Mike Williams Is Not Michael Clayton

May 30th, 2012

Last season, Mike Williams wasn’t the reciever he was during his rookie campaign of 2010.

For reasons unknown, a long list of Bucs were in a similar boat, losing a notch or two from their games in 2011.

Williams had 65 catches in 2010 and 65 in 2011, but he didn’t find the end zone as much and his yards per catch fell from 14.8 to 11.9. Chalk it up to some combination of more attention from defenses, fewer slant passes, Josh Freeman not being as sharp, Williams battling injuries, and the general disease that affected most Bucs and led to the heinous 10-game losing streak.

But what’s been amazing to Joe over the past several months is to hear how so many fans think Williams all of a sudden sucks and somehow his game dropped by epic proportions.

During a live TampaBay.com chat yesterday with columnist Gary Shelton, one fan even dared to compare Williams dropoff (of zero catches mind you) to that of blocking icon/one-year-wonder Michael Clayton.

Comment From Platypus
I’m going way back here, but how do guys like Michael Clayton and Mike Williams fall so far so fast after a good first season?

Shelton: Clayton had such a good first season largely because the Bucs had no one else to throw to. It made him look better than he was. Williams got a lot more attention in year two, and his quarterback wasn’t as sharp.

I still think Williams can be a fine pro.

First, Joe must say he disagrees with Shelton’s discounting of Clayton’s great rookie season in 2004.  Joey Galloway, Joe Jurevicius and Tim Brown all caught passes during Clayton’s best game of that season. That qualifies as nobody else to throw to? Clayton had one great year. No need to undercut his accomplishment.

Regardless, Joe wants it clear that Williams is still a mad talent coming off a “bad” season in which he caught 65 balls. That’s not too shabby. Joe’s far more confident that Williams will deliver a bounce-back season in 2012 than Josh Freeman.

24 Responses to “Mike Williams Is Not Michael Clayton”

  1. mike Says:

    did you really just say tim brown was someone to throw to in 2004????

  2. Eric Says:

    Wow looking at the stats from 2004 Brian Griese had 20 tds and 12 ints and a QB rating of 97.5. In only ten games.

    And people say Chucky can’t coach up QB’s………

    Williams may have gone down in direct proportion to how poorly Free played. Those things go hand in hand.

    with Jackosn if they both don’t bounce back there is danger, danger Will Robinson……

  3. Miguel Grande Says:

    I believe Mike Williams will have a successful season as the #2 receiver. He is simply not a #1. There is no disgrace in being a great second receiver, VJ will take most of the heat off of MW, that is what he is being paid to do and vice versa. Its a great situation for everyone involved barring injury.

    The thing I hope exists is a little common sense in the New Schiano Order and no Gruden like doghouses where we can’t put our two best receivers on the field at the same time.

    Michael Clayton is a distant enigma that should not be rehashed time after time. Good riddance.

  4. Have A Nice Day Says:

    People have ridiculously short and unreasonable emotion-based memories when it comes to sports. Mike Williams caught just as many balls and had more 3 TDs in his second season than Clayton did in his second and third year combined.

    Heck, Mike Williams caught more TDs in his second year than Clayton caught the rest of his career.

    Seems some people just love being angry about something.

  5. Big Rob Says:

    It sad. We have some of the dumbest fans around.

  6. Jonny 3.3 Says:

    Just for the sake of record, Bucs had no one else to throw to at the receiver spot in 2010 either. A large reason for why MW was so productive was him being the primary receiver among a bunch of rookies.

  7. DieHard_Bob Says:

    Williams had no off season coaching during the lockout. It was said that the 2nd year pros would suffer the most because now the other teams had a whole years worth of tape on Mike so he saw a lot of double teams last year but didn’t get any off season instruction on how to deal with them. I’m sure the new offensive coordinator will find the best way to utilize him this season. On another note, I think Shelton might have been referring to the later part of Clayton’s rookie season when I believe the other receivers were injured so he became the main target.

  8. OB Says:

    Joe, let us look back, yes I know it hurts but sometimes you have to, last year all of everybody said that JF tried to force his throws to Winslow and he had a lot of INTs. Yes that happened, did he have as much time to throw, no, is that a factor in letting things develop, yes. On Third down, without Blount in there,were we going to throw, yes unless it was Benn on an end around.

    Fast forward to the games this year, is any of this the same, no, will it be a difference, yes, how much, who knows, but one thing is sure, all of them are going to get the ball less and score more because they don’t have to have 15 to 20 play drives, just think people actually being where they are supposed to be and JF and look there instead of all over the field and having a line that will block or a runner with holes to run through. What a differerence.

    Oh, and how much will a tackling defense change things?

    Wonders will never cease and I for one, can’t wait for the season to begin.

  9. Brandon Says:

    Comment From Platypus
    I’m going way back here, but how do guys like Michael Clayton and Mike Williams fall so far so fast after a good first season?


    Yeah, this ignoramus really went “way back” there. A whole 7 seasons.. whew, how do people remember stuff that happened all the way back then?


