Mike Williams Impressive So Far


Yesterday, recently acquired running back LenDale White felt it was necessary to inform his followers on Twitter about former teammate Mike Williams. Both White and Williams played for Pete Carroll at Southern Cal and have been reunited in Seattle with the Seahawks.

LenDale White’s tweet from yesterday:

"Mike the guy williams by the way is a BEAST. My guy is back he looked great at mini camp PC def kno what he’s doing"

Is he talking about Mike Williams, the former first-round draft pick of the Detroit Lions? The same Mike Williams who has caught only two touchdown passes in the National Football League after being selected tenth overall in the 2005 NFL Draft?

He is, and the coaching staff agrees: Mike Williams has been impressive so far in minicamps.

Pete Carroll said earlier this week that Williams is “definitely at a place where he’s really competitive physically.” Carroll, who coached the once-impressive receiver for two seasons at Southern California, admitted that physically, Williams is the best he’s seen him “since maybe his sophomore year of college.”

But we’re still talking about Mike Williams, right? The receiver who declared early for the NFL and entered the league with a lot of hype, only to catch 44 balls with three different teams in four seasons?

Yes. That Mike Williams.

Williams was supposed to be the next great receiver in the National Football League. Instead, he is considered by many to be one of the biggest draft busts in the 21st century. Entering the league with so much hype and promise, Williams reportedly never developed a work ethic and quickly fell out of favor with every team he played for.

Williams was apparently never in shape, never willing to work, and did not strive for greatness after he was drafted. In 2007 during a short stint with the Tennessee Titans, it was reported that Williams weighed as much as 270 pounds.

In Seattle, however, it seems the old Mike Williams has transformed into a more mature, leaner version of a receiver who once appeared destined for greatness. He has dropped a lot of bad habits, and reported to Seattle weighing around 230 pounds – a much more respectable weight for a physical wide receiver.

Williams, quoted earlier this week in an article by Danny O’Neil of the Seattle Times:

"“One of my main problems early in my career was I was trying to bring friends and family along to enjoy the experience of being an NFL player,” he said. “Being able to go hang out in the clubs, just developed some real bad habits.”"

The Seattle Seahawks are desperate for a playmaker, specifically at the wide receiver position. After the team failed to land Brandon Marshall, the desire to bring in a big, game-breaking receiver has only increased. Mike Williams is no Brandon Marshall, but their physical attributes are similar: Williams is 6-foot-5, 230, and Marshall is 6-foot-4, 230.

Whether Mike Williams can finally develop into a capable receiver in the National Football League is to be determined. But it would sure be nice to have someone with his size and athletic ability on the field.

In two seasons at Southern Cal, Williams caught 176 passes for 2,579 yards and 30 touchdowns. If he can provide even a small portion of that talent and production in Seattle, the Seahawks have found a diamond in the rough.

Wishful thinking, but isn’t that what the offseason is all about?

Shaun Dolence: dolencesm@gmail.com
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