So Mike Williams Is A No. 2 Receiver?

February 8th, 2012

My, how things change in just a year’s time.

Last year when the Bucs finished the season with a 10-6 record, nosed out of the playoffs on a tiebreaker by the eventual Super Bowl champs Green Bay Packers, Bucs fans throughout the globe were geeked as it finally seemed like the Bucs had a potent passing game.

Quarterback Josh Freeman combined with electric rookie No. 1 wide out Mike Williams appeared to be a lethal tandem for years to come.

But days after introducing Greg Schiano as the Bucs new coach after the entire team collapsed in 2011, largely due to bad coaching, now it appears the Bucs are of the belief Williams is not a No. 1 receiver. That’s the word from Woody Cummings of the Tampa Tribune in a recent Bucs TBO question-and-answer feature.

Q: I agree with some of your recent comments about free agents. What do you think the possibilities of luring Dwayne Bowe here? I think Williams is a No. 2 in this league and Benn would be great in the slot. Your thoughts?

Craig, Tampa

A: I think you’re absolutely right about Mike Williams. Even more importantly, the Bucs feel the same way. As for Benn, the Bucs believe his speed is a big asset that might be wasted in the slot. He’s a faster No. 2 than Williams, but still a No. 2 probably. The Bucs definitely need a deep threat to finish off what is a decent receiving corps and Bowe could help there. He’s worth looking at, so he’s someone to keep on the radar as free agency rolls around.

– Woody Cummings

Well. Joe is happy to read that the Bucs braintrust figured out the weekly Benn’d-around play was not exactly the best way to utilize Arrelious Benn’s talents. Whew.

However, if that is the case, that Bucs coaches were not utilizing Benn properly, why are we to make the leap that this same coaching staff was using Williams appropriately as a No. 1 receiver?

Joe’s of the mind that neither of these receivers were used correctly — that the Bucs’ offensive coaching staff simply couldn’t devise the correct schemes in order for both Williams and Benn to utilize their best skills.

Joe finds it a bit curious that the team has dismissed Williams as a No. 1 receiver after just a few months under poor coaching.

77 Responses to “So Mike Williams Is A No. 2 Receiver?”

  1. Jonny Says:

    LOL@ Dwayne Bowe the “deep threat” demon.

    Dwayne Bowe would instantly be the best receiver on Bucs roster and would command double teams from opposition and still likely succeed (unlike MW), but deep threat he is not. In fact, his inability to get downfield separation is his biggest weakness. Of course, Bowe unlike Benn and MW can physically dominate smaller CBs even if he cannot separate.

  2. big007hed Says:

    I agree Williams was misused last year but Vincent Jackson is a much better #1 WR than Mike Will…. Not saying Mike Will is terrible but he is not in the same category as Vincent Jackson…. IMO

  3. SensibleBuc Says:

    “Joe finds it a bit curious that the team has dismissed Williams as a No. 1 receiver after just a few months under poor coaching.”

    I do as well Joe.

    Mike already showed us that he has all the physical tools and smarts to be a #1 WR. He has the exact same height, weight, 40 time & vertical as Dwayne Bowe with a faster short shuttle time and I remember reading an article last year about him knowing how to sight adjust before coming into the NFL. Everybody knows that wide receivers take awhile to develop. Our receivers are one aspect of the team I’m willing to be patient on.

  4. Jared Says:

    I think if Benn can grow and develop (possibly put super glue on his gloves) he could be a true #1.

  5. HFXBUC Says:

    Like the rest of us the Bucs probably aren’t sure. Year 1 he was a #1, year 2 he was a #2 (literally and figuratively) WR. Was it bad coaching in year 2 or good coaching in year 1? We don’t know, nobody does, the same can be said for Blount.

    Also, big007hed – when you write or say something you do not need to add a IMO disclaimer. The assumption is that it is your opinion, you wrote it, you said it, who else opinion would it be? Sorry to be a Tool but it’s my pet peeve.

