Everyone is trying to temper their expectations and excitement over Mike Williams’ impressive summer thus far at training camp and in preseason play.
However, he’s making it awfully hard.
Mike Williams showed out once again in Wednesday’s joint practice against New Orleans. Simply put, the Saints had no answers for him.
Whether it was separating from the cornerback on a deep route or using his massive size to corral a 50/50 jump ball, the second-year wide receiver stole the show at Jack Hammett Sports Complex.
While Williams is generating a ton of buzz, he’s most importantly impressing Philip Rivers. However, number 17 explained it’s not Williams’ spectacular receptions that resonate with him as much as his consistent nature each time he takes the field.
“When we kicked off training camp, (I said) for Mike, it’s going to be day in and day out, how consistent can he be,” Rivers said. “We’ve seen the flashes and big plays, but can he do it every day? He’s pretty much shown us that (he can). He’s out here every day, and you just see him working and pushing through. I’m sure he’s tired and sore like all those guys are, and he’s working through that. And every day, you see him make a play. So it’s exciting. It does a lot.”
Still, the Chargers are wisely stressing how it’s important to keep things in perspective. It’s only August 22, and Williams has yet to produce this way in the regular season. In fact, Head Coach Anthony Lynn acutely summed up the team’s mindset earlier this week regarding the 6-4, 220-pound 23-year-old.
“Mike Williams just keeps on coming,” he said. “It was good to see him…(But he is still) just strictly projections. Mike Williams hasn’t done a lot in NFL games. I love what he’s doing in these camps, so we don’t want to get too far ahead on how deep we are at that position until we get into the season.”
Perhaps most notable is that Williams is taking the same approach. In fact, he’s the first to point out he hasn’t accomplished much when the games have actually counted.
“It’s only preseason!” he said emphatically. “Right now, I’m just trying to prepare for the season. Keep the same energy, consistency going through the season and then, after the season, hopefully we’ll be here talking about the same thing. I’ve just got to continue to get better every day and be there for my teammates every game.”
It would be easy to let the recent success get to his head, especially as he continues to make headlines from coast-to-coast. Whether it’s a story about his touchdown catch last week against the Seattle Seahawks on national television or fantasy pundits calling him a sleeper to target, there’s been plenty of pub about the wideout out.
To his credit, Williams is tuning it all out, emphasizing he really hasn’t done all that much. For instance, he was genuinely shocked to hear he was trending on Twitter in the L.A. market based on his practice against the Saints, paying it no mind.
“I went to Clemson, and I feel like there were a lot of headlines there,” he explained. “I feel like I dealt with the attention well then. I come from a small place so to never forget where you come from is something I always live by.”
If anything, Williams feels like he is simply doing his job.
“Everybody wants to come out and make plays. Me, being the first-round pick for the team, that was one of my goals; to be able to help my team. I feel like being drafted in the first round means I need to be out there with my teammates and I wasn’t able to do that last year. I’m able to do that now, and I’m making the best out of my opportunity.”