- Associated Press - Tuesday, May 24, 2016

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) - Andre Williams isn’t going to make excuses for his 2015 season with the New York Giants.

It was a bad year. His carries were down. His yardage was down. His trips to the end zone were down.

Worst of all, Williams didn’t do anything to convince the coaches to play him more.

His second season in the NFL was a flop, and there is no doubt he is heading into his third looking to improve under new coach Ben McAdoo.

It’s going to be tough with a backfield that is even more crowded than last season with the addition of UCLA halfback Paul Perkins in the fifth round of the draft. Starter Rashad Jennings is back along with third-down specialist Shane Vereen and sparkplug Orleans Darkwa. Williams makes five, and then there are the free agents.

Williams doesn’t care about the numbers. The Boston College product is getting ready to do a lot more this season.

“My goal joining the Giants was to help us win a Super Bowl in any way possible,” he said as the Giants got their organized team activities under way this week. “This year, the only thing I am thinking about is carrying the ball into the end zone as often as possible.”

Williams did that twice last season, catching one touchdown - his only reception - and running for another. His statistics were disappointing with 88 carries in 16 games for 257 yards, an average of 2.9 yards. His longest run was 35 yards.

It was well off his rookie season, when the fourth-round pick had 217 carries for 721 yards and seven touchdowns, including a 50-yarder. His average was 3.3 yards. He also had 18 receptions.

“It was definitely a bit of a drop off from my rookie season, but I feel like that was for a reason,’ Williams said. “Obviously I didn’t make big enough strides for them to say that I was far enough ahead of anybody to deserve anything more than anybody else was getting. The situation was what it was. I have faith in my ability.”

Since replacing Tom Coughlin, McAdoo went out of his way to say he is not writing off Williams. Williams appreciated that, joking he wholeheartedly agrees with his coach.

If looks are anything, the 23-year-old has already changed. His arms are huge. His body is more tapered. He lost 10 pounds and went from a 36 waist to a 32.

“It was just a product of the work I have put in,” the bullish Williams said. “I did what I needed to do and I like how I feel right now. I feel faster, stronger, more flexible, more explosive than I have ever been. I am going to run with it this year.”

Williams even disclosed the secret to losing weight. His diet consists of a lot of Korean barbeque, a staple in his neighborhood in Palisades Park, New Jersey.

Williams also has another source of motivation: a 3-month-old son, Barron Xavier.

“He started rolling a couple of weeks ago,” Williams said. “He is way ahead of schedule.”

Williams is hoping his season goes the same way.



AP NFL websites: https://www.pro32.ap.org and https://www.twitter.com/AP_NFL

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