‘Sexy’ Dan Williams is in shape, ready to step up for Arizona Cardinals

Jul 27, 2014, 12:52 AM | Updated: 2:51 am

GLENDALE, Ariz. — Dan Williams is listed at 6-foot-3, 314 pounds.

A defensive tackle, he’s not really expected to be particularly svelte.

But he does need to be in shape.

And in shape he is.

“I thought Dan Williams looked as sexy in a run test as he’s ever looked,” Cardinals coach Bruce Arians said Friday.

Well how about that.

“It felt good, I take it as a complement,” Williams said of his coach’s praise. “It’s just the first step of the journey the team wants to take, so I just wanted to show coach that I was prepared and ready to give my all for the team.”

It’s a far cry from this time in 2011 when, after the lockout left every player unsure of whether or not there would even be a season, Williams came into camp out of shape and failed the test.

“Just as a professional I was young,” he said. “I was just expecting to not have a season, but we did. I should have been prepared anyway. But every year I’ve been passing the conditioning test, ever since then. It might not be the prettiest, but I definitely have been working out every offseason and I just think it was definitely just a maturity factor for me. At first I didn’t really know what to expect. They start telling me they’re going to ask more of me each and every year, and I think every year I’ve answered the challenge.”

Williams, entering his fifth season, has not yet quite lived up to the expectations placed on him as a first-round pick out of Tennessee.

He took a step forward last season with his play, earning his first career sack and interception. While his stats are not exactly impressive, his role in the defense is more to stuff the run and occupy blockers so the team’s defensive ends and linebackers can make plays. He did that well in 2013, and with Alameda Ta’amu still recovering from a torn ACL, will be leaned on even more to hold things together in the middle of the line.

Williams is confident he can handle the job.

“I believe even before ‘Meda came here I’ve been more than capable of taking on the responsibility, but also having a great player like ‘Meda to play there with me is an added bonus, get a little bit more rest,” he said.

“But I’ve been ready for the challenge since I’ve been here. Honestly just been really waiting on the opportunity to play more and do more for the team.”

Arizona Cardinals

Kyler Murray #1 and Justin Pugh #67 of the Arizona Cardinals react after a penalty during the secon...
Arizona Sports

ESPN: OL Justin Pugh is Arizona Cardinals’ most underrated player

ESPN posted a list made by Football Outsiders of every team's most underrated player, and Justin Pugh was selected to represent the Cardinals.
1 day ago
Deebo Samuel #19 of the San Francisco 49ers runs with the ball during the game against the Los Ange...
Tyler Drake

NFC West offseason outlook: The San Francisco 49ers

The offseason has twisted and turned not only for the Cardinals but for the rest of the NFC West. A look at the current state of the 49ers:
1 day ago
Arizona Cardinals defensive tackle Corey Peters (98) walks out before an NFL game between the Arizo...
Nikash Nath

PFF’s Doug Kyed advises Arizona Cardinals to bring back DL Corey Peters

With the Cardinals' current roster construction, PFF's Doug Kyed believes Arizona should bring DL Corey Peters back once more in 2022.
3 days ago
Ohio State Buckeyes offensive lineman Paris Johnson Jr. (77) protects his quarterback during the fi...
Sam Graveline

Cardinals take OT Paris Johnson Jr. in ESPN 2023 NFL mock draft

ESPN's Matt Miller thinks the Cardinals will beef up the offensive line in his first 2023 mock by selecting Ohio State OT Paris Johnson Jr.
5 days ago
Arizona Cardinals coach Kliff Kingsbury, right, and Byron Murphy Jr. (7) celebrate after an NFL foo...
Wills Rice

NFL.com’s Patra ranks Cardinals’ cornerbacks among weakest rooms in league

The Cardinals enter training camp with a few question marks personnel-wise on the defensive side of the ball, especially at cornerback.
6 days ago
Nick Scott #33 of the Los Angeles Rams tackles Zach Ertz #86 of the Arizona Cardinals after a recep...
Sam Graveline

PFF: Tight end shaping up to be biggest position battle for Arizona Cardinals

The Arizona Cardinals head into training camp expecting to have healthy competition at a handful of positions, including at tight end.
7 days ago
‘Sexy’ Dan Williams is in shape, ready to step up for Arizona Cardinals