The Raiders signed DT Dan Williams Wednesday. Williams, who spent the last five seasons with the Arizona Cardinals, appeared in 70 games, making 40 starts. He totaled 116 tackles (63 solo), two sacks, two forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries, one interception and seven passes defensed.
While Smith made a name for himself in Arizona primarily as a run stopper, he believes that there is more to his game than just stopping the run.
"I sometimes think that you can't always justify how much pressure you get to the quarterback," said Williams. "They definitely said they want me to push the pocket, but definitely we need to stop the run and just try to make the team more dimensional."
Williams grew up in Memphis, Tenn., and decided to stay close to home after earning a football scholarship to the University of Tennessee.
Photos of new Raiders defensive tackle, Dan Williams.
He played four years in Knoxville, and after an impressive senior campaign that culminated with him earning First-Team All-SEC honors, he declared for the NFL Draft and was selected by the Arizona Cardinals in the first round (No. 26 overall) of the 2010 draft.
Williams appeared in 15 games as a rookie, and then enjoyed a career year in the desert in 2014, appearing in all 16 games, making nine starts in addition to setting a career-high in tackles with 45.
The former Volunteer spent time meeting with Head Coach Jack Del Rio and his staff Tuesday before signing his contract Wednesday, and credits those interactions as is reason for deciding to join the Silver and Black.
"They believe we can turn this thing around and we can do it in a hurry," he said. "Once I got to sit down and talk to [defensive coordinator] Ken Norton, Jr. and [defensive line] coach [Jethro] Franklin, that was pretty much the biggest factor in my decision. I think it will be a really good fit for myself and also I think I can definitely help out the Raiders, help turn things around."
In addition to his meetings with Coach Del Rio and the staff, current Raiders Charles Woodson and Justin Tuck also spoke with Williams and played a part in his decision to become a Raider.
"Those guys [Tuck and Woodson] won World Championships," said Williams. "When a guy has a ring on his finger, he definitely has done something and has been through things that I have never done. You always are ready to listen to someone who has been somewhere where you want to be."
Williams knows how quickly things can turn around for a franchise, as he witnessed firsthand as Bruce Arians turned a 5-11 Arizona Cardinals team into a 10-6 playoff contender in just one year, and he believes that Jack Del Rio can have a similar effect in Oakland.
"A lot depends on buying in and just seeing if everyone does it we can definitely have great results," he said. "We've got a new coach, we've got new people, a new system, let's win right away instead of waiting two or three years or something."