BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – After missing the playoffs for a 17th straight year and for the 11th time in his career, Kyle Williams was mulling retirement at the end of last season.
With a new coach and an uncertain future on the horizon for the franchise, the 34-year old ultimately decided to come back.
Williams is playing out the final year of his contract and Sunday against Miami could be the final home game of his career.
“I try not to think about it, or I don’t think about it just because of, it’s a distraction for me mentally,” he said. “There’s enough trouble in the day of getting ready for the Dolphins and trying to finish this strong and get to where we want to go and accomplish our goals. I’m not going to make it about me and I’m not going to think about it in those terms. I’m going to go out, it’s our last home game of the season, and we’re going to try and beat the Dolphins.”
There’s no debating Williams is the heart and soul of the franchise. A fifth round selection in the 2006 draft, the defensive tackle ranks first all-time as his position in sacks with 42.5 which is also sixth in franchise history.
Williams’ impact on the field is well-known but inside the locker room is where the defensive tackle is most revered.
“Hands down,” Williams has the best pre-game speeches according to defensive end Jerry Hughes.
“The guy can seriously make everybody in here run through a wall. He gets you amped up, he gets you going. [Like] when there’s eight inches of snow outside and you can’t really see anything, you’re amped up, juiced up, ready to play football. That’s just the kind of leader he is,” Hughes added.
“He’s not going to say much, but on game day he’s going to get the troops riled up, ready to go. Then, you can always catch him in here working hard [and] putting in the extra work, showing the young guys how to be a veteran, showing the young guys what it takes to be in the league for 15 years and to play at a high level. He’s all of that.”
“Anytime that you come in here and spend as much time with these guys – and you pour a lot of yourself into guys – when you mean something to them, it obviously means a lot to you,” Williams said.
“I know everybody sees the pregame and the postgame and all of that, but really that’s just kind of the end of the week. The real work comes now. It comes Monday through Saturday and I think that’s where bonds are built and guys earn respect and things like that with one another.”