ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (WIVB) – Offensive lineman Daryl Williams is yet another former Carolina Panther looking to elevate his game with the Bills.
Williams signed with Buffalo in free agency and head coach Sean McDermott thinks his best football is still ahead of him.
This is a young man that we feel has yet to play his best football and become the best version of himself,” McDermott said on a zoom call with reporters.
“We hope that he continues to grow and blossom here in Western New York, in a Bills uniform, and he seems very comfortable.”
And Williams agrees.
“I mean that’s not the first time I’ve heard that. After my third year I was second team All-Pro and I just remember my coaches after that year they told me I can play a lot better than that and I was aiming towards that going into my fourth year and then obviously the injury happened and it was a setback for me,” Williams said on a zoom call with reporters.
“I believe what coach McDermott says. I feel like I can still play at a high-level of football, high-caliber football at tackle or guard, I just gotta put in the work to do so.”
Williams spent the first five years of his career with the Panthers after Carolina drafted him in the fourth-round out of Oklahoma in 2015.
He made Second-Team All-Pro in 2017 but the following year he was unable to build off that as he missed most of 2018. He tore his MCL and dislocated his patella tendon in training camp. He tried to play in the season opener but was placed on injured reserve after and had knee surgery.
But now he says hes “100% healthy” after playing every game last year and sees a lot of potential with his new offense.
“It’s great. I don’t think I’ve been with a team that had this much weapons you know at receiver, tight end. I’m excited to get started whenever the season begins,” Williams said.
Williams has a great opportunity to compete a starting job after the right guard spot opened up with Jon Feliciano dealing with a pec injury.
“I definitely have a great opportunity. When they first brought me here they told me I’m here to compete and that’s what I’ve been doing since day one and that’s all I know,” Williams said.
McDermott stressed versatility and that’s exactly what Williams brings as he played left tackle, left guard, right guard and right tackle with the Panthers.
“Last year I pretty much played every position on the line so going into this year I feel more comfortable doing both,” Williams said.
“For guard for me pass wise it’s a little bit easier because I’m not in space and I can use my length a lot easier. With guard too also the run game is a little bit more grimier so I like that too. With tackle that’s, I’ve done that all my life so I’m pretty much used to that too.”
Speaking of Carolina, Williams can already see similarities to former Panthers quarterback Cam Newton.
“I definitely see a lot of comparisons it just brings me back to my Carolina days watching him play and that just makes me even more excited to when we really do start our first game,” Williams explained.
“He’s a leader, he has a cannon, his pocket presence is amazing I love everything about his game so I can’t wait to start playing.”
Williams was intrigued by the Bills even before he became a free agent and signed with Buffalo.
“I chose Buffalo because whenever I got done with the Panthers not going to the playoffs I was just watching all of the playoff games and I remember practicing against them in training camp and I was like ‘wow these guys have a lot of energy, they’re good, they’re talented, and they’re smart’ and then watching them in the playoff game against the Texans that’s definitely a game they could have won and I was just excited and rooting for those guys during their playoff run,” Williams said.