Making the cut

Metairie, La. -- Jonathan Williams finished with 26 yards on 4 carries in the Saints win over the Jaguars Thursday night, trying to make the most out of his time on the field.

"Pretty good performance," Williams said of his play in the Saints' first preseason game. "I'm never comfortable. It was only 4 carries. It's nothing to get too excited about. It's just a couple carries so I'm looking forward to more opportunities and keep this thing going."

"He's doing well," said Saints head coach Sean Payton. "I thought he played well in the game in his reps. I thought he's had some good practices. He's a guy with good vision. He'll get what's blocked. We've just got to keep giving him those opportunities. But he's doing well."

The performance has even gotten him some more reps with the first team offense.

"I just go out there whenever they tell me to go out there and do my best every day," Williams said. "Like I said, I just put my head down and keep working every day and try to stay consistent. Mark and AK lead the group and I'm in their head. I'm right on their hip asking them questions and stuff like that. Coach Thomas is a great coach-- a guy that I've been with in college as well. I'm just trying to put my head down and keep working."

The third year back out of Arkansas has caught the attention of his teammates as well, who recognize and appreciate his physical style of play.

"I think once the pads come on, he's an impressive guy," said Saints quarterback Drew Brees. "He's run the ball extremely well but I think even more-so than that, he stuck his nose in there in pass protection better than anybody I've seen in a while. He really takes pride in that and obviously that's a role among our running backs that they take really great pride in-- Alvin and Mark both. And typically that takes some evolution. A lot of guys come in and they're good runners but once you kind of get them into the system and they realize, 'OK, I've got to be able to pass protect too, because if I can do that, that means I'm going to be on the field more, which means I'm going to get other opportunities to both run and catch balls out of the backfield. It just makes me a more versatile player and a more productive player.' I think that's something Jonathan Williams has done very well thus far."

"If you go back and watch me play in years past, that's where I'm best at-- breaking tackles, being able to keep my feet running after contact, so I was excited to put the pads on," Williams said.