Brandon Williams is listed as the starting nose tackle on the Ravens’ depth chart heading into Thursday night’s preseason opener against the 49ers. After an up-and-down rookie season in 2013, Williams is clearly a better player, buoyed by experience and confidence. Williams, Haloti Ngata, and Chris Canty are listed as the starters up front, and that unit has the potential to make the Ravens stronger defending the run than they were last season.
“I know a lot more, the game’s moving a lot slower, I’m not thinking too much at the line when I’m in my stance,” Williams said.
Williams wants to be a starter, but feels he must keep proving himself through training camp and the preseason. The Ravens lost defensive lineman Arthur Jones to the Colts during free agency, putting more responsibility on Williams and other young lineman to step up.
“I’m still fighting like everybody else,” Williams said. “It could change tomorrow. I’m going to do my job and let the rest fall in place.”
Losing rookie defensive end Brent Urban to a season-ending knee injury last week was an unexpected setback. However, the Ravens still have a two-deep defensive line rotation, with rookie Timmy Jernigan, Kapron Lewis-Moore, and DeAngelo Tyson playing behind the starters.
The Ravens expect the defensive line to be a strong point in 2014. Williams’ development is one reason why.
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