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X Marks the Spot for Mike Williams
Few players have had a hotter start to the 2021 season than No. 81.
By Hayley Elwood Oct 07, 2021


Few players have had a hotter start to the 2021 season than Mike Williams.

The wide receiver has been on a tear and is currently tied for second amongst all receivers in touchdowns.

Here's more from Williams on his play in 2021, if he feels he has something to prove, freestyling with Justin Herbert, and more.



How good has your role in this offense been this season?

Mike Williams: I'm the X-receiver. It's been pretty good and it's kind of similar to what Michael Thomas ran in the Saints' offense; see a lot of balls, run a lot of slants. It's been pretty good so far.

When offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi came here, did he have a conversation with you on how he envisioned you fitting into this role?

Williams: We kind of talked. He said the "X" is gonna see a lot of balls in this offense and I told him I was looking forward to it. Obviously, hearing it doesn't really do much! But seeing it through the first few games, I'm feeling it right now. He stuck to his word and we've got a lot more to build on for the rest of the season.

He told us in camp if he was a betting man, he'd expect big numbers from you. That's come to fruition!

Williams: Yeah, yeah. It's showing up! I'm liking it. You gotta keep it up though.

What suits you so well in this role compared to what you've done in the past?

Williams: It's just putting me in positions to be successful. Doing things I'm great at doing. Using my body, running slants, being a big, physical receiver in the boundary. Just playing fast and physical.

I think what's impressive to me is you missed time during camp and like you said, you guys talked about it but you didn't know what it was gonna be like until you got on the field.

What was the process like of taking the mental reps and then getting out there and seeing it in game-action in Week 1?

Williams: I learn fast, I can kind of hear something and understand it. Not being out there wasn't an issue. Obviously, you want to be out there practicing, getting the timing down with the quarterback and things like that. You have to learn on the other side.

But I feel like me and Justin have a great connection. That wasn't an issue at all. It was just trying to get healthy to get back out there.

How has that connection grown now in year two with Herbert?

Williams: A lot. I feel like we're on the same page, and we kind of go on the fly sometimes also and kind of freestyle a little bit. The coaches don't like it! But we kind of freestyle and do some things on our own, but we minimize it a lot. It's probably one play in the game where we change things up and do some 'Mike and Justin things.'

How do you get a feel for those 'Mike and Justin things?' Is it a look?

Williams: It's a reaction-thing to be real with you. In the Kansas City game on the touchdown, it was just a connection thing. And then I also did it last week vs. Las Vegas on the deep ball. I beat a dude off the line real bad. I ran down the field and we didn't connect on it, but if we had it would have been like an 80-yard touchdown.

Do you feel you have something to prove with how you're playing this year?

Williams: I feel like that every year! 

Yeah?

Williams: Every year I feel like I have something to prove. Obviously, I want to get better every year. That's the goal this season. Be better than last year.

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