LATROBE, Pa. – Vince Williams has an attitude, and the Steelers linebacker isn't shy about it.
"That is the way I play the game," said Williams. "I play with a lot of attitude. I play with a lot of passion. It doesn't matter to me. I love the game of football.
"Every time I take the field I feel like you have to earn everything out here. I feel like the only way you can have that and accomplish that is to have the attitude that you are going to go out here and take it."
And if Williams wants to see more playing time this season, the type of time he got his rookie year when he started 11 games, taking it is something he just might have to do.
Last year's number one pick Ryan Shazier and Pro Bowler Lawrence Timmons are the projected starters at inside linebacker, but Williams is one who you can expect the unexpected from. As a rookie the sixth-round draft pick emerged to start 11 games, earning valuable experience. He started only two in 2014, but has shown what his potential is.
Now, in his third year, he feels more comfortable not just in the defense, but with his own physical condition.
"I feel great about it," said Williams. "I am in great shape. I love my weight, I love my strength, and I love my speed. I am finally starting to understand the defense.
"I am locked and loaded and ready to go."
Williams' number one goal this year is to help the Steelers defense improve on last season, a year that ended with a disappointing playoff loss that stung for a while.
"Making the playoffs is not good enough," said Williams. "The standard around here is winning championships and that's what we want to do around here every time we play, every season.
"We just want to win. It doesn't matter who we play against, we just want to win and dominate them."
Following a dominant performance in the Backs on Backers drill, the linebackers went to work again in the second practice in pads.