  6. Kyle Says:

    Even bowe took time to develop his breakout year wasn’t until 2010 which was three years after being drafted. Mike will is a good receiver and will continue to get better but since the only thing to do these days is whine about the bucs I suppose we better follow suit

  7. Dave Says:

    I agree. I think Benn and Williams were completely misused, as was Briscoe’s talent in the red zone.

    I do, however think Williams is not a TRUE number 1. When I think of that only a handful of WRs come to mind: Fitzgerald, Calvin & Andre Johnson, etc…

    That s why I really wish they could get Justin Blackmon – he just lloks and plays like a big time number 1. The whole WR corps would become sensational overnight with his addition in my opinion…. well, with that and a decent spreading it out like in GB or NO.

    I get the feeling they will be going Claiborne at CB, which is fine, plus Blackmon probably won’t be there.

    I say that because Schiano is a pound the rock, short passes, move the chains defensive minded guy who will take some shots here and there.

    As far as Bowe, I don’t see him as a true number 1 either. He is a very good WR though and I would not mind having him, but I think Williams is as good.

  8. Dave Says:

    In William’s defense: the guy is NOT dropping like Clayton as some suggested. It was clearly the offense and maybe some route running and maybe some Freeman.

    He caught 65 catches last year and in 2010. His yards per catch dropped some and his TDs fell way off…. that was the offense in my mind.


    Not sure what I said wrong last time to get flagged, but will try again….

    Would anyone be surprised if this were the case considering the r_eports of Williams not doing what it takes in the weight room, enjoying the local late night life, and enjoying naps while in the WR meetings?

    I would guess the Bucs want to hold on to Benn, in case that Williams can’t handle NFL life as a #1,#2,#3, etc.

    I’m still of the belief the Bucs need someone with wheels like Desean Jackson. There are no field stretchers like that on the roster.

  10. bucfat Says:

    Im not a fan of Dwayne Bowe. Character issues.

  11. lakeland bob Says:

    I don’t understand why Benn’s speed would be wasted in the slot.Sure didn’t hurt Victor Cruz or Wes Welker.

  12. Bobby Says:

    Me thinks that Woody is voicing HIS opinion and not necessarily that of the Bucs organization.

  13. Hawaiian Buc Says:

    He may be a #2, but I still have a hard time wrapping my brain around the concept that as a rookie #1 receiver he was able to have 11 TD’s. This year was just crap all around. There were games where Freeman barely even looked Mike’s way. I’m not saying we shouldn’t go out and get a #1, but it may not be our most pressing need. That being said, Blackmon sure would look good in red & pewter!


    Most pressing need, imo, is defensive back.

    For all we know, dumbskull will be jailed or suspended. Ronde is just about gone. The rest are the true career backups.

  15. jLM Says:

    I believe I read today that Desean Jackson would be franchised.


    jLM – Damn! Are their any other true burners out there in FA? Who are the speedsters coming out of college?

    I’m talking 4.4 or sub 4.4….


    Does everyone remember the reports coming out of ‘Cuse on Williams?

    Isn’t it possible the lackluster season was at least partially of his own doing?

    That doesn’t mean the coaching helped matters, but, if you aren’t putting in the work, I could see a huge drop off happening

  18. jvato24 Says:

    Everyone always just obsesses over speed. Real Football isnt a video game. Dexter Jackson was one of the fastest Bucs ever !!

    Its Explosion and playmaking ability.

    Take a look at some of the 40 times of top NFL receivers … Anquan Boldin, Andre Johnson, Vincent Jackson … you might be surprised.

  19. Bobby Says:

    Even Blackmon isn’t a burner. He just has game.

  20. Big Picture Guy Says:

    What is a number 1 receiver these days though? Who would you say is the Giant’s number 1 guy? Cruz? Manningham? Nicks?

    Receivers are either Split Ends, Flankers or Slot Receivers. The term #1, or #2 guy is irrelevant. Your role as an X,Y, or Z however is.

    This is stupid and senseless and a chat with Woody is not Bucs brass facts.


    Thanks for the information, but I’m most certainly aware of it. I’m not a youngin’. I watched Jerry Rice often. And I haven’t played a video game in YEARS!

    That said, I’m not saying all the playmaking would come only from a speed guy. But, even for the great playmakers you mentioned, as well, as others, it truly helps to have one guy really stretching the field to open things up for the other types of receivers.

