Orchard Park, NY -- When watching the Buffalo Bills go through team drills through the off-season workouts in June, one thing that's audibly different is something in the defensive backfield.
Not only are there new people assuming the role of starters at cornerback, but second-year player Aaron Williams consistently lets his voice be heard throughout the practice sessions.
"The trash talking is just trying to keep my confidence up," he said on Wednesday. "Even when it's a bad play, I'm not going to let you know that you had me on that one play. I'm gonna keep going."
Trash talking, gamesmanship -- whatever you may call it, Williams is getting comfortable in his role with the Bills. He calls it a byproduct of not having that rookie label on him any longer.
"First year you don't want to mouth off to the vets. You just got there and you've yet to prove anything," the second-year man from Texas remarked."That first year, you want to listen more than you talk. When you get used to everybody's personality and the chemistry of this team, the trash starts coming out especially in mini-camp and training camp too."
With the off-season official workouts all but one day away from concluding for the summer, Williams has jabbered with the likes of receivers, running backs, tight ends -- whomever he had the role of covering on that specific play. One player that gave him a bit of his own medicine on Wednesday was Fred Jackson, with the two exchanging wits during some team drills.
"Fred's a goofball. He's the biggest kid I know at the age of 30, 29 or however old he is," Williams said. "He keeps me humble, keeps me level-headed, beats me up... he's like my older brother in the locker room always beating me up. He has my back. He took me under his wing when I got here. I'm really blessed to have him."
Other than his vocal trends, the cornerback has made enough strides on-the-field for the coaching staff to designate him as one of the outside starters when healthy enough to participate. He and rookie Stephon Gilmore have been the duo taking the majority of the first team reps.
Smartly so, Williams isn't letting all of that getting to his head.
"I've yet to prove anything," he replied. "Nobody has a starting job, I don't have a starting job. I'm trying to prove to coaches that they can rely on me."
While making some plays early on, the 22-year old Williams was set back after having been carted off the field Week 3 versus New England. A chest injury would keep him out for the next seven weeks in 2011.
Despite that large chunk of season being lost, Williams doesn't believe he needs to dwell on missing out on valuable in-game experience.
"I can't really look at it like that," he said. "You can't really control injuries. All you can do is learn from it and keep your body healthy."
Speaking of health, Williams took part in his second straight practice session Wednesday after missing three days of workouts during last week's Organized Team Activities. The cornerback said the knee is fine, and sitting out was just a precautionary measure more than anything.
Williams and the Bills have one final day of mini-camp before they break for a month. The next date they officially return to practice will then be July 26 on the campus of St. John Fisher College for the start of training camp.