Steelers select Keith Williams in sixth round

KEITH WILLIAMSOffensive GuardUniversity of Nebraska Cornhuskers6:05.0-310Florissant, MissouriMcClure North High School6th Round – 196th Overall Quotes from Keith Williams and offensive line coach Sean Kugler below the bio* Offensive line coach Sean Kugler CAREER NOTES**Played in 50 games, starting 34 of them on the offensive line…his 34 starts were the most of any of Nebraska's 2010 offensive players…named second-team All-Big 12 by Rivals.com, third-Team All-Big 12 by Phil Steele and was named honorable-mention All-Big 12 by the league's coaches and the Associated Press for his 2010 performance…named honorable-mention All-Big 12 by the league's coaches and the Associated Press in 2009…was part of an offensive line that helped pave the way for the Cornhuskers to lead the Big 12 in rushing offense during the 2010 season…helped block for the Nebraska offense to gain 450.8 yards per game during the 2008 season, which was good for 12th-best in the nation.

2010 SEASONStarted all 14 games at left guard…named a second-team All-Big 12 performer by Rivals.com, while earning third-team honors from Phil Steele and honorable-mention accolades from the league's coaches and the Associated Press…helped Nebraska rack up 10 games with 200 rushing yards, including back-to-back 300-yard rushing efforts early in the season…helped block for Nebraska rushers to gain 451 yards on the ground at Kansas State, the most by a Nebraska offense in seven seasons…helped block for Nebraska rushers to have 12 100-yard rushing games…helped block for the Nebraska running attack to lead the Big 12 in rushing offense, and produce three players with at least 900 rushing yards…helped pave the way for the Huskers' rushers to have at least 200 rushing yards in 10 of 14 games in 2010.

2009 SEASONSat out the season opener, then came off the bench the following two weeks, before regaining his starting job for the remainder of the season…helped Nebraska running back Roy Helu Jr. rush for 1,147 yards and 10 touchdowns, while averaging 5.2 yards per carry…helped protect Nebraska quarterback Zac Lee, who finished fifth on the Nebraska single-season passing chart.

2008 SEASONStarted the final nine games and helped Nebraska to score 30 points on 10 occasions, while gaining at least 400 yards in nine games…helped block for a Cornhuskers' offense that finished 12th nationally in total offense at 450.8 yards per game…helped block for Nebraska rushers to average better than 210 yards rushing over the final six regular-season games…provided protection for quarterback Joe Ganz who set season records for passing yards, total offense and completion percentage.

2007 SEASONPlayed in 10 games as a reserve guard…also saw action on special teams…helped block for a Nebraska offense to finish in the top 10 nationally in passing and total offense.

2006 SEASONRedshirted in his first season with the team.

HIGH SCHOOLRecorded 24 tackles, including one sack and one fumble recovery…earned first-team Class 5A All-State honors…helped lead his squad to back-to-back Missouri Class 5A championship game appearances…recorded 51 total tackles, including five tackles for losses and one sack in earning first-team all-conference honors on defense, and first-team all-metro and all-state honors as an offensive lineman as a junior…ranked among the top 15 players in Missouri by Rivals.com, while PrepStar placed Williams on its All-Midlands region team.

PERSONALMajored in art…son of Marnetta Jackson and Keith Williams Sr…born 4/8/88.

Keith Williams Conference Call
How do you feel to be a Pittsburgh Steeler?It's great, it's real great.  I'm very, very, very happy and fortunate.  It's been very amazing.

What was it like to play for Bo Pelini?It was fun.  He's very intense, he's an intense guy, but he's all about getting work done.  We had a good time out there in Nebraska.

Coach Kugler said he likes that you have a little "nasty" to use.  Is that something Coach Pelini tends to bring out of his players, particularly the offensive linemen out there?He does.  The thing about Nebraska is we try to compete at a high level all the time, give it everything we got and playing up-front relentless.  That's the way we work.  It's been fun.

Coach Kugler said you get after it in the run game, but need a little help in the pass pro.  Is that what you're looking to improve upon?Yes, my run game, I'm very aggressive.  I like to finish.  I like to get after it.  When it comes to passing I need a little work there.  I'm ready to go.

Re: Lockout affecting late draft picks:I don't think so. I think I'm going to come in and try to compete, and give everything I've got. I've only got one shot.

Re: Thoughts on Steelers during visit:When I was visiting the Steelers I was very happy. The Steelers like to run the ball a lot and I was really happy about that. Being drafted by the Steelers is a really great thing.

What will you do if this lockout continues? Will you train out there?Exactly. I will keep up with my training and keep that going. That's about it.

Did you have any battles with Ndamukong Suh?Yes, it's been fun going up against Ndamukong Suh. It was real fun.

How did you do?I did well. It was fun.

Offensive line coach Sean Kugler
What did you like about him?Keith is a very physical player. He likes to mix it up, he has nasty to him. He's an aggressive player. He has pulling skills. They utilize that at Nebraska and that shows up on film. We had Keith in the building. We brought him up here because we wanted to get an even closer look at him. We liked what we saw on film. We wanted to get him on the board to see how he handles learning things and he was excellent. He is a smart kid, and I think he's going to be a quality guard for us. That is what we view him as is a guard.

Is it correct that he was scouted as somebody that needs a little work in pass protectionYeah, sometimes with guys that are over aggressive and physical that's the tendency with them, they get over aggressive in pass protection. That shows up every once in awhile, it's something that can be corrected. He's a willing worker. He's in good shape, and a tough kid. The thing that we like the most about Keith is his toughness and that is a good quality in a lineman.

How run heavy were they at Nebraska?They were pretty balanced. They had a very successful run offense a lot of production numbers. They were well coached and a very physical offensive line. They were probably one of the more physical offensive lines that you will see collectively as a group, and he was a big part of that.

He was primarily a left guard at Nebraska?Yes.

Does right guard or left guard matter in your offense?When we do bring guys in, we'll train them at both positions. You'll see things on film, athletically, that will tell you that he would be able to do that. With just only seven guys dressing on game day, I think gone are the days where guys are just locked in at one position. They have to be able to play both. And again, when he comes in, we'll train him at both right guard and left guard.

Do you pull more from your left side?We like to be balanced that way. It's probably a big reason that we looked at him.

Are you pleased with what you've done in the draft? I know it's only on paper, but do you think you've made your line better?Sure. You are always looking to add to your room. You are always looking for quality in guys. In Marcus Gilbert, I think we got a guy that's a high-energy guy with good size, good tools to work with, that's going to become a productive player. With Keith Williams, we have a good-size guard that is a battler. They are different type [of] players, but you've got different type players [on your team]. Both have qualities that we like. They're both smart kids. I think they're both going to fit well in the room. They've got offensive lineman personalities and I think they're both going to be good Steeler-types for years to come.

Do you find yourself gravitating to those guys that are more mauler [and] brawler kind of players?Yeah. We want to be a physical offensive line. We want to be able to run the ball effectively and efficiently. And we want to protect Ben [Roethlisberger]. So there is a lot that goes into it. Yeah, I am. 

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