"It feels good having everyone back out here practicing especially in full pads," Williams said. "As a team we have a lot of areas that we can improve in and that is what we are trying to do right now."
Practicing in pads gives the team a better indication of how far along they are and the areas they need to improve on. Linebackers are a unit that change once the pads are on.
"Everybody was a bit rusty today trying to get back in the groove," Williams said. "It makes everything easier being in pads. When you aren't in pads you can't do certain things. As linebackers we like to hit. If we aren't in full pads then we can't give everyone a full look."
Willie Williams is one of 12 linebackers on the roster and six of them started a year ago.
2004 Linebacker Stats
SR #50 Roger McIntosh - 111 tackles, 4.0 sacks JR #52 Tavares Gooden - 83 tackles, 0.5 sacks SR #44 Leon Williams - 56 tackles, 2.5 sacks SO #2 Jon Beason - 29 tackles, 1.0 sacks SO #55 Glenn Cook - 17 tackles, 0.0 sacks SO #51 Romeo Davis - 15 tackles, 0.0 sacks SO #28 Willie Cooper - 4 tackles, 0.0 sacks FR #17 Willie Williams - Redshirt FR #40 Darryl Sharpton - High School FR #48 Spencer Adkins - High School FR #58 Demetri Stewart - High School FR #59 Eric Houston - High SchoolThis fall Williams is currently the second-string weakside linebacker behind Beason. With McIntosh and Gooden out with injuries, Beason, Leon Williams, and Cook are on the first unit.
Willie Williams headlines the second unit with Davis in the middle and Cooper at strongside.
The linebackers will be looked at to be key contributors this year after struggling at times a year ago. All of Miami's linebackers possess good speed and athleticism and Williams likes their prospects for 2005.
"As a unit I think we are going to be real good," Williams said. "We have to keep competing and working in areas that we can improve upon. Everyone is helping each other out."
"I feel that when it is all over, we are going to be a great unit."
Individually, Williams has seen his game take another step in getting where he wants to be as a player. Redshirting is never easy and adding an injury to the mix makes things even tougher. However, Williams has seen improvements in his game over the past year.
"I feel I have improved my game a whole lot," Williams said. "Last year I didn't know a lot of the plays and I got hurt. I feel I used the spring and the summer to my advantage. I know most of the plays now and I am still improving in certain areas."
This year, Williams is healthy and ready to go. He is ready to contribute in any way possible.
"I love competition," Williams said. "I just don't want anything given to me at anytime. You won't cherish it if something is just given to you. If your work for it, then that makes you value it even more."
Quarterback Kyle Wright is excited to have Williams on the field and refers to Willie as 'Combine' because of the ridiculous numbers he puts up in the weight room.
"I am glad he is on my team," Wright said. "I hope that he gets on the field. Willie has as much physical talent as I have seen since I have been here. He is a good kid and everyone knows about his talents. If he gets on the field I think he will impact the game the way that Devin Hester does. By the time it is all said and done I think he will be doing that."
The Hurricanes have their first two-a-day tomorrow with an 8:30 practice in the morning followed by a 3:30 practice in the afternoon.
Christopher Stock is a Senior Writer & Assistant Editor for CanesTime and can be contacted by emailing him at email@example.com