Mike Williams working to get “haters” on his side

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The Chargers made wide receiver Mike Williams the seventh overall pick of last year’s draft, but his contributions were limited during his rookie season.

Williams missed the preseason and early part of the regular season with a back injury, and then missed more time with a knee injury sustained once he did get on the field. Williams wound up with 11 catches for 95 yards in 10 games, which he attributes to a lack of “rhythm” with quarterback Philip Rivers caused by his absences from the lineup.

Williams’ approach to the 2018 season has been to focus on increasing his flexibility and getting help from Keenan Allen in order to erase doubts about whether the Chargers made the right choice last year.

“It is what it is,” Williams said, via Eric Williams of ESPN.com. “Even when you’re doing good, you’re going to have haters. Haters are going to hate. Somebody has to hate on you to keep you going. So I appreciate all the haters. But Mike Williams is going to be on top next year, and they’re going to be on the bandwagon. So we are going to take it like that.”

The Chargers led the league in passing yards despite Williams’ limited contributions and most of the key players from that attack are back this year. That means Williams won’t be guaranteed anything come September unless he makes it impossible for the Chargers to resist putting him in a prominent role.