    When you have all your receivers of similar speed, it does a disservice to them all.

  22. Macabee Says:

    I saw a #1 receiver in 2010, I saw what looked like a #2 receiver in 2011. I need PJ Fleck to sort this out for me!

  23. jvato24 Says:

    Come to think of it most WRs that are productive didnt have good 40’s.

    Larry Fitz, Jerry Rice, Chris Carter, Sterling SHarpe, Joe Jurevicius .. HAHA just one of my fav receivers.

    Now lets look at the receivers that ran a 4.4 or better at the combine in the last 5 years and what % of them are productive ???

    I know there are a few, but ill bet 20% or less are productive NFL Players.

  24. jvato24 Says:

    I have a feeling Blackmon will be pretty good in the NFL.

    A guy who is a burner who is a mid 1st rounder I got to watch is Kendall Wright from Baylor, that guy is going to be a big time receiver and the NFL will have to gameplan for a long time.

  25. Northend Says:

    With a new true outside threat taking the opposing teams #1 corner ,williams will be mismatched on coverage and with his recent separation issues young michael may actually get some distance from the #2 cb and be back to catching the rock. Bowe,manningham,jackson,meechum,colston all fit the bill in fa

  26. Northend Says:

    Wrights a stud imo but his knock is his route running,so says mcshay

  27. Capt.Tim 2.2 Says:

    Well, at least we have fleck! They say alot of Free agents base their decissions on the position coach they’ll be working with.

    I’m sure the NFL elite are all wanting to turn their careers over to Fleck!

    Pretty much have the same WRs again this year

  28. bucfanjeff Says:

    If Mike Williams commanded double teams, and he did, imagine what having VJax will do. You can’t double both.

    Of course, we would actually have to get VJax. THAT is laughable since we bargain shop.

    First though, we would have to have a staff in place and we can’t seem to do that very well.

  29. CreamsicleBananaHammock Says:

    I just have to say how stoopid I think the whole notion of a “number 1” or “number 2” receiver is

    The guy who gets open the most will get the ball thrown to him the most. I just think it’s so lame to feel the need to label a WR a number one or whatever…….Mike Williams is the best WR on this team, therefore he is the number one. If Arrellious Benn or Preston Parker start getting open more, then they will be the “#1’s.”

  30. gotbbucs Says:

    Agreed, Scheme and playcall dictates from play to play who the #1 is on any given play. Bottom line, you have to have multiple threats and a Coordinator smart enough to know how to get each one of them open from time to time.

  31. SensibleBuc Says:

    Chris Fowler says we’re 150-1 to win the Super Bowl


  32. Bobby Says:

    Those are actually better odds than I’d give.

  33. Noleriff Says:

    @ Bobby

    LMAO !!

  34. tj Says:

    Think this is a little premature. Cause we need to be talking about benn and how he has not panned out

  35. Noleriff Says:

    @ SensibleBuc

    ….I think you’re mistaken…I believe that was the score of the Falcons game…

  36. Thomas 2.2.. Says:

    This is disputable how?

  37. Capt.Tim 2.2 Says:

    Sooo, our stud WR is really a #2.
    and Blount is too one dimensional to be a feature back
    Price and McCoy have injury issues
    Foster was too slow, and a failure at MLB
    Benn has not produced much, and seems destined only for the hated Benn’d around
    Freeman regressed horribly last year, diplaying the worst mechanics since Jack Thompson

    What do we really have on this team? Is there really a strong core of young talent, or is Dom just fooling us?

  38. eric Says:

    Teams can turnaround quick, just takes afew key pick ups and some confidence.

    in 2008 the bucs defense made Matt Ryan look like a complete fool in the first game here. By the time we played em again they beat us in OT and beat us out for play offs. Rookie QB, first year head coach.

    It can happen with a great draft, and some FA’s.

    I think another wideout is essential. And a back that is good receiver.

    But if we get Turner, were screwed.

  39. Thomas 2.2.. Says:

    Speed isn’t a necessity as a receiver but you better be big, have great hands and run excellent routes – like a Chris Carter – if you lack speed.

