NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Even before he signed with the Titans this offseason, nose tackle Sylvester Williams admired defensive lineman Jurrell Casey.
Williams, who spent his first four NFL seasons with the Broncos, watched tape of the two-time Pro Bowler during previous offseasons. He did his best to learn from him from afar.
"I have studied a lot of Jurrell Casey film,'' Williams said. "I like the way he plays. I think he's a great player, one of the great players in the game.
"His quickness, his handwork. A guy his size going out there and doing what he does every day. He is one of the quickest guys in the NFL, and his hands are unbelievable."
As it turns out, Williams met Casey during a recruiting visit to USC when he was in high school.
Well, the two are now teammates in Tennessee, and Casey thinks they could be a force together on the defensive line.
"He is a strong cat, someone I have been working out with in the weight room,'' Casey said of Williams. "His presence alone is going to help us a lot. I think he is going to be a great for us. We just need one guy to go up in there and dominate the middle, and me and (defensive lineman) DaQuan Jones will make sure to take care of everything else and make it easy for him. He just has to hold that middle down and I think he'll do that."
A first-round pick by the Broncos in the 2013 NFL Draft, Williams has played in 60 games over the past four seasons, with 48 starts. He started all 16 games last season for the Broncos, when he recorded 29 tackles and a sack.
New Titans DL Sylvester Williams signs his contract, meets reporters at Saint Thomas Sports Park. (Photos: Gary Glenn)
The Titans signed the 6-foot-2, 313-pound Williams in March, and he's expected to play in the middle of Tennessee's defensive line. Williams has started in two Super Bowls in his career, including Super Bowl 50, when he won a championship ring. In his career, he's tallied 94 tackles and six sacks.
"I am loving it here so far,'' Williams said of the Titans. "I like the way everybody around here is working. I come in and I see the want-to to do big things this year. I think we have a great opportunity. We have great coaches and great players, and that usually creates a great team."
Williams was slowed in offseason work as he recovered from ankle surgery, but he did some individual work in the latter stages of the offseason. Coach Mike Mularkey said he expects Williams to be ready for training camp.
Williams believes he's in a good place to succeed in Tennessee, under defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau.
"I love coach LeBeau – he's a great coach and it is a blessing to be able to play for him,'' Williams said. "Everyone has treated me real well, and made me feel like family. I feel like I am at home."
He's ready to do his part.
"I take pride in keeping my linebackers clean and clogging up the middle of the defense,'' Williams said. "And I know that's what they brought me in here to do."
TitansOnline.com looks back at defensive lineman Sylvester Williams' first four NFL seasons. (AP Photos)