players in the country, and we adapt well. We had Coach Stoops. The only real difference was from Coach Stoops to Coach Pruitt and Coach Kelly because Coach Pruitt and Coach Kelly, we’re pretty much running the same defense. There’s nothing changed. They’re both great coaches and they’re teaching us the same things.  But coming from Stoops and Coach Kelly, that was the biggest dropoff, even though we still got better. We won a national championship.

Q. We’ve heard all of the struggles of the student-athlete from food to education to time. In your opinion what’s the most difficult part of being a student-athlete? What are you experiencing?

P.J. WILLIAMS: Well, just the most difficult part for me is just coming from high school, just the days. The days are much longer. You’re always tired, so you’re coming from school to practice to tutoring and stuff like that. But that’s just something you’ve got to adapt to. With food and all that, I don’t believe I have a problem with that. I believe they feed us pretty well at Florida State. That’s not a big problem for me or money or anything. That’s probably the biggest thing for me.

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Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, by Jerry Ratcliffe and Chris Graham, is available for $25.


The book, with additional reporting by Zach Pereles, Scott Ratcliffe and Scott German, will take you from the aftermath of the stunning first-round loss to UMBC in 2018, and how coach Tony Bennett and his team used that loss as the source of strength, through to the ACC regular-season championship, the run to the Final Four, and the thrilling overtime win over Texas Tech to win the 2019 national title, the first in school history.
 
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