    Unfortunately, Williams does not have great hands and runs average routes – although I like his athleticism which is why he is capable of spectacular plays to be followed by ugly drops.

    Benn is a classic raw athlete – maybe a little more speed than Williams via stopwatch it doesn’t translate well as a receiver. His speed is more obvious after he gets the ball – which is why RahRah and Olson loves the draw. Benn is a gadget player – returns, reverses screens and one or two long bombs per game – a classic situational receiver like a manningham

  40. stevek Says:

    Mike Williams= #2 WR, great value for a 4th round pick.

    We are foolish to think otherwise, Tampa Bay needs a true #1 out there.

    Preston Park and Regis are nice complements, but both are just that.

    We need some speed, and a guy that demands defensive attention.

    FA @ WR, yes please!

    Dom will most likely sign some “scrub” FA, and then extend him ala Michael Clayton. 5th WR taken with a top 20 pick, Gross!!

  41. bUcNcrAzy Says:

    Mike Williams is a #2 right now maybe he can develope into a #1,but his work ethic is going to have to get better remember their have been reports that he was lazy in meeting rooms.
    Free agency has a few true #1 receivers Colston (maybe) DeSean J.(Frail)Vincent J. Reggie Wayne (Aged) *Bowe*,Pierre Garcon isn’t a #1 but is a burner who is very physical and nasty at the line. (he does drop some balls).
    I would Love to have any of those guys and a coach to get the most out of Mike Williams and A.Benn (Maybe Benn’s knee injury affected his performance)
    Maybe we cut Winslow and bring in J.Finley? A veteran RB like Grant who can catch the ball out of the backfield.
    This is all just a dream,the Glazers probally wont spend AGAIN
    P.S. Lofton would be awesome at MLB too!

  42. jvato24 Says:

    The Bucs have to be a little stressed … This was the big offseason factor of the new coach ,…. JUST WHo will they get to work with Franchise QB Josh Freeman … Not good … But in the big picture this guy will be on thin ice once McNultys contract is up.

  43. jLM Says:

    Desmond Briscoe looked really good at times. Didn’t have a lot of opportunities.

  44. bucfat Says:

    if Desean Jackson is a FA i don’t want him. Character issues.

  45. Northend Says:

    Dont forget about ed gant.he will be ready to go and he is a bright spot,also manu in 2nd may be a value if he is there.just sayin

  46. Hawaiian Buc Says:

    Hard to disagree with anything you said Thomas. I would argue that I think he runs pretty good routes, but I guess that’s up for debate. Definitely agree with you on Benn. I don’t see that as a bad thing, but I’m not sure if I ever see him being a really good WR in this league.

  47. Stevek Says:

    FA acquisition @ WR, yes please.

    Vincent Jackson would look goo in pewter.

  48. Josh Says:

    I think there is something that we are all overlooking. There will be some members of this team next year that will step up that we didn’t figure with the change of coaching staff. Funny thing happens when you’re job is on line and you know it. Remember last off-season with Hard Knocks “knocking” at the door, and all the talk that got into their heads. I believe deeply that this team can compete now as long as the coaching staff applies a plan that fits the talent and not the program.
    Mike Williams was the first rookie receiver to score more than 10 touchdowns at the time since Randy Moss after all. I do think that the team needs some speed in the receiving core to offset what is already there.

  49. tj Says:

    to all who ay benn should be in the slot have never played footbal or dont undertand it . #1 benn has a problem catching the damn ball #2 it is the place where you get your head taken off ask austin collie

  50. MTM Says:

    Williams played like number 2.

  51. feelthepewterpower Says:

    “He’s (Benn) a faster No. 2 than Williams, but still a No. 2 probably” What??? Benn is faster than Williams according to Cummings? Is that a misprint??

  52. Brad Says:

    @thomas.. Totally disagree about Benn. Your only describing how he was used. With good coaches I believe he can be a stud receiver. He’s made some outstanding catches in limited use. I can see him being a true number 2 and Williams being more of a slot receiver and the number 3.

