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Despite Injury, Mike Williams Still Determined

I bumped into Big Mike Williams on Friday at the practice facility while he was headed to receive treatment for the abdominal strain he re-aggravated in Thursday's 23-0 loss to the Baltimore Ravens.

We chatted for a few seconds as he entered the main building and I exited after my in-studio appearance on Vinny Cerrato's radio show. As usual, Williams was smiling.

In recalling that conversation and other exchanges I've had with Williams, I can't remember when I haven't seen Williams smiling and upbeat. Even when we had our recent talk about some things I've written about him that he did not appreciate, Williams had a good-natured vibe. It is easy to root for Williams, and many people in the organization have been since he signed with the team in April.

As for his performance against the Ravens, he got a chance to "shake some of the cobwebs off," said Williams, who last played in an NFL regular-season game in 2005. "I definitely wanted to get out there."

Williams, who has lost more than 70 pounds since joining the Redskins, had his outing cut short because of the abdominal strain he said he re-aggravated on his first play in the second quarter. When Williams was in the game, I noticed the Redskins rolled help to his side in pass protection.

Although Williams has struggled in pass protection during practice as he tries to regain his footwork and timing, I wasn't sure if the protection calls were just to help Williams or if they were part of Washington's protection rules for some particular defensive front the Ravens were using.

"That's just more of a protection the way we were doing it," Williams said. "It was just more of a rules thing as to how we ID people."

Coach Jim Zorn told me the Redskins would continue to exercise caution with Williams, who needs rest to recover from the abdominal strain. The Redskins were not in full pads this morning and the team was scheduled to focus on special teams this afternoon. I'll be curious to see how many reps Williams gets this week as trainers work to help him recover.

Williams is determined to make the opening 53-man roster, and he said he needs as many reps as possible in practice and preseason games.

"I can still keep getting reps," Williams said. "I trust the training staff, we're going to take care of it, and I can continue to play through it.

"It's just one of those things that made sense to take precautions [with] in the game. The good thing is that it's not any worse, and we're taking steps forward. I just hope it isn't something that lingers on."

The Redskins have invested a lot of time and energy in Williams, who has held up his end with his rapid weight loss and hard work during practice and private sessions with line coach Joe Bugel. This abdominal thing could be a snag in his comeback attempt, but I get the strong impression he will be on the team, at least to open the season, because the front office is committed to giving this a try.

By Jason Reid  |  August 15, 2009; 10:25 AM ET
Categories:  Jason Reid  
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Comments

Mike Williams! Hope he can make it to the FIRST team.

Posted by: talent_evaluator | August 15, 2009 10:30 AM | Report abuse

BALONEY SANDWICH!!

Count me as someone who's pretty skeptical of the notion that the problem is younger guys not displaying "passion or effort".

I mean how do you gauge something like that really?

So the rooks and 2nd year guys just aren't very passionate about making the team?

Here's what I think - the TALENT level of our second string/backups is piss-poor. They got clobbered b/c they were simply worse than the other guys.

This is what happens when you have a team-building philosophy that dumps mountains of cash into a few select positions. You put high-priced talent at some of the starting spots, but you compromise your ability to sign quality depth.

Guys like CP and AH are walking around with "richest" contracts at their positions, and we have to roll the dice on overlooked undrafted FA-types to serve as backup linemen...there's a reason why they were overlooked and undrafted - most everyone thought they weren't that good...

Posted by: p1funk | August 15, 2009 10:38 AM | Report abuse

The BIG Picture:

This team is still recovering from years of poor personnel moves. I may be in the minority on this but the Gibbs 2.0 experiment was mediocre. Yes, we had two playoff appearances, but what type of long term success did it bring? Brunell played too long...Campbell was exposed to several different offenses...we signed inferior talent to big contracts and we got old on the O-line (Gibbs was loyal to a fault to older players)

Posted by: rickyroge | August 15, 2009 10:29 AM | Report abuse


Got to disagree.

The Gibbs 2.0 experiment was blown up by Snerrato.

