Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Williams had acceptable stats in 2011. But after the numbers he put up as a rookie the year before, he views it as a “terrible season.”
Williams hopes the addition of wide receiver Vincent Jackson, which moves him from split end to flanker, will help him bounce back to the form he showed in 2010 according to Scott Reynolds of PewterReport.com.
Williams had 65 receptions for 771 yards and three scores last year. In 2010, the same amount of catches went for 964 yards and 11 scores, the reason he was upset with his production.
“I think it was a terrible season for me,” Williams said. “It may have been one of the worst seasons I have had in my career. It’s the bounce back season and I’m going to forget about it. I’m going to use what I did bad to get good this season.”
Williams said part of the key was “buying in” to new offensive coordinator Mike Sullivan’s system, which has him moving around more. He’s even had some reps as a punt returner in practice, which he likes for the opportunity to get the ball in his hands.
The biggest drop-off for Williams last year was in big plays. He had just nine receptions of 20 yards or more (after 18 the year before), and his yards per catch was down nearly 3 full yards (11.9 after 14.8).
He thinks having Jackson to draw the opponents top corner will help in that regard, but he’s been more impressed with Jackson’s off-field habits than physical gifts.
“[He’s about] getting all the extra work in,” Williams said of Jackson. “You get off field, you watch a little film, and you go home. That’s not Vincent. You get off the field, watch a little film, and he makes you watch a little bit more film. He makes you watch yourself and watch what the defender is doing to you.
“That’s kind of what I learned from him that you have to keep evaluating yourself and evaluating other players, too.”
That extra work extends to the six-week break before the start of training camp as well, as Williams said he and Jackson and others will meet up with quarterback Josh Freeman in July to get more familiar with the new system.
That’s the kind of “buying in,” that may matter most, as the Bucs try to put last year’s misery behind them.