Former University of Kentucky linebacker Avery Williamson, already a starter as rookie with the Tennessee Titans, will make his primetime NFL debut against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Monday night.
The fifth-round draft pick is averaging 8.4 tackles per game in his five starts and has reached double digits in the past two games.
"My confidence has really been growing," Williamson told TitansOnline.com. "I'm trying to not get ahead of myself. I don't want to get too excited about making a play or too down about not making a play. I'm just trying to do the same thing each week."
One of Williamson's best moments so far came in the Titans' Week 5 win against Jacksonville. He picked up a fumble and returned it 41 yards.
"The thought that was going through my head was 'everyone is looking at me don't mess up, don't mess up," Williamson said. "It was really a fun moment. There's nothing like that feeling to get the ball in your hands."
Williamson's strong start to his career has surprised even himself.
"I would say that my expectations for this year were to play on special teams and to get a feel for the defense and maybe get in on a few plays," he said. "I really wasn't expecting to have this big of a role and to be telling the defense what to do out there. It's really a bigger step than what I thought I was going to take."
Teammate and fellow former UK standout Wesley Woodyard has been a mentor for Williamson.
"He's playing really well especially as a first year player," Woodyard said. "The biggest thing is that he's getting better every week, making plays and making the right calls. It's good to see that he's taking everything in, and it's special being able play next to him having come from the same school."
■ Randall Cobb (UK) had 10 catches for 129 yards, both game highs, in Green Bay's 53-20 rout of Philadelphia. It was the fourth time he has topped 100 yards this season.
■ Jacob Tamme (Boyle County, UK) subbed for an injured Julius Thomas and had four catches for 31 yards in Denver' 22-7 loss at St. Louis.
■ Teddy Bridgewater (Louisville) threw for 158 yards with one TD and one interception in Minnesota's 21-13 loss at Chicago.
■ Harry Douglas (Louisville) had four catches for 46 yards in Atlanta's 19-17 win at Carolina.