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April 24, 2010 @ 8:30 am
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Williams: "I'm Not A Quitter"

Written by Charlie
Charlie Campbell


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The Bucs' fourth-round pick, Syracuse wide receiver Mike Williams, addressed the Tampa Bay media on Saturday and discussed his excitement to play with QB Josh Freeman and his angst over him being mislabled as a quitter and a player with bad character in this Q&A.

How do you feel about playing for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers?
"Man, it’s an opportunity of a lifetime. I told everybody that I felt blessed to be drafted, and blessed to be playing for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers."

Did the Bucs tell you a specific position that they want you to play?
"I’ll play anything. I’m going to whatever they say. If they tell me they want me to play left tackle, I’m going to go out and fight for that left tackle spot. I’m going to go out and work hard, and whatever position they put me at, that is where I’m going to be at."

How are going to prove to this team that you’re not going to be a problem off the field?
"I think coming in for a visit and talking with those guys they know that I’m not a bad guy. I didn’t have off the field issues, I just had school issues. I wanted to make them trust me. I think I convinced them enough, but when I get in there I got to prove to them that I’m that guy. I’m supposed to be where I’m at. Hard work pays off, and they are going to know that Mike Williams is a great player."

Tell us what happened that caused you to quit or leave the team.
"It was a communication problem. That’s as much as I want to say on that situation. I’ve moved on from that. The head coach and I are still great friends, and we still talk to each other. It was just a communication error. It will never happen again. It was my fault. Besides that, me and coach Marrone are cool now. Everything’s alright. I’m looking forward to being out there in a Bucs uniform."

How much does be called a quitter bother you?
"It bothers me a lot. Anyone that knows me, even coach Marrone would tell you I’m not a quitter. If I was a quitter, when I was suspended because of my grades I would’ve quit then. When I was suspended from that game for my paper, I would’ve quit Syracuse then. I’m never a quitter. I’ve never done that. That’s not my style. Tampa Bay won’t see that. They are going to see that I’m going to fight hard for everything I do. It does kind of get to me when people say that because it’s not even a word that I use."

What are your thoughts on playing with Bucs quarterback Josh Freeman and newly drafted wide receiver Arrelious Benn?
"Oh yeah Freeman, man, he is a good quarterback. The first thing I noticed about him is he's tall. I was like wow, looking up. Its crazy. He's a good quarterback. He's going to be great to play for, and I'm going to work hard for him too. With Arrelious Benn I've been watching him these past years. I put the tape on of some receivers, and he's one of them good receivers. I think he's one of the best receivers in this year's draft."

Did the Bucs give you any indication that they were going to draft you?
"I think the indication was when I came down there on a visit. I felt like I was home. With [wide receivers coach Eric Yarber] it was like he wanted me there. I could tell. A lot of teams on a lot of the visits I went on you could tell they weren't really sure. With coach [Yarber] I could tell these coaches wanted me here. With coach Raheem and the coaches they wanted me there. I knew when it came down to it that Tampa Bay would be the team, and I'm glad I'm there."

What happened with the cheating on the exam?
"I was doing bad at school. My grades weren't okay. Actually the exam didn't even start, but I did bring the notes in my school. They saw my notes and they were like these notes will get you a 100 on the test. I didn't write nothing down on the paper. They pulled me out of the class and told me I had the wrong notes for the class, and that's what happened. I feel bad for the situation, but like I said before all my problems as far as off the field issues where school issues."

Do you feel that you can have an early impact?
"I feel like what I said before, I feel blessed to be apart of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. I feel like it is a great opportunity for me and Tampa Bay. I feel like I'm going to go out there and work my hardest. I'm going to do what I can. I'm going to let them know I am better than where I was drafted. I'm there now. It just feels good to be back playing and I can go out there and compete for a spot. That's what I'm going to do."

Do you feel people know who you are, and is proving that you are a good guy driving you?
"Yeah, everybody tells me I'm a great guy, and I want people to realize that. When people start bringing up the off the field issues and stuff like that, I feel like that's not me and I don't know who they're talking about. For me to go out there and prove, like I said I have to go out there and work hard and let these people know I'm a good guy. I got to go out there and prove it to them, so they can realize ‘oh this is not the guy we were talking about,' and let these people know who I am."


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