Ask Tank Williams

Oct. 26, 2000

Jeron Daniel (Mesa, AZ)
What do you consider to be the biggest difference between safeties and cornerbacks (speed, size)? What do you prefer to do most - come up to the line to stuff the run or drop back in coverage?

I believe the biggest difference between safeties and corners would be speed more than size, although the positions are starting to become interchangeable. One can find a lot of tall, speedy corners nowadays, but there also are a lot of safeties with the abilities to play cornerback. Personally, I like coming up on the run and dropping back in coverage about the same as long as I can lay a lick on someone.

Hal Harris (Seattle, WA)
What difficulties does a quarterback like Tuiasosopo present to defenses and do you prepare differently for him than say a more pure drop-back passer like Carson Palmer? Looking forward to a good game.

Tuiasosopo is an excellent runner and passer, which always presents difficulties to a defense. When a defense faces a player such as Tuiasosopo, the main goal is to take away one of his attributes. If a defense forces a good running quarterback like Marques to beat them with just his arm, the chances of the defense succeeding definitely increases. The preparation certainly changes when a defense faces a more mobile quarterback, but the focus and mental aspects stay the same.

Jon Bishop (Atherton, CA)
Tank, how did you come by the nickname and do you know you're from the same high school as Stanford men's water polo coach Dante Dettamanti? Good luck with the big game this week - last year's meeting was a great one.

I got the name 'Tank' when I was a baby. My mom had to continue to give me bottles after bottles of milk when I was a baby, so one day my sister said, 'Mom, you should give him a 'TANK' of milk'. Believe it or not, that stuck. But now 'Tank' stands for the lick I will put on a receiver if he comes across the middle of the field. Thanks for the good wishes.

Jon Black (Toronto, Ontario)
Tank, have you had the chance to meet O.J. Atogwe and if so, do you think he has the ability to start for the Cardinal next season?

I think O.J. has a good chance to compete for playing time next year once he learns the system. Most of the time, he has to run the scout team plays instead of our own plays, but he makes a lot of plays out on the field. He has good size and speed, so I think he will be very productive in the future.

Michael Gain (Seattle, WA)
Do you feel that you have studied enough film on and are ready to stop the Washington Huskies freshman running back sensation from Florida, #24 Rich Alexis? Are you also ready to stop the quarterback, #11 Marques Tuiasosopo from running on you?

As a defense, I feel that we are doing what is needed to try to contain their running game. We know that they have a good back in Alexis and an outstanding quarterback in Tuiasosopo, but if we can play within our scheme, we should be effective. Thanks for the message and the good wishes.

Tom Wong (Los Angeles, CA)
Met your mother after the walkthrough on 10/13 and enjoyed our chat. She certainly is proud of you. And her commitment to being present at so many games, all the way from Mississippi, is truly remarkable. Do you really play better when she is in the stands? It was a truly great effort that you made to run down the USC back. Go, Cardinal. Beat Washington.

To be honest, I think I do play better when my mom is in the stands. This is probably because she will get on me big time if I had a bad game. She really likes to come out to as many games as possible and it gives me a lot of opportunities to spend time with her. I enjoy it a lot.

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