Niagara Gazette

Sports

June 14, 2013

Aaron Williams gives Bills safety in numbers

Niagara Gazette — ORCHARD PARK — Bills cornerback Aaron Williams had reservations when new defensive coordinator Mike Pettine first outlined the plan to switch him to safety.

After two inconsistent seasons in Buffalo during which Williams struggled to secure a starting job, he initially wondered whether the position change was a reflection of his performance. Williams' second concern was how quickly he could pick up the new role and its expanded responsibilities of calling plays and making on-field adjustments.

"Oh, man, at first, I was like a chicken with a cut-off head," Williams said. "But I never back off any challenge. You're put in the fire, just roll with it."

As it turns out, the new job just might be a more natural fit for Williams, who is providing the Bills safety in numbers filling the starting spot left open by Jairus Byrd's offseason-long absence.

Though Buffalo retained Byrd's rights by designating him their franchise player in March, the two-time Pro Bowl player has yet to sign the team's one-year contract offer while attempting to negotiate a long-term deal.

Williams has shown signs of being a capable Plan B during spring practices, which concluded Thursday with the end of a three-day mandatory minicamp.

He had an interception in each of the three practices, capped by Williams under-cutting a route to pick off rookie EJ Manuel in the end zone.

"Yeah, that's what they're expecting me to do," Williams said. "It's me being consistent, making plays every day, not just every once in a while. So I'm changing my attitude toward this year, and looking for a better season."

Williams endured what he called "ups and downs" since Buffalo selected him out of Texas in the second round of the 2011 draft.

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