Impact Rookies: Arrelious Benn And Mike Williams

May 7th, 2010
It seems to Joe that quite a few people are putting a lot of pressure already on rookie wide receivers Mike Williams (19) and Arrelious Benn (17) with lofty expectations.

It seems to Joe that quite a few people are putting a lot of pressure already on rookie wide receivers Mike Williams (19) and Arrelious Benn (17) with lofty expectations.

Surfing last night it’s apparent to many scribes that Bucs rookie wide receivers Arrelious Benn and Mike Williams will start for the Bucs this season.

Mind you, these guys haven’t even put on pads yet and they’ve yet to face any Bucs player not a rookie, much less any NFL foe.

Vacation Man ,of Stalinist, also is joining in the chorus. He believes, unless something drastic happens, Benn, Williams and Stroughter will be the opening week starters at wide receiver.

Let’s go beyond the first-round picks. Let’s go beyond the biggest name in the NFC South draft class (Jimmy Clausen) because some of those guys might not start right away and some play positions where you won’t hear a lot from them. Let’s turn to Tampa Bay receiver Arrelious Benn, a second-round draft pick. Heck, let’s also throw in Tampa Bay receiver Mike Williams, a fourth-round pick.

Barring a totally disastrous training camp from either one of these guys, I see this tandem as Tampa Bay’s starters on opening day. If Benn and Williams can even come close to grasping the playbook by September, their physical talents make them better than Michael Clayton and Maurice Stovall.

Throw them out there with Sammie Stroughter as the slot receiver and you have a group of receivers that’s incredibly young. But it’s also a very talented group that could make a lot of noise.

Joe is as geeked as the next Bucs fan that Mark Dominik drafted these two receivers. But it’s starting to frighten Joe that so many people are expecting so much from these two and it’s still early May.

Can’t we give these guys some breathing room and allow them to ease into their new gigs rather than forcing them into a starting position?

45 Responses to “Impact Rookies: Arrelious Benn And Mike Williams”

  1. sunrisejeff Says:

    I’m not sure if everyone is just so high on these kids or they just see what we have at the position and figure they will start by default Joe. If the Incredible Blocking Icon gets cut like many expect there isn’t much there to compete with. Stovall, Brown, Bradley shouldn’t be too hard to unseat.

  2. Joe Says:


    I’m not sure if everyone is just so high on these kids or they just see what we have at the position and figure they will start by default Joe.

    Joe believes there’s a lot of that, a belief they will start by default.

  3. bucfanjeff Says:

    Sunrisejeff is correct, but let’s also keep in mind they are very talented WR’s albeit young and inexperienced. I don’t think there is anything wrong with putting heavy weight and expectations on them from the start, you can either deal with it or you can’t – and that goes a long way into what kind of player they will be when “big games” are upon us.

    I think they handle it and do well. It may be bumpy at first, but as they learn, we’ll see top notch players emerge this year.

  4. Dew Says:

    An interesting side note. I was out at One Buc place Wednesday to pay for my season tickets and there was Freeman on the practice field throwing balls to a couple of receivers. Couldn’t tell who the receivers were but I was impressed Freeman was working hard.

  5. Joe Says:


    Joe is told that Freeman is at One Buc Palace virtually daily.

  6. RahDomDaBest Says:

    what happened to the Steve White transcript?

    Did he explode and cuss everyone out?

  7. d-money Says:

    “their physical talents make them better than Michael Clayton and Maurice Stovall.”

    If this is the measuring stick i don’t think thats very high expectations.

    They can have just an average rookie season and we will be better than with Clayton/Stovall.

  8. Chargedcbh Says:

    Did that meeting between Freeman and Brees every happened? Or is it sitll pending?

  9. Dave Says:

    I don’t think the expectations are too high.
    Most still only expect the Bucs to win between 5-7 games, if it goes well.

    The expectation is for them to claim starting roles, at the very least, by some point in this season. Since it is not a “playoff year” might as well throw them in from the beginning and let them get the work on game day with Freeman.

    Same for the DTs. let the rotation of McCoy, Price, and Miller start from day 1.

    I understand it is not going to always be pleasant, but this is about a POSSIBLE playoff push NEXT year.

  10. Eric Says:

    Count me among those very concerned that we are counting on rookie wideouts. It isn’t so much that it will hurt the win/loss total, but the question is the potential harm to Freeman’s development.

    Why in the world they didn’t want a solid veteran in the mix is totally beyond me.

    Penciling them in as starters is the act of an inexperienced GM and HC, IMO, and probably cheap owners. Other options were readily available.

  11. Joe Says:


    Why in the world they didn’t want a solid veteran in the mix is totally beyond me.

    Not trying to be a smartass here, but Joe thinks perhaps Reggie Brown is supposed to fill that role? Dunno.

