ENGLEWOOD — D.J. Williams likes talking about as much as kids enjoy cauliflower.
The Denver Broncos linebacker rarely stays behind in the locker room for fear of having to speak.
He’d avoid and duck every question if he could.
But Williams hung around his locker Wednesday, and owned up to his mistake. He knows he messed up.
Williams went to a birthday party, drank too much and got behind the wheel of his 2004 black BMW. He was pulled over by a Douglas County peace officer in the early hours of Sept. 23, and arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence. Williams’ court date is set for Oct. 28.
“I should’ve had someone else drive me home,” Williams said.
If convicted of DUI, there’s a chance Williams could be suspended. He may also be placed into the league’s substance abuse program.
“I can’t worry about that,” Williams said. “It’s out of my hands.”
Right after the incident happened, Williams made the lonely walk upstairs to tell Denver coach Mike Shanahan of his arrest.
“You’re kind of embarrassed as a player,” Williams said. “I went up there and told him I made a mistake, and he was cool about it. Everybody’s been supporting me the whole way.”
On Wednesday, Shanahan was asked about Williams’ arrest.
“This is the first time anything like this happened to this kid in his life,” Shanahan said.
But then Shanahan questioned why this was newsworthy since the incident was a month old. The Williams case may have slipped through the cracks given the fact his real name is Genos.
Regardless, Williams owned up to his indiscretion.
“A few of the older guys sat me down, talked to me and told me, ’You’re in the NFL now, the light’s on you,’" Williams said. “There are certain things you can do and certain things that you can’t do, and I’ve tried to learn from them.”
This has been a trying year for Williams. He led the team in tackles last season, but with the addition of linebacker Ian Gold, Williams’ playing time has been cut. He’s coming out of games in passing situations.
That’s the detriment of playing the strong-side linebacker spot. Through this point in the season last year, Williams had 39 tackles. This year, he has 21 tackles. Yet Williams won’t complain about his sliced role. After all, the Broncos are 5-1, and winning cures all woes.
“It’s not that tough because we’re winning,” Williams said of his diminished role. “You can’t complain.”
Williams may have no complaints with the amount of time he sees against the Giants on Sunday. With safety Sam Brandon out with a torn pectoral muscle, and safety Nick Ferguson questionable with an ankle injury, Williams may be called upon to cover Giants tight end Jeremy Shockey.
“I would love to cover him,” Williams said with a grin.
It would be one ’Cane covering another. Shockey and Williams remain good friends from their days together at the University of Miami.
“I know that if I’m not looking he’ll probably try and take a shot at me,” Williams said. “You know, just to brag in the offseason when we work out together.”
Should Williams shut Shockey down, Williams could do the bragging.
And the Broncos have a good system in place for neutralizing the tight end’s role. San Diego’s Antonio Gates had six catches for 80 yards while Kansas City’s Tony Gonzalez had five catches for 29 yards.
“Shockey’s an explosive tight end,” Williams said.
“But he’s one of the biggest trash talkers.”
Memo to Williams: Bring earplugs. He’ll need them listening to Shockey all afternoon.
Talking about Shockey and the game with the Giants was a momentary diversion for Williams. But then the conversation was guided back around to the DUI, and he felt the weight of his transgression on his shoulders.
“You represent your organization, you represent your mom, your family and friends,” Williams said.
“It was a mistake I made. I probably should have gotten somebody else to drive me home, but I chose to drive and I’ve got to suffer the consequences.”