Neither Kyle Williams nor his wife has ever been to Hawaii. They're going now.
The Buffalo Bills' defensive tackle was named to the American Football Conference's all-star squad Thursday. Williams was the first alternate at the DT position in the voting for the game and gets to replace Oakland's Richard Seymour, who can't play due to injury.
"Whether I made it first ballot or first alternate, it was going to be kind of a bittersweet deal because of the way our year had gone, but it's not a bad consolation prize," said Williams, speaking from his offseason home in Louisiana. "I'm excited to go and represent our organization and my teammates and our fans, and obviously my family."
Williams, in his fifth season, had his best year, leading the Bills in sacks (5.5) and tackles for loss (16). He was third on the team in tackles, with 87, and he ranked second in the league among DTs in tackles, according to NFL.com.
"Obviously, you don't go out and play for awards, you play to win," Williams said. "When things like that don't happen, sometimes you get disappointed, you get discouraged. But I take away the fact that we had a bad year but I get recognized for playing well."
Baltimore's Haloti Ngata and New England's Vince Wilfork are the AFC starters at defensive tackle. The Pro Bowl will be held Jan. 30 in Honolulu.
Williams said his improved production was a result of taking advantage of his experience.
"I look at my first two years and I played mostly a shade or a tilt," he said, referring to the position opposite an outside shoulder of the center. "My third year [Marcus] Stroud came in. I got to play more three-technique, and in my fourth year, too. So I've kind of played a little bit all over and have gotten more and more comfortable, and I was able to take advantage of it."
The three-technique position is opposite the outside shoulder of a guard.
Williams' best game might have been the overtime loss to Pittsburgh, when he dominated Steelers guard Chris Kemoatu. Williams had two sacks and 10 tackles. He had two sacks at Kansas City, too.
"I think one of my better ones -- maybe the production didn't jump off the page -- was Detroit," he said. "As far as what I was able to do on the line of scrimmage to help us get our first win, that was one of the games I'm more proud of."
Obviously, improving the league's worst run defense will be a big priority in the offseason. Williams thinks the Bills' plan to continue to play multiple fronts, as coach Chan Gailey stated this week, is the right way to go.
"I think if you look at all the defenses in the league, there's really only two teams that play a true 3-4 most of the time -- Kansas City and Cleveland," Williams said. "All the other 3-4 teams are very multiple. They're all over the place. You don't know where they're coming from. I think Coach has looked at that. And we played a lot of those teams this year. Those teams that are dominant defenses can line up in anything. They don't tell you what they're gonna line up in or where they're coming from. Obviously that's where we want to get to."