  12. Gruss222 Says:

    Yes Eric. We know. You’ve stated that once or twice. Isn’t changing though. Here’s to getting the rooks in and getting them as much pro experience this year as possible for next year.

  13. Eric Says:


    Invest the future of the franchise on Freeman and then count on Reggie Brown? Have you seen the man’s stats? With Mcnabb as QB?

    What’s the falback position if that project doesn’t work?

  14. FLorida Girl Says:

    Expectations for the Bucs this year aren’t very high. If the new receivers win the position battle, which they should, they need to spend the year working on their timing, etc. It’s going to be ugly at times, but it can’t be any worse than last year.

  15. Joe Says:


    Joe’s not saying he agrees with it, just guessing this is what Dominik did as far as your “veteran” premise.

    Just guessing.

  16. JimBuc Says:

    Eric — I am not saying that Freeman is the next Dan Marino, but I am pretty sure that when Marino started Duper and Clayton were rookies (Maybe Duper was in his second year?). How did that group work oot? Not bad, right?

  17. Apple Roof Cleaning Says:

    I hope Olson plans to start Williams and Benn, and makes sure they have plenty of time with Josh in training camp to develop some timing. Off Topic, I like that 275 pound Fullback from Clemson too. I hope he is the power back we have been missing since Alstott retired. I would love to see a Tampa running back embarass and punish Carolina, the way their big backs did to us. We took some terrible azz whippings last year from the Jets and the Panthers, it was downright shameful.

  18. Steve from Oregon Says:

    I think everybody (including you Joe) are making good points. If we had the quality depth at WR, we wouldnt have just spent two high draft picks on receivers, regardless, this is the position we are in.

    Freeman only has half a season under his belt, it makes sense to allow him to mature with what the franchise sees as two (three if you count Sammie) of his future weapons for years to come. Allow them to take all the first team reps throughout all of the offseason and maybe just maybe their learning curve is cut down and something special develops.

    FYI – I’ve been looking at some footage of Brown before he got hurt, if he is healthy, he may have been a steal for us….just saying;)

    Keep the faith Buc Fans!

  19. Eric Says:


    Well I suppose you can always find exceptions to the rule. The Fins had Nat Moore and Tony Nathan coming out of the backfield also.

    Just seems like a big risk, thats all I am saying. Naturally, Id feel better if Don Shula were leading the way on this.

    You don’t have any trepidation?

  20. admin Says:

    Joe here,

    JimBuc – Clayton caught six balls his rookie year. And Duper made 11 starts and had 51 catches it what was his second season. The Fins that year relied quite a bit on Nat Moore, gasp, a 32-year-old veteran.

  21. JimBuc Says:

    Eric — true but also note that Duper may have been a second rounder but I think Clayton was like a 7th or even 8th rounder. So, another similarity. Again, I don’t think Freeman is Marino, but what I do think is that there is some benefit from having a young QB and young receivers together. They are certainly going to make mistakes, but they will also probably help each other develop. Note that Freeman already appears to have tight bond with Strougher. We could end up with a very good young trio.

    Curious as to what veteran you think the Bucs should have taken? It would not be Marshall because of the picks. It would not have been Holmes because he is not the type of guy you want as a role model. AB was not the right guy either. Not sure who fits the bill?

  22. JimBuc Says:

    Joe (and Eric) — thanks for the info on Nat Moore. Not sure it changes the point. Moore had less catches that Duper in Marino’s first year but he was a big part, no doubt. I think Clayton actually came on the next year.

    I also agree that the ideal situation would be to have a veteran, but who would the veteran be? AB was a no go. We don’t give up the picks for Marshall, and Holmes is not the role model type. Also, Nat Moore had been with the Dolphins forever, so its not like they brought him in to help Marino. As long as you are thinking long-term, not sure the risk is that high.

  23. Louie Says:

    I guess this is going to be another “throw-away” year. So, what season are the Bucs suppose to be competitive again?

  24. Eric Says:


    Your Happy Glazer pills are working overtime today.

    Reaching back in history to 1983 to a Hall of Fame QB is a bit of a stretch. But, that is a common theme, just like this draft “could” be like 1995.

    What I am talking about are reasonable expectations, and not banking on having Duper and Clayton over at One buc Place before they have caught a pass.

    AB, Marshall, Boldin, even Holmes. All available and ripe for the taking.

    If you want comparisons, how did Dilfer/Anthony/Green work out?

    How about Harrington/Rogers/Williams?

  25. JimBuc Says:

    Eric — So after you took a shot at me (“happy pills”) and ignored that I said that Freeman is not Marino and that the “ideal” situation would be to have a veteran, you got around to the flaw in your argument.

    I already pointed out why AB, Marshall and Holmes are a no go, so you came up with Boldin. What did the Ravens give up for Boldin? Third and fourth round picks this year and a 5th next year (I think). Bolding is also 30 right?

