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Mike Williams solidifying his place with Redskins

Considered a first-round bust as a tackle, Mike Williams has resurrected his career with the Redskins.

Williams has a promising future in the league as a guard, Coach Mike Shanahan says, and Williams is the Redskins' first-team right guard. He has continued to strengthen his standing during the first two days of the second voluntary minicamp.

Things are going well for Williams, who eventually got it figured out.

"I get it now," he said after practice Saturday at Redskins Park. "It took some time for me to get it, but it's just that simple. I know what it takes now. ... I really didn't workout before in the offseason. I was one of those guys.

"But I know what it takes now. I know what it takes to be at this level and to be the best player you can. Now, I spend all my day in the weight room. Why? Because I know what this job requires. It took me some time, but I get it."

The fourth overall pick in the 2002 draft, Williams had been out of football for two seasons and last played in the 2005 regular season when the Redskins signed him as a free agent before the 2009 season. He struggled in pass protection at tackle but provided a physical presence at guard.

Shanahan and his staff liked what they saw on film and General Manager Bruce Allen rewarded Williams with a two-year contract. After weighing about 410 pounds when he joined Washington, Williams said he's down to 332.

Williams is serving as a mentor to rookie left tackle Trent Williams, whom the Redskins selected fourth overall last month. "When you first get drafted, and this is the thing I tell Trent to guard against, there's a lot of stuff going on, there is a lot of stuff on your shoulders and there's a lot of expectations," he said. "You've got to learn to recognize that, and I didn't. That's one of the faults that I had.

"There's a lot of people pulling at you and saying, 'Hey, you've got to be this.' And if you let that get in your head, you'll start getting frustrated and discouraged. You'll stop thinking about football. You start thinking about, 'Ah, man. I'm doing this wrong. Or I'm not doing this.' Then it's really hard."

The key, Williams said, is to remain focused on playing at the highest level you can.

"You're just supposed to be the best player you can be," he said. "There's going to be a lot of people who talk about you. There's going to be people who talk good about you and bad about you. But you've got to learn what you need to do to be the best football player you can be. And that comes with being a high draft pick or a free agent."

By Jason Reid  |  May 9, 2010; 9:00 AM ET
Categories:  Minicamp , Offensive line , Trent Williams  
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Next: McNabb discusses Jackson's comments, his future with Redskins

Comments

good morning everyone.

Posted by: moodlymoodlymoo | May 9, 2010 9:06 AM | Report abuse

I have to admit, I thought Big Mike Williams would be a laughingstock bust after being out of the league as a bust for two years.

Vinny still screwed it up by thinking Mike was a Tackle, but as a guard, he showed up and played fairly well. He's still young enough, and has the potential, to be one of the better guards.

Good find, but a lucky one.

Posted by: RGMBill | May 9, 2010 9:07 AM | Report abuse

And the Vinny Legacy lives on!

Posted by: 4thFloor | May 9, 2010 9:09 AM | Report abuse

Vinny still screwed it up by thinking Mike was a Tackle...

Posted by: RGMBill | May 9, 2010 9:07 AM |

If there was a screwup here it wasn't on Vinny but on Zorn and Bugel. They eventually moved him to guard -- they could have done it sooner.

Posted by: beep-beep | May 9, 2010 9:11 AM | Report abuse

I have to admit, I thought Big Mike Williams would be a laughingstock bust after being out of the league as a bust for two years.

Vinny still screwed it up by thinking Mike was a Tackle, but as a guard, he showed up and played fairly well. He's still young enough, and has the potential, to be one of the better guards.

Good find, but a lucky one.

Posted by: RGMBill | May 9, 2010 9:15 AM | Report abuse

He didn't used to workout during the off season? Incredible

Posted by: BrooklynSkins | May 9, 2010 9:16 AM | Report abuse

I gotta tell you, I was dead set against Williams last year. Anyone who washes out that quickly just couldn't have "it".
But I am happy that he is working out. I would like to see him lose of few more pounds to be a little quicker but I really do LOVE that he has rebuilt his career

Posted by: dbeins | May 9, 2010 9:17 AM | Report abuse

Well, this was a nice feel good article about Mike Williams but I am not convinced. Let the guy play sixteen games without injury and he will have my respect. Maybe it was the weight loss, or maybe he is just fragile, but Mike Williams missed a lot of playing time last season. In order for this offensive line to be dominating, the five guys on that line need to be able to work with each other game after game. When one falls out due to injury, then, not only does the team suffer a dropoff at that position, but the guys around that player suffer. Will the replacement react like the other guy? Will the replacement be able to handle that defensive tackle? If I hand off this defender to him will he pick up the responsibility? Nowhere on a football team is the concept of teamwork more important than on the offensive line, and I think you can attribute the line's lack of success over the last few seasons at least partially to injury and inconsistency. BMW, if you want to make it in this league, you've got to work out in the offseason AND you need to show up every Sunday. Do that, and then you are the man.

