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Williams “feels great” as 12th camp approaches
Chargers defensive tackle Jamal Williams admits he always puts on a good face when asked about his health, no matter how he actually feels. But now he feels great … and means it.
“I’ll always tell people that I feel good, but right now, I’m not feeling the aches and pains or bumps and bruises,” Williams said. “I’m feeling great, feeling fantastic. I’m just ready to rock and roll and get this thing started.”
Williams wasn’t on the field for Offseason Coaching Session this spring as he let his 6-3, 348-pound body recover from shoulder and knee operations. He was on hand at Chargers Park throughout the offseason though. While his teammates practiced, he worked on the side with the team’s athletic training staff. He was also active in the team’s conditioning program.
The three-time Pro Bowler says Head Athletic Trainer James Collins and his staff as well as Strength and Conditioning Coaches Jeff Hurd and Vernon Stephens are largely responsible for the way he feels.
“They’ve really paced me right the last couple of years and helped me get ready,” Williams said. “All those guys are so good at what they do. I really appreciate them as well as my coaches for the way they’ve given me the time to get my body right.”
Over the past couple of years, Williams has generally practiced just once when the team holds two-a-days, and he’ll likely be paced again this summer, which is fine with him.
“They take good care of me,” Williams said. “I always find a way to get my work in and get ready but we’re smart about things.”
As Williams enters his 12th NFL season, he’s now the longest-tenured defensive lineman in team history. His teammates marvel at the way he’s fought through so many injuries yet still be able to perform at such a high level. Williams says it’s all about learning to deal with pain and work through it.
“Over the years I’ve been through a lot of bumps and bruises,” Williams said. “A lot of people on the outside don’t realize certain things I’ve gone through to get prepared to play. You have to take care of your body. This game is 80 percent mental, 20 percent physical. When your body starts to give way at certain points of the year, you have to have that mental aspect that pushes you forward.”
The team’s formal offseason conditioning program ended in late June, but Williams has yet to take any time off. He’s still been a regular at Chargers Park the last couple weeks working out on his own and counting down the days until training camp begins.