“Tyrell Williams, you (freaking) stud!!”
That’s what one fan screamed at the top of his lungs earlier this week as the 26-year-old used his speed to gain separation, hauled in a Philip Rivers’ pass in stride and then sprinted into the end zone.
Those around the fan, dressed in a powder blue Keenan Allen jersey, clapped and cheered in unison.
After all, it’s hard to disagree with his statement.
Tyrell Williams has been an absolute stud thus far in training camp. As humble as they come, even he couldn’t dispel the notion.
“I feel great,” he said. “It’s probably my best camp. I feel really good. I feel confident so I’m just trying to keep rolling.”
There is so much to like about Williams’ game, which continues to grow by leaps and bounds each year. He boasts tremendous size, blazing speed and is one of the NFL’s preeminent deep threats. Entering his fourth season, number 16 has caught 114 passes for 1,877 yards and 12 touchdowns while averaging 25.7 yards per catch.
Still, despite all his success, there’s one part of his game Williams has been criticized for…and he agrees with it.
The wideout openly admits he’s simply not been good enough at catching contested passes thrown his way.
Thus, a major focal point heading into his fourth season is to work on getting his hands up and using every bit of his 6-4, 205-pound frame to his advantage.
“I want to be able to make all those contested catches,” he said. “I feel like that’s going to take my game to another level, so I’ve been really focusing on that. I’ve gotten a lot of good opportunities during practice, so it’s been good. I feel like I’m doing a better job at it.”
It makes sense why this part of his game has taken some time to develop. Williams tore up the Great Northwest Athletic Conference during his career at Western Oregon, relying mostly on his speed as cornerbacks couldn’t keep up.
That’s clearly not the case in the NFL, where the players are faster and stronger. While his speed has translated to the next level, he knows he must master the art of high-pointing the ball and coming down with the contested catch.
“I think it’s because it doesn’t happen often,” Williams said. “You don’t get a lot of opportunities to do that so when they do and you don’t make it, it’s (magnified). It makes it seem like you can’t do it. But I’m working at it, and I (hope) it’s been noticeable because I’ve had a lot of opportunities this camp to work on it and I’ve been capitalizing.”
In fact, Williams is so dead set on improving that area of his game that he’s forcing himself into situations where he can work on it.
“Sometimes in one-on-ones, you can try to make that happen where you have to (make a contested catch). It’s like, even if I could catch those (a different way), sometimes I have to force myself to make that contested catch to work on it.”
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