  53. Brad Says:

    @joe.. Where’s the news about the assistant coaches that have been hired according to 620? Would have thought you would have a breakdown of each one of them by now.

  54. CreamsicleBananaHammock Says:

    Thomas, I completely agree with what you said but at this point I’m ready to blame it on the coaching….I’m willing to see what these guys can do with new (hopefully better) coaching

  55. Stevek Says:

    We still don’t have a staff. This tells all when it comes to Glazer-Dom.

    This year will tell the tale for a lot of the Bucs standards:

    1. Is GMC a “bust”?
    2. Are Mike Williams and Benn any good?
    3. How is the “RockStar” doing, really?
    4. Are we going to get a legit coaching staff?
    5. Will ownership let “RockStar” spend on FA talent?
    6. Is our Franchis QB going to get some “weapons”?

    This is the year that will let us know the direction of the Bucs?

  56. Thomas 2.2.. Says:

    I think the point that most of us agree on is: we really don’t have a true #1 receiver.

    But I have never thought that that is a necessity. If you have a stable of #2 receivers and a great QB and 1 or 2 matchup problem tight ends – you are fine. Look at the 49ers.

    I am not saying that Williams or Benn stink – they just need to be used correctly – which is not to build your passing game around either as a number 1 – Fitzgerald, A Johnson, AJ Green – type player.

    I just am not sure if Parker, Briscoe and Benn are equally good or bad bc the productivity seems not to be too different between the three.

  57. buCncRazy Says:

    Come on Joe where’s the breakdown on the new staff

  58. knucknbuc Says:

    I actually think mike will can still be our true #1. I mean he was the first rookie wideout since randy moss to have 10 touchdowns his rookie year. Receivers struggle some their first couple of years. Look at roddy white he struggled his first couple years in the league I bet you no one now would say he isnt a number 1. What about anquan or the fa wr that everyone wants this year D.Bowe. It took him a couple years to be what he is now. Wr’s more often then not is a position that requires patience, because I believe more then anyother spot on offense other then QB the little things these guys pick up with playing experience matter the most.

  59. Thomas 2.2.. Says:


    If GMC ends up on the IR again, or doesn’t take the leap to pro bowl status – isn’t he clearly a bust for a 60 million dollar #3 overall?

    I believe that Schiano will need a 2 year grace-period bc he has a TON of work to do to coach the RahRah out of these players. It is like trying to train wild animals to be domestic animals – they can’t live with structure overnight.

    I think by late year 1 or early year 2 we will see a transformation.

  60. ClayBURN94 Says:

    Hey how bout that new Offensive coordinator we just hired!? Oh wait…

  61. TPCMatt Says:

    I thought Williams was being praised last year, because he was learning all the WR positions? Hardly seems lazy 2 me. However, he drops waaaaaay 2 many balls 2 b a #1. He dropped atleast 1 ball in the 1st 10 games. That’s not an exaggeration either.

  62. CC Says:

    According to SD of 620. Bucs just hired half of the Rutgers coaching staff. Hmmm.

  63. Capt.Tim 2.2 Says:

    I find it hard to believe anything Thiomas says lately. I used to trust him. Now, he’s turned into a Koolaide slurping, Glazer loving, big ass homer!!

    It makes me sad. Somehow, they “got to him”

    Makes me nervous to post, I don’t wanna get dragged into OneBuc for special “Fan Therapy!”

    Heard the wait is over! We’re saved! Guess they hired the rest of the coaches at Tinyville university!

    Look out Giants! We got yer number now!
    We got Fleck and Hafling!!

  64. Cmurda Says:

    Well, if true about these coaches I don’t give a flying crap. I’m good with it. Put him in front of guys that know how to spread his word. Schiano is the key here. He has to sell his system to the players. There is talent on this team. Glass is also half – full Capt Tim. You could make anyone walk the freaking plank of depression with your somber, “Undertaker” – like thoughts. Look, it’s make or break time for Freeman. Jury is still out on him. McCoy deserves a better fate and hopefully he can stay healthy. Bowers started manning up towards the end of the year. Clayborn was clearly our only beast D-Lineman. Price is crazy solid but injury is scary with him. Blount is a beast. Deal with it. One dimensional my ass. When we draft Richardson, we will have a sick 1-2 choppin wood punch. Mason Foster is undersized and in an unnatural position. He’s good though. He could slide over. You know what all these things have in common. Bad coaching. We will enter the Shiano ERA now where all that mamby pamby BS will not be tolerated.