    Daddy, was there really a wide receiver named Michael Clayton?

    Yes, honey, he was the best blocking wide receiver of all-time. It was even a consideration to change his # to 64 and move him to the line, not just because his blocking was so good, but because his hands were sooooo bad…and he was pretty darn slow.

  10. crazy Says:

    As I recall the ball started to bounce off Clayton when he was wide open and before long his formerly sticky fingers turned to marble. Williams seemed to have more trouble getting open last year which should change with the arrival of VJ. Better decisions by Freeman and better receiver play should lead to better results.

  11. RustyRhino Says:

    @eric What a great season 2004 was right Eric? “the stats from 2004 Brian Griese had 20 tds and 12 ints and a QB rating of 97.5. In only ten games.
    And people say Chucky can’t coach up QB’s…” which 10 games Eric we went 5-11 in 2004 remember?

    Wiki said it best “Tampa Bay’s free agent signings in 2004 included a number of expensive and aging players meant to jumpstart Gruden’s offense. These players included tackle Todd Steussie, running back Charlie Garner and tackle Derrick Deese. The 32-year-old Charlie Garner signed a reported $20-million contract with a $4-million signing bonus but only played 3 games before going on IR, he would never play again. Todd Steussie was often injured while Derrick Deese only played for the team for one year before retiring.” Was this Coach Gruden’s model to win…

    We did win the division the next season in 2005 but where tied @ 11-5 with the panthers…. I wonder how easy our schedule was having ONLY won 5 games the year before… It must have been tough since we had Coach Gruden, the NFL wouldn’t ever schedule him any of the lesser teams to play because he lost 11 games.. would they?
    But no matter right Eric we won the division, tied with Carolina.. Hey Eric want to peek ahead to 2006 results? Wow 4-12 Come on you know it is true.. where is the Coach Gruden love Eric, Thomas & the rest of the debbie downers. I like Coach Gruden and am thankful he took us to the Super Bowl and Won. But lets all check our reality at the results in wins and losses and players developed.

    I am excited about our team Today we are going to hit people and keep hitting them till they do not want anymore. Both on the Offense & Defense!
    Go Bucs!

  12. Adam Says:

    Mike Williams is NOT a Michael Clayton.

    Mike Williams isn’t a dick.

  13. Nick2 Says:

    Joe, I saw you use the word “disease” that infected the Bucs players. Are you referring to Raheemititis? Its a slow spreading disease that leaves the infected apathetic, lethargic, weak and in the end its a very slow painful agonizing death for any who must watch it progress in its hapless victims.

  14. Nick2 Says:

    By the way word has it that all of the Redskin secondary has been quarantined after possible signs of Raheemitits. Apparently the first symptom is card playing and a lack of respect for authority.

  15. Jessup Says:

    Vincent Jackson is the best thing that could have ever happened to Mike Williams. Not only is Vincent embracing the mentor role and showering Williams with knowledge, but he will also be taking the double coverages on Sundays. Williams might be the best #2 in the league. I predict that statistically, Williams will have a huge year. Best stats on the team. Even better than Vincent Jackson.

  16. Jessup Says:

    I think we will run the ball well, and shred defenses with the underneath stuff to Martin, Clark, and Benn/Parker…..which will open up the mid to deep stuff for VJax and Mike Will.

  17. BigBear Says:

    “Wiki said it best”…Love it

  18. BigBear Says:

    Getting to the point here: Mike Williams had a pretty good year for a #1A/2 Receiver in this league. He has talent and will help to form a pretty damn good passing attack. Giving Benn, Williams, Parker, Stroughter and Briscoe (if he is in the picture) a full offseason to work with the new coaches and time with VJax to learn should be a real boost to the recieving corps. I think there is a tremendous amount of talent at the position and Mike Williams is a big part of it. He’s probably not going to have a huge statistical year but I’d look for slightly less catches 55-60, similar yards 700-800, and more TDs 5. Pretty damn good if those are reached and he is not the No. 1 option.

  19. ClayBURN94 Says:

    Whats with all the hype with briscoe? Dude sucks and spends more time with Bs off the field than with football. Parker dosent impress me to much either. Defenses never accounted for him which is why he had some decent games last year. Thank god hes a 4th stringer now.

  20. Brad Says:

    If Freeman doesn’t have a bounce back year, Williams won’t either. I believe they both will have Greg years.

  21. FlBoy84 Says:

    Sad that Clayton stole his last contract with the Bucs, then pulls a Super Bowl ring with the Giants as the team’s 5th receiver. I’m sure he thinks he deserved every bit of it as well.

  22. Sam Says:

    This is getting old. Can we all just agree to write off last season? No offseason, lots of young players, questionable coach, bad play calling and a bunch of other things led to the “perfect storm” type of bad season. Everybody still with the team come training camp gets a pass and a clean slate for this season.

  23. Michael Clayton Says:

    The check is in the bank.

  24. 941-Bucs Says:

    I’m with Sam. I am just overall excited for this season. The one and only thing any of us can say. Is it will definitely be completely different from anything we seen in Tampa!