Second-year receiver Mike Williams talks about the end of training camp and facing the New England Patriots Thursday night at Raymond James Stadium.
As the 2011 training camp officially wrapped up Tuesday afternoon, Bucs wide receiver Mike Williams, drenched in sweat after practice, was surrounded by the local media and discussed his thoughts on the readiness of the team for the upcoming season.
“Oh yes, I feel like we got on a stronger pace then we already were,” Williams said. “We came out here and proved that we are ready for the season. I guess the first preseason game you saw that. I know it is only a preseason game, but it showed that we were ready.”
The 24-year old wide receiver who played his college football at Syracuse is looking forward to playing the New England Patriots at Raymond James Stadium on Thursday night. He knows it will be a challenge facing a great team such as the Patriots, but with that challenge comes a heightened sense of pride and accomplishment with a victory. He is looking forward to playing against the already legendary coach, Bill Belichick.
“Oh, anytime you play against a great defensive coach as Belichick … a coach like that, you want to see where you [are] at and where you stand,” Williams said. “[See] how good you really are. That is what kind of coach he is, so going out there and playing against him and succeeding against him only makes you feel like you did better so we cannot wait till Thursday to see what happens.”
Williams, who had 964 yards on 65 receptions and 11 touchdowns in 2010, obviously does not know the Patriots' game plan this Thursday night. However, he realizes that it will be a test playing Coach Belichick and his perennial Super Bowl contending team.
“Well, like I said, it is just a preseason game,” Williams said. “We really don’t know if they are putting in their own defense or how he [is] game planning versus us. We really don’t know how they're doing it - if they are just going out and putting out separate packages like we are and just playing the game and seeing who is stronger and who is faster and who can play the best. We really do not know what they are doing, but like I said, going against Belichick anytime is always a great test.”
The 6-foot-2, 212-pound Williams is looking forward to playing a game at home this preseason and upcoming season. He knows how the fans love to cheer for the home team. Not only is he looking forward to making the fans happy, but also he is thrilled to be able to feed of the positive energy within the stadium.
“Oh yes, playing in front of our home fans [and] getting a chance to get called out and hear them screaming every time we make a first down and know they're happy,” Williams said. “It feels good instead of going somewhere and getting booed.”
Williams is very pleased with the results of how training camp has run its course. Both the defense and offense understand what their particular duty is each time they set foot on the field.
“I think we all are on the same page,” Williams said. “We all know that we got to put up points to win [and] we got to keep our defense off the field and try to get touchdowns and get back on the field. I think these couple weeks proved that we are on the same page.”- By Victoria Horchak
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