Seahawks receiver Mike Williams was on the John Clayton show on Saturday and provided a great interview. He talked about a variety of subjects over about 10 or 15 minutes: his first year back in the league, his quest to become a number one receiver, the Seahawks QB position, Matt Leinart, and more. I transcribed a little of it here for you.
On his offseason and the probable end to the Lockout:
"For me, I want to keep the momentum going this offseason. This offseason, for me, especially with what we have going on with the offense, and not really knowing what we have going on with the quarterback, whether it's going to be Matt (Hasselbeck), or Charlie (Whitehurst), or somebody else, so this is a lot of valuable time we've missed out on as a team, so hopefully we can get back to work, and start to get the timing down. You know, I'm still recovering from my foot (injury), so I just wanted to make sure that when we did get back to work, I wouldn't be getting into shape, I'd be ready to go.
There's a lot of things we need to do to move forward, and I'm just glad it seems to be coming to an end."
On last season; coming into Seahawks training camp, making the team, and eventually leading the team in receiving:
"It was a process, when I first got invited for the workout, and the things I would read, you know they said that (the Seahawks) were pretty set at receiver so I wouldn't make the team, and then when it seemed like I would make the team, it would be maybe at the bottom of the depth chart. So it was just kind of a process from not really knowing if I'd be on the team to getting to a point where I was getting a lot of looks from Matt this year, so I mean, just moving forward.
So now, I gotta prove I'm a number one in this league, and that's no easy task. The numbers I had this year, even though I missed a few games, don't reflect a number one receiver, so I've got my work cut out for me there."
This interview comes on the heels of a couple of great posts that Vasilii put together arguing about whether or not Mike Williams is, or is not, a number one receiver. One of the main problems with having that discussion is defining exactly what a number one receiver really is. There are many definitions out there and can be seen in many different lights. Clayton asks Williams to give his take on what it is to be a number one guy. He replied:
"He doesn't have drops. He makes the tough catches. You know, not just the routine stuff. He definitely has more than two regular season touchdowns.
I don't think it happens over night, it takes - sometimes a guy makes it happen in a year, and then you put a couple years together, and I think that's kinda my plan. Maybe I won't have the numbers of an Andre Johnson or Calvin Johnson but I took the lead in my group, and I'll build off this past season, and just keep trying to make the plays, and in the level of the top guys. It's always a competition, even on your team or across the league, you always want to be in the conversation. So, I've still go work to do."
One thing that always strikes you about Mike Williams, at this point of his career anyway, is his humility and frankness. He's not afraid to point out his own deficiencies - he alludes to his drops in '10, his modest (by top-tier standards) two touchdowns, - but notes he's working hard to improve on them. He did make some superb catches to contrast the drops, and if he can eliminate some of those miscues he could start to build a reputation as a #1. He doesn't see himself in the group of NFL #1 WRs yet, but has definite plans to be a part of that conversation down the road. It's good to hear.
Clayton moves on to the predicable subject of who Williams thinks he'll be catches passes from in 2011, and what he thinks of his options between Matt Hasselbeck and Charlie Whitehurst:
"If they go with Matt, we gotta do what we did, and what worked for us, when they protected him. And when the receivers make plays for him, we're a good offense, we move the ball, we convert, and you know, obviously if we don't, then he's going to be getting sacks. I think if we can protect Matt, with the offense that we have this year, with a new coordinator that he likes, ... you know we did get together this offseason to throw. He knew the terminology already, he was putting guys where they needed to go, so I know he feels confident about the offense if he is here.
Same thing with Charlie, you know it's kind of unfortunate with the uncertainty with Matt, it kind of, in my opinion, shortened his command, so to speak, if he wanted to organize things, because you know, Matt would still be the starter. So I just feel like Charlie took care of his business, you know he's been working out down in Georgia, with the rookie we drafted from Georgia (Kris Durham), so I know he's working. If Charlie gets his shot, I'll be happy for him.
I like how Charlie thinks, I like his aggression level. I don't know if it's from being down in San Deigo, and watching Phillip Rivers for a while, but I like that he'll take a chance, and that he has a big arm, and he'll try to make the throw. I think with more reps and the confidence that comes with being labeled the starter, I think it could really change how he approaches everything, and I still think the jury's out on Charlie. He needs the offseason to kind of be the guy, and be able to make the mistakes.
So, either one of those guys, I got confidence they'll do well. And I think our team feels the same way. I just think we have to do our part, on the outside, skill-wise, and the offensive line, and just help them be better."
Interesting thoughts from the Hawks' receiver. I'll have more on the Charlie vs Matt argument in a little while.