    At some point you have to acknowledge that the Bucs have a plan — that you disagree with, granted. However, they do have a plan. It does not make sense to keep rehashing stuff that is flatly inconsistent with the plan. We all know you disagree with the plan. Maybe just type “ditto” form now on. 🙂

  26. admin Says:

    Joe here,

    JimBuc – IMO, there’s no reason why Bryant wasn’t a fit other than money, which will “never be an issue,” unless you completely buy into the plan. But Bryant is younger than Reggie Brown, so that’s hard to get. Bryant would have helped far more than he might have hurt.

    As for other options, perhaps bringing in an extra mentor/coach like Ike Hilliard would be a good idea. …Also, hardworking Laveraneus Coles and his 700 or so catches sits out there. He surely couldn’t hurt.

  27. JimBuc Says:

    Joe – fair enough. I disagree on AB. However, I would love to see them bring in someone like Hilliard. My understanding — maybe you could comment on this — is that the current WR is well thought of as a coach and as a mentor. I think he is part of the reason the brought Williams in, right?

  28. Louie Says:

    I have to admit, the Bucs do seem to have settled on a “plan” this offseason. However, last year they said they had a plan, but it became very clear they didn’t have a plan or whateve plany they had changed almost daily. I don’t exactly agree with the current plan as I feel it unecessarily prolongs losing and I don’t feel they have the coaches in place to properly execute the plan. However, it saves money, which seems to be a priority for the Glazers. Time will tell if this “plan” results in long-term (10+ years) winning.

  29. Eric Says:


    Ok, Il go with ditto, and you nod your head in agreement with all things Glazer, and we can save some time.

    Perhaps my comments have become redundant.

    Im sure the Dream will say something soon to give new cause to comment.

  30. JimBuc Says:


  31. d-money Says:


    “IMO, there’s no reason why Bryant wasn’t a fit other than money,”

    …and that he is a total douche.

  32. Louie Says:

    @d-money, AB wasn’t a “douche”. The Bucs spinned it that way, but they leaked several different stories about him (didn’t like that he talked to the media, bad routes leading INTs, wanted too much money, bad knee, etc…), so their credibility on him is pretty suspect. They simply were looking for reasons to dump him. I think it was all about money. Steve White had a good take on the AB situation on his blog shortly after the Bucs let him walk.

  33. Radio Mushmouth Says:

    Joe , we are forced to put pressure on these guys because our front office sat on thier hands all offseason and refused to to ANYTHING in free agency.

    Now , all we have to hang our hopes on is two rookies. If they succeed the offense will also , if they fail the offense will be a train wreck.

    We didn’t make this bed , but we are forced to lay in it. It is what it is , man.

  34. Radio Mushmouth Says:

    AB is a total douche, Louis

  35. McBuc Says:

    No one has answered Jimbucs question. Besides AB, who should they have brought in that would have made you guys happy? I am guessing no one.

  36. McBuc Says:

    The only one I see in Eric’s answer was Bouldon, and I am sure everyone would have been upset with the picks that it would have taken. The rest jimbuc had already defunked.

  37. oar Says:

    JimBuc and Eric, Mark Clayton was mostly a returner his rookie year. He did throw a pass for a TD his rookie year, I remember. Mark Duper was in his second year. Nat Moore was a 10 year vet, Marino’s rookie year. Also Miami had 3 TE’s with 20plus catches each and Tony Nathan(rb) had 50plus catches.

  38. JimBuc Says:

    McBuc — I have a feeling we will be waiting for a while . . .

  39. Eric Says:

    Who “defunked” 100 catches per season for the last three years? Who defunked the Super Bowl MVP?

    Because Jimbuc comes up with a reason, that makes it valid?

    The bucs passed on who arguably would have been the best wideout they have ever had on their roster.

    Instant credibility, instant production, and a young player. No “learning curve”.

    Watch the Dolphins this year and you will get my drift.

  40. JimBuc Says:

    Eric — you just don’t buy into the “plan.” If you did, you would not feel the way you do about this. No way the Bucs were going to give up picks let alone 2 second rounders for Marshall or three picks for Boldin.

  41. d-money Says:


    AB was a douche.

    And I didn’t get that from The Bucs leaking anything. I got that from listening to interview and the words that come out of his mouth.

  42. Eric Says:


    “Eric — you just don’t buy into the “plan.”

    That would be correct, sir.

    In time, you will join me.

  43. tampa2 Says:

    In Chicago they had “Da Bears”. In Tampa, we have “Da Plan”. In a few months we will see “Da Plan” in action! Featuring Raheem “Da Dream” Morris and his ingenius plan. Can’t wait to see Jimbuc eat those words!

  44. d-money Says:


    Nice to see your more concerned with Jimbuc being wrong than rooting for the Bucs to have a good season

  45. raheem Says:

    luckily, these guys will be going against some of the best CBs in the league all summer in Talib and Barber. Hopefully they take some of that into 2010 season.