Players To Watch At 2010 Buccaneers Training Camp: WR Mike Williams
He sliced through the defensive secondary like a knife through butter, melting away his coverage and firing into the air to come down with a one handed circus catch that drew oohs and aahs from all in attendance.
Granted, there's a major difference between making amazing plays during OTA's (Organized Team Activities) and doing it on Sundays, but rookie wide receiver Mike Williams has certainly turned some heads during the Tampa Bay Buccaneers off-season workouts.
You know Tampa Bay General Manager Mark Dominik was grabbing all of his good luck charms and lucky pennies as the 6-foot-2, 212-pounder slid into the fourth round of April's NFL Draft.
Williams was saddled with a bad reputation after getting in trouble with the school, getting suspended multiple times and finally being kicked off (or quitting, depending on who you ask) of the team.
The Bucs, however, did their homework.
"We spent a lot of time with Mike," Dominik said after the draft. "We spent a lot of time with him here at the facility. We spent time with him at the Combine. We spent time talking to people that have been around Mike Williams. You see a guy that loves the game of football, he's not a quitter."
What they may have in return for their due dillegence is one of the steals of the 2010 draft.
Williams flashed throughout rookie minicamp, OTA's and the Bucs' June full squad minicamp, making several highlight reel worthy grabs.
Better yet, Williams wasted no time in worrying about contracts, signing a 4 year deal that could reach $3.15 million if he reaches some of his escalators in the contract.
"I love this game, so I urged my agent, Hadley Engelhard, to reach an agreement quickly." Williams told the Pewter Report . "I am focused on the opportunity to contribute to the team and am very excited to be a Tampa Bay Buccaneer."
Along with 2nd round pick Arrelious Benn and last year's rookie standout Sammie Stroughter, the Bucs are hoping they have a trio that can grow with QB Josh Freeman for years to come.
For Williams, big plays seem to come natural. The Syracuse star hauled in 20 touchdowns and 2,044 yards for the Orange in 28 games.
“That’s what I do. I make plays,” Williams told the Pewter Report . “My whole life people have been calling me a playmaker. I don’t think it should stop now. I think I’m here and I should keep making plays and working hard.”
Color his quarterback impressed.
"Mike is tall with really good speed. I never realized how fast he was," Bucs QB Josh Freeman told a local radio show. "Mike, with his build, is a cross between Chad Johnson and Calvin Johnson."
According to the Pewter Report , the Bucs gave Mike Williams a video of receivers they believe his makeup could emulate.
"It has Larry Fitzgerald, Chad Johnson [Ochocinco], Brandon Marshall, and Anquan Boldin," said Williams. "I watched the first two already but I haven't watched the last two yet. They want me to study those guys and look at how those guys run routes and try and run some like them guys."
Already a leading candidate for a starting spot, the Bucs certainly hope they have that kind of player in their young wide receiver.
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