They had every opportunity to build on the foundation that Gibbs laid - promote Grilliams to HC, stick w/Saunders as an O-coordinator to continue developing JC, we probably would have seen Blache promoted to D-coordinator, under Gibbs 2.0 our Oline was playing pretty well, we don't know who was making personnel moves b/c the FO structure was opaque...

Instead Snyder got up in front of the media; talked about the importance of "continuity"; the proceeded to conduct a 3-Ring Head Coaching search, installed an entirely new WCO, Vinny drafted a bunch of receivers and a TE, and the rest is history...

Posted by: p1funk | August 15, 2009 10:40 AM | Report abuse

Practice ended 20 minutes early, fwiw.

Posted by: Cindy Boren | August 15, 2009 10:40 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, great news......

Posted by: TheTruth11 | August 15, 2009 10:41 AM | Report abuse

but p1funk, Zorn was a no-name, no-splash hire and so far The Danny has let him coach. Cerrato is just an idiot.

But The Danny might just be ready to give Cerrato and Zorn some time to try to right the ship.

It just sucks that it is CERRATO AND ZORN who The Danny decided to settle down with.

Posted by: TheTruth11 | August 15, 2009 10:47 AM | Report abuse

P1funk...

I challenge you argument. You forget that Gibbs was part of the braintrust of the FO and from what I can gather,Snyder probably did what Gibbs said. Gibbs changed the whole offense, but couldn't concede control to Saunders. Gibbs played Brunell two seasons too long and played him when he knew Brunell was hurt. Campbell didn't get any developement under Gibbs. Say what you want about Cerrato, at least it seems as if there was a clear plan to upgrade to defensive side of the ball. Gibbs brought in Lloyd, and ARE. ARE is not a number 2 reciever on ANY NFL team, but because he's a good, Christian guy, that mean's he's a bona fide target. Gibbs got many things right, but so has Cerrato.

Posted by: rickyroge | August 15, 2009 10:44 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: rickyroge | August 15, 2009 10:53 AM | Report abuse

"Zorn Bothered by Lack of Effort in Loss"

I am just bothered by the lack of secondary talent and coaching overall. Who cares what Zorn is bothered by. Does anybody on the team listen to him at all, including his coaching staff? Obviously the quarterbacks do not or else we should see mark improvements instead of mild setbacks.

Posted by: JohnWWW | August 15, 2009 10:58 AM | Report abuse

BALONEY SANDWICH!!

Count me as someone who's pretty skeptical of the notion that the problem is younger guys not displaying "passion or effort".

I mean how do you gauge something like that really?

So the rooks and 2nd year guys just aren't very passionate about making the team?

Here's what I think - the TALENT level of our second string/backups is piss-poor. They got clobbered b/c they were simply worse than the other guys.

This is what happens when you have a team-building philosophy that dumps mountains of cash into a few select positions. You put high-priced talent at some of the starting spots, but you compromise your ability to sign quality depth.

Guys like CP and AH are walking around with "richest" contracts at their positions, and we have to roll the dice on overlooked undrafted FA-types to serve as backup linemen...there's a reason why they were overlooked and undrafted - most everyone thought they weren't that good...

Posted by: p1funk | August 15, 2009 10:38 AM | Report abuse

amen brother,couldnt have said it better

Posted by: steveets | August 15, 2009 11:01 AM | Report abuse

P1funk...

I challenge you argument. You forget that Gibbs was part of the braintrust of the FO and from what I can gather,Snyder probably did what Gibbs said. Gibbs changed the whole offense, but couldn't concede control to Saunders. Gibbs played Brunell two seasons too long and played him when he knew Brunell was hurt. Campbell didn't get any developement under Gibbs. Say what you want about Cerrato, at least it seems as if there was a clear plan to upgrade to defensive side of the ball. Gibbs brought in Lloyd, and ARE. ARE is not a number 2 reciever on ANY NFL team, but because he's a good, Christian guy, that mean's he's a bona fide target. Gibbs got many things right, but so has Cerrato.

Posted by: rickyroge | August 15, 2009 10:44 AM | Report abuse


OK. I challenge your argument.

We were never told what the FO structure was. Gibbs was the public face of the operation and always said that decisions were made "together" with Snyder and Cerratto. Assuming that Snyder just capitulated and ceded everything to Gibbs is entirley speculation; especially since Gibbs was NEVER a personnel guy.

