Mike Williams was asked a simple question as he sat down at his locker following the first day of minicamp.
What are the main things thing you’ve been focused on during this offseason program?
“My route depth,” he began. “That can mean a lot in this type of system because…”
A voice from a few stalls down interrupts.
It’s Tyrell Williams.
“If you say route depth one more time!”
Mike Williams just laughs.
The second-year wideout has been so focused on improving his route depth he’s said it ad nauseum the past few months. However, he’s putting his money where his mouth is, hammering home the importance to perfect that portion of his game.
So far, it’s working.
One of the hot topics following the first day of minicamp was the progression of last year’s first round pick, who has finally had a chance to acclimate into the offense after missing all of last year’s offseason program.
“Really where we’re getting some good work is seeing Mike and figuring out (how we’ll use him),” Offensive Coordinator Ken Whisenhunt told reporters. “We’re even playing him at some different spots. Just kind of getting used to seeing what he can do.”
“Mike’s looked good,” added Head Coach Anthony Lynn. “He looked good today. We’re purposely holding him back, getting him back in slowly. But you listen to Mike, Mike’s ready to go.”
Williams’ insatiable thirst to return in 2018 with a vengeance has driven him from the moment 2017 came to an end. His rookie campaign was virtually a lost season, so he’s doing everything he can to make sure he makes up for it in year two.
As he’s repeatedly said, that means a concerted effort to run his routes at the correct depth.
“Last year I was just too early,” he explained. “I wasn’t in the right area. So that is something I really had to work on.”
While Williams didn’t get a chance to really showcase the talents that made him the seventh overall pick in the draft, the team has a good idea what his role will be in a stacked WR corps.
Keenan Allen is the do-it-all guy who is an elite wideout in the game.
Tyrell Williams is a big-play threat with rare size-speed combination.
Travis Benjamin is one of, if not the, fastest players in the NFL who can stretch a defense.
Mike Williams is eager to get out there and play his game, which relies heavily on using his massive 6-4, 220-pound frame to overpower defenders.
“It feels good to be out there with those guys,” he said. “All of those guys have made plays in this offense. They’ve established themselves. I’m just trying to do what I do best, which is make those contested catches. I want to be the guy who makes plays up over DBs. Go over them, make those contested catches and make big plays.”
His fellow wide receivers know the impact a healthy Williams can make. Thus far, they’ve been impressed.
“It’s been great,” said Travis Benjamin. “He’s looking better, being consistent and being confident. He’s playing his game.”