Stopping Tom Brady is one of the most important tasks for the New York Giants on Monday night. While it’s highly unlikely that the Giants completely shut Brady down, they do need to slow him down to some extent to have a chance against the Bucs. One of the players at the forefront of that challenge is Leonard Williams.
Williams was the team’s sack leader last season and currently has 5.5 sacks this season. The expectation is that he, and Azeez Ojulari, will be the main Giants to get after the quarterback.
Naturally, Williams’ past experience facing Tom Brady came up during Saturday’s media availability.
Leonard Williams speaks on facing Tom Brady
“Exactly like you said, he gets the ball out really fast,” Williams said when asked what facing Brady as a defensive lineman is like. “Iâ€™ve had a lot of frustration going against him most of my career. Even since Iâ€™ve been here, Iâ€™ve been playing him. Obviously, heâ€™s a great quarterback, a Hall of Famer guy.”
Williams was, of course, drafted by the Jets and originally faced Brady as a division opponent. After Brady’s move to Tampa, Williams faced him again during the 2020 season with the Giants.
“He gets the ball out so fast that as a D-lineman you get frustrated, but youâ€™ve got to just stay mentally locked in it, just keep rushing, donâ€™t let it frustrate you. Then when youâ€™re not getting home just get your hands up,” Williams elaborated further.
According to him, however, the Giants defenders can still make an impact without getting sacks directly.
“Also, if youâ€™re not getting sacks and stuff like that, getting pressure on him in the middle affects him as well, so even if he feels bodies in front of him and if he has to move his feet at all it kind of affects him at times.”
Much of the focus leading into this game has been on whether the offense can exploit weaknesses in the Tampa defense, but coming out of a bye week, this one is just as much of a test for the Giants defenders.
Tampa, after all, is one of the highest scoring offenses in the league. Can the pass rush and secondary slow down Tom Brady enough for the Giants offense to even have a chance at winning? We’ll find out on Monday night, when the team finally returns to the field from their bye.