Posted by: RedSkinHead | May 9, 2010 9:23 AM | Report abuse

That wasn't a Cerrato move, Derrick Dockery made this happen.

Posted by: iH8dallas | May 9, 2010 9:25 AM | Report abuse

Shanahan knows running backs and the offensive line. If he says BMW is the man at right guard, I believe him.

This is the Zorn/Cerratto regime where its amateur hour. There's a new sheriff in town boys. It's go time!

Posted by: rich20ssu | May 9, 2010 9:27 AM | Report abuse

like Big Mike's attitude... and holy cow, 80 lbs is a huge difference.

will try to lay off on the obvious subtext of Reid's post.

at face value, it sounds as if MW will be able to contribute more than last year, but agreed with SkinHead that the proof will be in the pudding.

(no Mike, not *that* pudding!)

groan... too early PST for this stuff, and calves are stirring in the stable.

Posted by: moodlymoodlymoo | May 9, 2010 9:35 AM | Report abuse

Wow, I forgot the guy had been around 460 at one point. That is one seriously overweight individual. And the weird thing is, he has a frame that can almost carry that much poundage.

It's easy to forget that he'd been on a drastic weight-loss protocol before his first camp, and kept it up after he arrived. That's the problem right there. The human body isn't designed to adjust to rapid weight loss while maintaining really high cardiovascular stress. I doubt he was anywhere near peak condition last year. Probably had stamina and fatigue problems throughout the season.

In terms of his frame, this is possibly the biggest player in the NFL. At 25, he might have been reasonably effective at 360. But not as you approach 30.

Remember how we all heard about Shanahan's preference for smaller, quicker linemen? Apparently no longer.

Posted by: Samson151 | May 9, 2010 9:37 AM | Report abuse

That wasn't a Cerrato move, Derrick Dockery made this happen.

Posted by: iH8dallas | May 9, 2010 9:25 AM

Huh? Dockery repped his friend (and babysitter). Cerrato took the risk and signed him. This board has largely heaped scorn and ridicule on Cerrato for (a) signing him and (b) putting him on the roster.

So far, people want to BLAME Cerrato for signing Williams and, now, give Dockery the CREDIT for signing Williams. Damned if you do, damned if you don't.

This is one of Cerrato's successes, not failures.

Posted by: beep-beep | May 9, 2010 9:49 AM | Report abuse

"Jamarcus never got 'fine' blocking in Oakland....And all he had last year was rookie receivers to throw to..."


Odd.

B Gradkowski played fine behind that line throwing to rookie receivers.

Posted by: MistaMoe | May 9, 2010 9:51 AM | Report abuse

The Williams boys, Mike and Trent.
DoubleU'.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | May 9, 2010 10:05 AM | Report abuse

"Shanahan knows running backs and the offensive line. If he says BMW is the man at right guard, I believe him."


I would never pretend to know more about football than M Shanahan, but it seemed to me M Williams wasn't nimble enough for the screen game.

To run a screen pass, a guard has to be agile enough to block, delay, then move to block to the side of the screen.

Yes, you can run a screen play without a guard.

But didn't seem to me last year that M Williams was good at that.

But last year, the redskin offensive line wasn't good at too many things.

Pulling and trapping aren't in Shanny's playbook, so there's no need to gauge Williams' ability at those two gaurd-specific tasks.

He also didn't drop his hips and move his feet in pass protection: that's why he failed at tackle.

I think the team needs a 'real' right guard still as behind the project in Williams is the law firm sounding Rhinehart, Cook, and Montgomery.

But if Shanahan feels differently, it's because he knows better.

And I know nothing.

Posted by: MistaMoe | May 9, 2010 10:07 AM | Report abuse


That wasn't a Cerrato move, Derrick Dockery made this happen.

Posted by: iH8dallas | May 9, 2010 9:25 AM

Huh? Dockery repped his friend (and babysitter). Cerrato took the risk and signed him. This board has largely heaped scorn and ridicule on Cerrato for (a) signing him and (b) putting him on the roster.

So far, people want to BLAME Cerrato for signing Williams and, now, give Dockery the CREDIT for signing Williams. Damned if you do, damned if you don't.

This is one of Cerrato's successes, not failures.

Posted by: beep-beep | May 9, 2010 9:49 AM | Report abuse

exactly, so if Dockery hadn't have been repping him Vinny would have had no idea he was out there.

