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Getting to know Chiefs rookie cornerback Joshua Williams

We continue our “Rookie Conversations” series, where we learn more about Kansas City’s draft picks from their college coaches.

NFL: MAR 05 Scouting Combine Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

With Kansas City Chiefs training camp less than a month away, Arrowhead Pride has reached out to the club’s rookie draftees’ college coaches to get to know them better. Our “Rookie Conversations” continue with Fayetteville State co-defensive coordinator and safeties coach James Lott, the college coach of fourth-round cornerback Joshua Williams.

(Listen to the full podcast above or by clicking here. It is also available on Spotify).

Here is a sample of what we learned about Williams:

Was there something about Williams that jumped out to you when you first saw him on the football field?

Lott: “When I got to Fayetteville State, I just knew we had to get to work right away. I wanted to see what [Williams’] body was like, how he moved, what his feet were like. You got to have certain qualities to be able to impress, to be able to come in and out of breaks, to be able to make plays that normally most people don’t make... He just dove in, and we went to work from A to Z — on everything that he needed to do: what he did well, what he didn’t do well. How he could use his hands better, how he could use his feet better, how he could exploit certain situations and how I wanted to use him during the season... And it just kind of clicked, and he knew what time it was because I talked to him about previous experience in the NFL in that, ‘Hey, when this opportunity comes, you got to be ready, and you have to have technique less than none.’ We put a lot of work in over that year.”

What should Chiefs fans know about Williams before they see him on the field?

Lott: “Just know that Josh is a very approachable, energetic young man. He has a lot to him that you won’t know unless you get to know him. He’s very eccentric in some of the things that he does, and he’s a hard worker. The biggest thing for Josh is, I think you’re going to see Josh compete all the time. I think there’s no task or no matchup or no game too big, where he doesn’t just pull from his inner energy and compete. So well before [fans] know him, they [should] know Josh is a guy who loves to compete, and he doesn’t have to talk a lot of trash. He just kind of backs it up as the game goes on.”

Can you speak to how Williams uses his size and speed to his advantage?

Lott: “We’ve talked about [it with Josh]. When you’re on the field, what landscape are you on? That’s the big thing. ‘Am I going to be up in their face pressing them? Or is this going to dictate for me to be off or play well within the zone?’ So that’s the very first thing. So if it’s man-to-man and it’s press, I feel very confident — the way Josh’s feet are, the way he motors his feet, keeps them on the ground. He’s able to mirror step left to right, his length with his arms are tremendous assets to him when it’s close, bump-and-run press. So he does that very well.

“He’s able to get his hands on the receiver because, as you know, the receiver has to negotiate his route. He has to get into his route in a timing environment. So he has to go left, right, backward and forward, so as a good DB, Josh has got to understand, ‘Yes, I’m going to make sure I utilize my arms and the space in between me to control the receiver and make him go where I want him to go and not where he wants to go without much difficulty,’ and that’s been pressed up.

“And there are also times where he’s off, and he has to come in and out of his breaks with a plant foot and a drive foot. Well, over the years, for Josh and any DB, being able to come out of that plant foot and that drive foot and place it where you want to go intentionally and be on time and be right, that’s the advantage he has, also. Because not all the time does he close... but he has the stride length and stride frequency to close the space in the timing of a route and enhance his average of being successful on that play. So being off, he has the potential to come in and out of his breaks and close routes using that 4.4 speed that he has and that stride length... being up, he has the ability to use those feet — with the quickness of them — and the mirror step and the off-hand, long-arm, big biceps locked out to give the receivers problems.”

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