ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) -D.J. Williams is used to moving around the Denver Broncos defense, but he hopes this latest move sticks.
Williams has played all three linebacker positions in his four-year career, and for 2008 he is going from middle linebacker back to the weak side, a position he played through college and in his rookie year of 2004.
``I enjoyed playing (middle) last year, I had fun,'' he said. ``I thought I caught on well at the end, but the team decided to move me back to (weak side), so that's what I'm doing.''
Switching positions has been an every year occurrence for Williams, but it hasn't been easy.
``I haven't been happy about the movement, but I like the organization, I like the city,'' Williams said Tuesday at the Broncos' practice facility. ``I understand why I had to move; it made the team better. Sometimes it's always not best for you.''
Williams' size - he's listed at 6-foot-1, 242 pounds - made him a versatile guy in the Denver defense.
``I already feel like a little knockaround guy, like hey, we can put him here, we can throw him there,'' he said. ``Just as long as I was successful at each position.''
Williams moved to strong-side linebacker his second year, back to weak side in his third year and last year he moved to the middle. He said his best position is weak side, but by moving around he has made himself a valuable player.
``If I would have played (weak side) every year here, this would be my ninth year playing (it) because I played it all through college,'' he said. ``A lot of things come second nature. But at the same time, the fact that I changed a lot of positions, it puts your value up. You're a guy who can be put anywhere.''
Despite a strong statistical year in 2007, Williams feels he's better at weak side linebacker than at middle linebacker. Williams was second in the NFL in tackles with 170, 121 unassisted. He easily surpassed his previous high of 114, 82 unassisted, that he reached as a rookie.
Williams' best game came at Oakland on Dec. 6 when he had 16 tackles, 12 unassisted, and recovered a fumble. In two games against the Raiders, Williams had 29 tackles.
Williams feels his play last year earned him respect from his teammates, and it helped establish him as a leader on the Denver defense.
``I didn't want to come in and tell guys what to do just because they put me at middle,'' he said. ``I had to go out and perform and produce. Once you do that, then guys look up to you and then you're able to say don't do this, don't do that.''
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