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Mike Williams a proven vet in young WR group

Posted Jul 20, 2014

Mike Williams is still working to master his new offense in Buffalo, but his younger teammates are already looking to the proven wideout for advice.


It’s a position group that is steeped in talent, but there is also a healthy measure of inexperienced and unproven players. The Bills wide receiver contingent is very young and they may be counting on a Buffalo native to lead them.

Most might not peg Mike Williams as a born leader, but at age 27 he’s one of the elder statesman of a relatively inexperienced receiver group. With Stevie Johnson traded to San Francisco this offseason, Williams is now the veteran that the younger wideouts are seeking out for counsel.

For Williams he’s trying to strike a balance between being helpful and getting settled in his new surroundings after a trade this offseason brought him back to his hometown.

“It’s kind of hard because I’ve got a lot of guys asking for advice and at the same time I’m trying to learn the offense and learn the plays and trying to learn from them because they were here before me,” said Williams. “I’m trying to learn what they see and then they ask me my advice and I look at them as if to say that I’m trying to learn too. I just have to master the playbook so I’m on a level where I can help teach it.”

The bulk of the receiving corps doesn’t have more than one regular season of NFL action under their belt. Only Ramses Barden and Marcus Easley have appeared in more than a season’s worth of games in their careers and that pair has combined for 31 total receptions.

Williams is happy to help any of the younger wideouts on the roster, but second-year receiver Chris Hogan said everyone in their room is trying to be vocal for the group.

We’re all trying to take on that sort of position,” Hogan said. “We’re not putting it on anybody like Mike (Williams) or Woody (Robert Woods). As a whole we’re trying to support each other and do everything as a team.”

At this point Williams wants to put his full game on display, something he couldn’t do in the spring when he was still limited by an off the field leg injury. Shortly after his conditioning test Saturday, Williams was very encouraged by his performance.

“We just did a conditioning test and I feel real good. I thought I got an A-plus if there was a grade for it,” he said. “I’ve been training the whole offseason. There’s no offseason for me. I had to get my leg better. I had to get back to being Mike like my mom always tells me. I felt today like I was Mike again. So I feel ready to go.”

As for his on field chemistry with EJ Manuel, Williams has already taken steps to convince Buffalo’s starting quarterback that he just needs to put the ball in his vicinity.

“I kind of made a little joke in the meetings earlier I told him to throw it in the clouds and I’ll go get it,” said Williams, who is one of the best in the league at high pointing the ball. “He said that he saw that in me. He said all of my balls I always come down with it so we’re kind of getting that communication together and I’m just starting to feel 100 percent.”

When asked how long it might take them to get their timing down Williams sounded awfully confident.

“One day. One day is all it takes,” said Williams. “You get us in press coverage and you get us in off coverage and you hit your guy a couple of times and that’s all it takes.”