Panthers’ Williams ready for next season

Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Carolina Panthers RB DeAngelo Williams is here in Tampa, but he’s not going to the Super Bowl. He says the Panthers’ loss to the Cardinals in the second round of the playoffs still stings.

“I can’t watch it,” he said.

Williams took a few minutes after his live interview on NFL Network to chat. He’s not the biggest guy in the world — almost exactly the same size as yours truly (albeit shaped differently) — which makes what he does between the white lines on Sundays that much more impressive.

Here’s a bit of what we talked about. Oh, btw, he’s picking the Steelers on Sunday.

What has your experience been like this week …
“It feels great. This atmosphere, it makes you want it. It’s something you strive for all season long. You play 16 games, plus two or three playoff games. It’s definitely worth every play, every down, every run, every touchdown. Whatever it takes to get here, its definitely worth it. It’s more than what I expected. …You don’t get a feel for it, until you’re here. It’s awesome.”

You had a sick season. Where do you go from here?
“You get better. You have to get better. You don’t stay at a standstill. If you stay at a standstill, the whole NFL is getting better. The rest of the 31 teams are getting better. You’ll basically lose a season. There are a lot of aspects of my game and in our game that we can improve on. We can get better at blocking, we can get better at reading the holes. We can get better at anticipating. When we anticipate, we need to anticipate the right call, the right move, the right read, vs. being right 80 percent of the time, we need to be closer to 100 percent. … We can’t have next season be the season we had last year.”

What didn’t you expect about today?
“I didn’t expect to bump into all of the Hall of Fame guys I bumped into. Them actually knowing my name, my face. That’s cool. These are the guys that I watched when I was a kid.”

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