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“When your body feels pain, you automatically want to shut down and it’s not an easy thing to play though, especially when you’re playing against people who get paid millions to beat you,” Williams said.

That “heart” has grown stronger since two years ago, when Williams had to sit down and reflect on how much he needed to focus on football to be successful. As the No. 4 pick in the draft, he conceded his life changed so much it was hard to concentrate.

To excel in this job, though, he had no choice but to embrace high expectations, internally and externally.

“It definitely was a lot of pressure. Definitely a lot of pressure. But no, I wouldn’t change anything,” Williams said. “To [whom] much is given, much is expected. I thank God for that position because it helped me learn a lot, and I definitely, definitely don’t take anything for granted now.”

Certainly not being a Pro Bowl offensive tackle, an honor he made no secret he wanted. Upon learning of his first selection, Williams couldn’t stop smiling.

But it’s far from mission accomplished.

“As a player you strive to be great, and this is just a process of that,” Williams said. “Five years down the line, I want it to be a consensus that I am the best tackle in the game. I’m going to continue to work hard until I reach that goal.”