K'Waun Williams recalled the memory as if it just happened.
Nine months since he improbably landed a spot on the Browns' 53-man roster -- a journey that began as a tryout player at Mike Pettine's first rookie mini-camp -- Williams fondly remembered the phone call he made to his mother when his dream had officially become a reality.
"I called her and I let her know and she was just ecstatic," Williams said Wednesday during an appearance on Cleveland Browns Daily. "She was smiling and laughing on the phone and couldn't believe I really did it. As a kid, I always had a vision I was going to make it. I had a lot of obstacles, whether it was being small or being undrafted and I made it on tryout, which is probably one of the hardest ways to make it. I was just thankful. It was a great, beautiful day with me and my mom. We enjoyed it with my brother and my family.
"I was just blessed. I felt blessed and I still am today."
That blessing comes with an everyday responsibility to maintain the high level of play he displayed as a rookie. He's reminded of it every day he walks into the crowded Browns' defensive backs room that now features 18 players.
Williams, as he did throughout his rookie season, keeps his eyes and ears directed at the room's eldest statesmen.
"A lot of competition," said Williams, whom ProFootballFocus.com recently ranked as the sixth-best cover cornerback from the 2014 season. "That kind of rises our competition level and our game. Lot of guys unsure because you know the room's going to get cut down but all the guys are getting along pretty good. I'm like a sponge in the room. I'm taking knowledge from Joe (Haden) and Tramon (Williams) and feeding off their success and learning new things as I go along."
Williams held down the important role of nickel cornerback throughout the 2014 season until an injured hamstring prematurely ended his rookie year. Williams' ProFootballFocus.com ranking was tabulated from his performance on the 341 snaps he played.
That's in the past, though, and Williams knows it. How he improves himself over the next few months will determine whether he'll be in the same spot as a second-year professional.
"I just want to be a leader," Williams said. "I got a better grasp for the game mentally. My first year, I was kind of learning it. Now, I kind of understand the things we're doing on defense. It should be a great year. I feel prepared. I had a good offseason working on my body and trying to stay healthy. Just trying to take the next step and better my game."