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What Philip Rivers Has Seen from Mike Williams in Practice
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Fans have been salivating since late April, waiting to see Mike Williams in a Chargers jersey go up and make one of his patented acrobatic catches.
It appears that day may be on the horizon.
On Wednesday, Head Coach Anthony Lynn said the first round pick is getting “very close” to suiting up for the first time. It remains up in the air when the wide receiver will make his NFL debut, but Lynn said he’ll see his heaviest workload yet this week during practice.
Williams has been a limited participant over the past few weeks, but it didn’t take long for Philip Rivers to see why the Bolts took him seventh overall.
“He’s shown some things just in the time he’s been able to be back on the field with us that you can quickly see why he was taken where he was taken,” he said. “Just physically the things he can do (are impressive).”
So what exactly has caught Rivers’ eye?
“You’ve seen him on tape, and then seeing him up-close you know he’s a guy that has great range,” he explained. “And then just down the field, the way he can track the ball and catch it (stands out). And then I think on the short and intermediate stuff you can really put it in a lot of different places to protect the throw. His size alone protects the throw, whether it be a DB driving on something.”
Offensive Coordinator Ken Whisenhunt is also encouraged by what he’s seen from Williams recently at Hoag Performance Center.
“He’s done a really good job in practice of taking some reps (and) getting acclimated to what we’re doing,” he said. “We’ll continue to work him in and see where he is. He’s a big guy that really has outstanding hands. You can see that. That’s evident from what he did in college. We’re excited to see what he can do. He’s an exciting young player.”
While the Bolts are eager to see Williams in real game action, they’ve wisely taken a cautious approach with the first round pick after he suffered an offseason back injury. It remains uncertain when he’ll suit up for the first time. Whenever he does, all eyes will be on how Williams fits into the team’s air attack with Keenan Allen, Tyrell Williams and Travis Benjamin.
Allen ranks fourth in the NFL in receiving yards (401), including a league-high 235 on third down. He also ranks eighth among all wide receivers with 28 receptions. Meanwhile, Tyrell Williams has caught 17 passes for 260 yards (15.3 ypc), including a 75-yard touchdown while Benjamin has hauled in 13 passes for 198 yards (15.2) and one score.
Still, as Rivers notes, the rookie brings something different to the table that will complement the current stable of wideouts.
“His range and length really for a big guy (is impressive). In my time with him in the last few weeks, he stops very well. He can put on breaks suddenly. It’s not a slow lumbering to a stop. He’s sudden, and that’s even better for a big guy.” Read