But the New Orleans Saints safety -- whose stellar rookie year was marred by his missed tackle in the final seconds of a stunning 29-24 playoff loss at Minnesota -- did acknowledge during a community appearance Wednesday that adversity is a part of life. His response is to "live every day like it's my last and do everything I can to make sure I'm a better person day in and day out."
"I don't really talk about that," Williams said when asked what the past few months have been like as he works to move past last season's painful ending. "But I'm doing good, the family's doing good. There's nothing really major going on in my life that's changing except for me helping these kids (at community events like the #DoRight4LA event he participated in Wednesday at the NFL YET Center in New Orleans).
"I mean, I'm the same person every day. I try to give my impact to people every day. I try to spread my word. Football's not my life. Football's what I do. I'll be able to do other things in life, and football's a way to open up new ventures for me."
When asked if his own experience is something he can pass on to kids, Williams said, "I mean, everybody faces adversity. It's just how you come back from that adversity ... So that's what I try to do and try to preach to the kids, 'Make sure you do the things enjoyable to you and make sure you have fun doing it.'"
Williams, who will turn 22 in September, was a second-round draft pick out of Utah. He started 17 games including the playoffs for the Saints last season, with five interceptions (including a huge one earlier in the game at Minnesota that helped ignite a New Orleans rally).
There is little doubt among his teammates and coaches that Williams will continue to be a centerpiece of the Saints' young, rising defense.
Williams has been back in New Orleans throughout the Saints' offseason conditioning program, which started last month. He said that didn't mark a big change for him, since, "I'm always working out." But he said it's good because, "Just being back here with my team, day in and day out, is how we build our bond to the upcoming season."
Williams said his biggest focus heading into Year 2 is "just becoming smarter about the game ... being able to understand schemes and plays and where you can be at to make more plays."
"You always gotta push yourself to be the best you can be," said Williams, who is excited about the potential of a secondary that also includes the NFL's reigning Defensive Rookie of the Year, cornerback Marshon Lattimore. "Man, I feel like we can be great. We're a tight group. We're hanging out. It's a great environment that I'm in and that we're in, and I feel like we're gonna be a great secondary this year."
Also noteworthy from Wednesday's event at the NFL YET Center:
Defensive end Alex Okafor said he is "right on track" in his recovery from the torn Achilles that ended his career-best season last November. He is doing some light jogging now and doesn't expect to do any on-field work during OTAs in May and June. But he expects to be back in time for training camp. "Honestly at this point, there's no rush," Okafor said. "We're just trying to take it one day at a time and make sure that when I do come back, I'm right back where I was. ...It's been a little difficult, it's been a challenge. But I'm just trying to enjoy the process."
Second-year running back Trey Edmunds is one of several candidates to take on a bigger role during Mark Ingram's four-game suspension to start the season. But Edmunds, who made the roster as an undrafted rookie last season because of his standout special teams ability, said that won't change his approach. "What I'm going to do is what I was going to do anyway, which is go out there, work hard and just improve my game in all aspects -- offensively and special teams-wise," said Edmunds, who added, "I just hope the best for Mark because he's a great friend and a better teammate."