The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Missouri Southern Sports

August 28, 2013

With Ravens, it's all football all of the time for Williams

What is Brandon Williams’ second-most favorite thing about life in Baltimore?

“Crab cakes,” he said with a laugh Tuesday night. “I’m loving (Baltimore). It’s a great place. I’m glad to be here.”

Of course, Williams’ favorite thing about Baltimore is football — Baltimore Ravens football. Williams, a three-time All-American defensive tackle at Missouri Southern, was the Ravens’ third-round selection in the NFL Draft last April.

“It’s our job now,” Williams said. “That’s all you do ... football night and day, eat, sleep and breathe it. It’s the best thing ever for me.

“Going into camp, the physical aspect was the easiest. I’m not saying it was not difficult, but I’m a bigger guy. It’s a lot easier for me to go to the next level because I’m a big, strong guy.

“The hardest part was the mental aspect, learning a whole new playbook, a whole new area.”

Williams, 6-foot-1, 335 pounds, has made a strong impression during the Ravens’ training camp. In Baltimore’s first three preseason games, Williams has logged 10 tackles, including seven solo stops and one quarterback sack.

“I think I’ve done a pretty good job,” Williams said, “but there is always room for improvement.”

The sack came in last week’s game against the Carolina Panthers when Williams rushed up the middle and dropped Cam Newton — one of the league’s most elusive QBs — for a 10-yard loss.

“They kind of parted the Red Sea for me,” Williams said. “For some reason no one blocked me and I had a straight shot at him, so I got him.

“Getting that first sack, it felt great. It didn’t hit me until a little later because I was focused on the game, the next play. Later on some of my teammates said ‘hey, you just sacked Cam Newton.’ And I thought man, wow.”

The Ravens conclude their preseason schedule Thursday night against the Rams in St. Louis, and Williams will have is own personal cheering section.

“Going to school there (at Rockwood Summit High School), being raised there, a lot of family and friends will be there,” Williams said.

Actually this will be the third straight year that Williams has played a game in the St. Louis area. As a junior at Missouri Southern, the Lions played Lincoln in the Edward Jones Dome, the home of the Rams. And last season the Lions played a road game at Lindenwood in St. Charles, about 20 miles from downtown St. Louis.

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