    Signed, the optimist.

  65. Nate Says:

    We should go after another WR.. But more importantly Cortland from the titans would be a huge asset.. We need a better TE imo I think Shanco from the Vikings is available id take him too..

  66. Pete Dutcher Says:

    Something like 8 spots filled today? doesn’t specify the positions as assigned, but its not too bad a list. The coordinators will make or break things.

  67. Patrick Says:

    Screw this.

    Let’s just trade for Bill Belicheck. Gruden 2.2.

  68. Pete Dutcher Says:

    Unless Winslow is gone we don’t need a TE this year. Stocker & k2 are fine. There are bigger needs in Shiano’s first year.

  69. Joe Says:

    I believe that Schiano will need a 2 year grace-period bc he has a TON of work to do to coach the RahRah out of these players. It is like trying to train wild animals to be domestic animals – they can’t live with structure overnight.


    May be Thomas’ best work yet.

  70. Patrick Says:

    Wow, Jimmy Raye is on our staff?! lmao. Did Schiano know that he failed with the Bucs already back in 80’s? He was our OC during the heart of the horrible creamsicle years (’85-’86). Did a horrible job.

    Let’s pray he’s not our OC.

  71. ladyz Says:

    Gentlemen, Lets not get suicidal, Lets see what the new coaches can do to instill confidence back into the lot of players. The had it up to the forth game. I wish I new what happened behind the closed doors of one buc. If they can get happy and trust each other we can have a good season. Go Bucs.

  72. Jonny Says:

    There is nothing wrong with using the terms #1 and #2 for receivers. Being a #1 quality refers to the kind of receivers that most usually bring everything to the table. Size, route running, downfield threat ability, amazing hands, acrobatic catches, leaping ability, ability to find soft spots on a defense etc.

    Mike Williams is not a #1 material, because he gets easily overwhelmed in press coverage and has never been a reliable catcher of the ball. He sure does make some acrobatic grabs, but he has way way more drops than spectacular catches.

    Benn physically is a superior athlete and could accomplish more number of the things a #1 receiver offers, but he must be mentally slow to not grasp the playbook after 2 years and also has the dropsie syndrome.

    So basically we have a possession (#2) receiver in MW and a talented project in Benn.

  73. Northend Says:

    Cmurda the good thing about the mccoy injury( s)is he is now out of arms to tear up.bizarre stuff.between him and price we got 2 biceps glued back in place and 1hammy/hip connection stapled together.our medical staff should be getting supplies at michaels.although promising its no wonder our eun stopping and qb pressure from inside suffered.

  74. jarrett Says:

    Captain it is hard to beleive anything you ever say, whether its flip flopping your view completely, citing erronious sources, or generally acting like a db. You used to rip people for calling glazers cheap

  75. Dave Says:


    Correct, Blackmon is a speed burner, but he stretches the field anyway, most big time “number 1s” do.

    I agree with many others here, the number 1 is the guy running the routes correctly to get open. The guy not dropping the ball and instilling confidence in the QB.

    When I said Fitzgerald, both Andre and Calvin Johnson, etc… were true number 1s, wht I really mean is they are true elite WRs.

    Williams and Benn seem like they both can be very good but I don’t see either as elite.

    Blackmon seems to be elite.

    One guy like that makes the entire WR corps waaaaaaaayy better

  76. Bobby Says:

    @Dave…I’m not going to argue that Blackmon seems elite. He does. I would love to have him as a Buc and if he fell to us we would probably take him but I think we’ll end up with Claiborne. I think we would take Blackmon over Richardson or at least I’d like to think we would if it came down to a choice between the two.

  77. Derek Says:

    I dont think williams is a #1 wr but theres no shame in being a #2. most true #1 wrs need to be able to stretch the field and go deep which williams just cant do hes a possession/after the catch type wr