Gibbs brought in Saunders to upgrade the offense, because the offense SUCKED. It was old and stagnant and Saunders had some wildly successful years turning the Chiefs offense into a juggernaut. He drafted Campbell, and Campbell was going to develop behind a veteran QB and learn the Saunders offense...until it got blown up again by the FO.

We can lay the blame of Brunnell at the feet of Gibbs - thought that was a bad move to stick with him as long as he did.

Again, to say that Gibbs (alone) brought in LLoyd and ARE is entirely speculation, b/c we don't know who was pushing for which players behind the scenes. In a million years, I can't imagine Gibbs looking at Lloyd and thinking "that's one of my guys". It's more realistic thinking that Cerratto (who had previous connections to SF) put together a Lloyd highlight reel and convinced Snyder that he was our big-play WR of the future. I can see ARE being Gibbs call - hard-working, lockerroom guy who just won a championship to fit the mold of a smallish big-play slot receiver a-la Ricky Sanders (not sure why you need to bring religion into the picture). ARE was never brought in to be the No.2; LLoyd was supposed to be the No.2.

To say that Cerrato had a "plan" to upgrade the D is nonsense. The D was already in place, and Blache simply took the torch from Grilliams. The "plan" was to install a new WCO, and when Vinny had his crack at controlling the draft he took 2 WRs, a TE and a QB. The D got upgraded this past offseason, b/c Vinny & Zorn's WCO looked like junk, and so the D needs to carry the team to have a chance at cracking into the playoffs.

Posted by: p1funk | August 15, 2009 11:07 AM | Report abuse

A lot of parallels and non-parallels between Michael Vick and Mike Williams:

1. One is called Michael, one Mike.
2. One smiles alot, one doesn't.
3. Both have been out of the game a long time.
4. Williams did not have much trouble convincing someone to give him a second chance. Vick did.
5. Williams has put himself through a lot of pain and suffering to get down to playing weight. Vick seems to be in pretty good condition.
6. Both are hoping to catch on in marginal roles, at least for now.
7. Most fans are hoping Williams can make it back. His is a "feel good" story. Certainly no one is rooting against him. Vick has his haters. Nothing to feel good about with him, at least not yet.

Posted by: TalkToTheHand | August 15, 2009 11:12 AM | Report abuse

* beep beep *

Posted by: NateinthePDX | August 15, 2009 11:56 AM | Report abuse

Saw Mike WIlliams n a couple of pass plays in the scrimmage, and he looked really slow. He is a huge guy even after the weight loss, but I was surprised at ho slow his reactions seemed in comparison with the Ravens DEs and the other Olinemen.

Oh, and love the rehashing of history going on here - yeah, figuring out the Gibbs Saunders history is super important now. Good luck!

Posted by: hithere1 | August 15, 2009 12:19 PM | Report abuse

p1funk...


Once again, I challenge your argument...If you look at the personnel acquisitions of this team this past offseason, it clearly slants to the defense. Now whether they can help you win a championship is yet to be seen. Greg Blache doesn't acquire players. To me the jury is still out on Vinny, but you can't lay the blame solely at the feet of Cerrato or Snyder (or Gibbs).

Personally though, I still say Gibbs gets way too much of a pass.

Posted by: rickyroge | August 15, 2009 12:24 PM | Report abuse

Personally though, I still say Gibbs gets way too much of a pass.

Posted by: rickyroge | August 15, 2009 12:24 PM | Report abuse

The guy who brought all three Super Bowl trophies to the Skins, the fellow who is the reason why two trips to the paloffs in three years isn't good enough, and the only guy past Big Jack who has really keep the Skins from being another Buffalo Bills gets way too much of a pass?

Usually I let this one do the water off the duck's back trick, but come on guys. He's Joe Freakin' Gibbs. He made mistakes, but you're darn right he gets a pass. ;^) And the only guy you can ever argue was as good a coach as Gibbs II since Gibbs I is, what, Marty? QED.

Yeah, he gets a pass.

Posted by: WorstSeat | August 15, 2009 12:57 PM | Report abuse

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