When first asked about his first-career sack, Eagles rookie defensive tackle Milton Williams said he didn’t even have the words to describe it.
Then he came up with perfect ones.
“I just felt like I was on top of the world,” Williams said. “It’s the first one and we got a lot more to go.”
The 22-year-old third-round pick had a breakout game in Detroit on Sunday. After being pretty quiet on the stat sheet through his first seven games, Williams had 4 solo tackles, 2 tackles for loss, 1 quarterback hit and, of course, his first NFL sack against the Lions.
For his efforts, Williams was given the team’s defensive game ball for the 44-6 win.
While he doesn’t have the ball yet — it’s still being detailed — Williams is excited to put it in a special place. “That moment was big,” said Williams, asked to recall what it was like when Nick Sirianni told him about the game ball.
Eagles defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon said that Williams, despite the lack of statistical production, was playing well before Sunday’s game. Williams believes that too.
But getting on the stat sheet matters. And it was tough for Williams when he wasn’t doing much that people could see.
“Yeah, it definitely gets frustrating,” he said. “But that’s the game of football. It’s a team game so if you keep doing your job consistently and make sure that you’re handling what you’re supposed to be handling what you’re supposed to be doing, it’s eventually going to come to you. Like I tell everybody, my main thing when I get on the field is to make sure that I’m doing my job.”
Williams feels like he’s a much improved player after eight games in the NFL. The biggest thing is that he’s just more confident now.
Getting his first sack will only help grow that confidence. But there’s plenty of room to improve in that area.
In fact, becoming more consistent as a pass rusher is the one area where Williams wants to improve the most. He thinks he’s solid playing the run and showing gap discipline. He just wants to continue to become a more polished pass rusher.
Becoming a better pass rusher doesn’t mean working on a ton of moves. It means simply getting better at the ones you have. Williams wants his mind uncluttered at the line of scrimmage; have one or two moves and a counter move. That’s it.
“Keep the menu short and perfect the things you have on your menu,” he said.
Williams and the Eagles hope Sunday’s sack is the first of many in his career in Philly.
If that’s the case, Williams is going to need to work on his celebration skills.
“We was just talking about that,” Williams said. “I was saying I don’t have a sack celebration yet, but we’ll figure out one if they keep coming. It’ll be good.”
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