Bills start Mike Williams ahead of Robert Woods


The good news is, the Bills have enough offensive options that they can make a change to the starting lineup without a catastrophe occurring.

But that might be bad news for former starting wideout Robert Woods.

According to Mike Rodak of, the Bills went with Sammy Watkins and Mike Williams to open the game, with Chris Hogan coming in as the slot receiver.

Those were the only three wideouts to play with starting quarterback E.J. Manuel.

“A little bit [surprised] for Woody not to be in with us with the one’s. A bit surprising,” Manuel said. “But he did great. He did great. Woody’s going to be Woody with whatever he’s given. So I was still glad to see him go out there and do a great job.”

Woods started 14 games as a rookie, and caught 40 passes. He had been working with the ones through camp, but said he wasn’t told why he didn’t start.

“No,” he said. “It is what it is. I just come out here and make plays whenever I’m in on the field.”

Having multiple options is a good thing for the Bills, and clearly Bills coach Doug Marrone has mended fences with Williams, who left his Syracuse team.

15 responses to “Bills start Mike Williams ahead of Robert Woods

  1. It was preseason game 1 of 5. Hogan is looking to make the team. Woods will be the slot guy when the season starts. There’s not a doubt about it.

    As for Williams- he’s any outside guy, with talent, who has proven himself a good player on the field so long as the nonsense off the field doesn’t become too much. It’s no surprise he’ll end up being the #2 guy. Anyone who believed Mike Rodak when he said during OTAs that Williams might not make the team is out to lunch.

  2. Woods is versatile & the team knows what they have in him. Putting him with the #2’s will only help build his maturity … plus it gives notion of competition.

    Bigger thing is it is like a dangling a carrot for Mike Williams! … “You want playing time, go get it! Show us what you have!”

  3. If this is Doug Marrone playing favorites with one of his players from college (a la Spurrier at Washington) he may find himself looking for a job sooner rather than later. Don’t get me wrong…Williams has talent but his off-the-field nonsense is never-ending and if they are truly depending on him to be available for an entire year then I want some of what they are smoking. At least Woods didn’t explode over the situation. That decision does raise some questions though.

    This is probably Williams’ last chance and I’m sure Marrone will give him plenty of chances. If he manages to screw up his stay in Buffalo, no team will touch him again.

  4. Yeah, Marrone favoring the guy that everybody here was shaking there head at when traded for because Marrone “booted” him from the ‘Cuse. A few notes… A.) Mike Williams is learning the offense, and learning to play with EJ, the more game action he gets with him the better off they are. B.) Chris Hogan barely saw the field last season, getting him time against the 1’s of another team to see how much he improved is smart. C.) EJ’s favorite target last season was Robert Woods. Maybe not in terms of numbers, but they were almost always on the same page, there is no question on chemistry between the 2. D.) It is the FIRST OF FIVE Pre-Season games! I he is still running with the 2’s during the 2nd and 3rd games, then maybe you can start questioning his game, same thing with EJ, other than that let’s get some more pre-season action going so we can get off this. BTW, Robert Woods looked like he was in Mid-Season form, Up-Grade over Stevie 6 days a week and 5 times on Sunday.

  5. Maybe they wanted to see what Woods could do with the ball in his hands and knew they wouldn’t see that if Manuel was throwing to him.

  6. Doug Flutie didn’t have that many batted balls in his career, six four he has to get that ball up..Go Buffalo..

  7. Mike Williams whether you “like” him or not has immense talent. Rookie season 2010 11TD’s and basically a 1000 yards(964) 2012 9TD’s and another 1000 yards(996). He is a proven commodity. You absolutely want to see him against the 1’s and get him some “game time” chemistry going with Manuel. You got him on the cheap, plenty of teams don’t have WR’s as accomplished as him on their team.

  8. they needed to see what they had in williams thats all…woods will be the #2 on opening day….williams is a redzone guy, between the 20s he’s not as dynamic, his game is all vertical….tj graham though, he’s gone, you see tuel throw a ball in the endzone to him between the numbers and it bounced right off him and caused an int

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