Posted by: iH8dallas | May 9, 2010 10:13 AM | Report abuse

Love the BMW story. I do still hope the Skins sign a vet RT and move Hicks to starter at RG, as I think the at this point BMW will best help the team as a 2nd string RG and in short yardage situation. But what do I know.

Posted by: TWISI | May 9, 2010 10:20 AM | Report abuse

Good for Big Mike. We really need him to come in huge this year. I remember last summer he was talking about how he put all that weight on and he said something like "Oh man, it's just eating too much bread, that's all..." I guess that no working out thing in the off season was a factor too!

Posted by: WaitingGuilty | May 9, 2010 10:25 AM | Report abuse

Let's not forget how bad our line was. Williams seems like a good guy, and he may well solidify that right guard position for a couple years, but that doesn't mean he's as good as it gets at right guard. If year 2 of the Mike Williams reclamation project shows big steps forward, than great. If it doesn't... well, you can't rebuild an entire offensive line in one year; Mike seems like a perfectly fine stopgap until we can get a couple young guys in to replace him.

Regardless of how it ultimately works out for MW, he seems like a good guy, and I'm glad the light went on for him while he still had a chance to use his football gifts.

Posted by: Ootek | May 9, 2010 10:29 AM | Report abuse

twisi

"I do still hope the Skins sign a vet RT and move Hicks to starter at RG...BMW will best help the team as a 2nd string RG and in short yardage situation."


Agreed.

And he's probably a better back up as he can swing from right guard to right tackle in the event of injury to either starter..

Posted by: MistaMoe | May 9, 2010 10:33 AM | Report abuse

exactly, so if Dockery hadn't have been repping him Vinny would have had no idea he was out there.

Posted by: iH8dallas | May 9, 2010 10:13 AM

Yeah and if his daddy had worn a condom he wouldn't have been born, so his dad gets the credit. Brilliant.

Every guy on the team is repping some of his friends. And there's a bunch of scouts out there repping the guys they're looking at. Vinny has to choose among all these guys' buddies and recommendations. He chose Williams and signed him. Dockery didn't sign him. He doesn't have any skin in the game.

Remember when Campbell got Vinny to sign that Auburn receiver, Anthony Mix, off the New York Giants' practice squad? Campbell repped him, but Vinny signed him and Vinny got blame when the guy was a dud.

Posted by: beep-beep | May 9, 2010 10:38 AM | Report abuse

"Remember when Campbell got Vinny to sign that Auburn receiver, Anthony Mix, off the New York Giants' practice squad? Campbell repped him, but Vinny signed him and Vinny got blame when the guy was a dud."

Not true, no one blamed Vinny when he got cut the following training camp. He got his shot and didnt make it. Also he had a key special teams play in the playoff loss to seattle that almost turned the game in the skins favor, so he earned his paycheck.

Dockery does get a lot of credit for the signing, and obviously Vinny had to pull the trigger.

Also Zorn/Bugel really had no other choice but to let him try to play tackle. And Bugel quickly moved him to guard. That really isn't a blame situation.

Hey we might be getting lucky here with Big Mike, which just results in a good story with, for a change, no blame to spread around.

Posted by: chrislarry | May 9, 2010 10:55 AM | Report abuse

Just because BMW may work out in 2010 does not make him a Ceratto success. He was the only addition the idiot made for a terrible o-line in 2009 which highly contributed to our 4-12 season. If BMW is good and can stay healthy for all or most of the season then maybe Vinny can get a little of the credit for it. But he rolled the dice with an old injury prone o-line, Stephon Heyer and a guy who needed to lose 100 pounds before he could play. So he still sucks, no other way around it. F Vinny.

Posted by: Rahtard | May 9, 2010 10:55 AM | Report abuse

Vinny didn't "discover" BMW. Dude was a first round pick. Vinny rolled the dice, signed him and, holy crap, it might have paid off. It wasn't like he saw Big Mike pushing around boulders on a small volcanic island somewhere and pulled off a NFL lineman version of My Fair Lady.

Posted by: mack1 | May 9, 2010 11:11 AM | Report abuse

Happy Mom's day to all you ladies who have propagated, especially you Beep-Beep, and God help all you men who forgot.

Posted by: Diesel44 | May 9, 2010 11:11 AM | Report abuse

Now if he only lived with a rich and beautiful white family while making his comeback

think of the movie possibilities

Posted by: noonefromtampa | May 9, 2010 11:16 AM | Report abuse

Beep-Beep

Posted by: Diesel44 | May 9, 2010 11:42 AM | Report abuse

Wasn't Tony Mix cut by the Jints before the Skins signed him? And I believe there were at least a couple Auburn WRs who were drafted the year he came out (Mix wasn't). I think he was in camp with the Bucs when the sex with a minor charges occurred.

I think Campbell just wanted a tall guy to throw at.

Posted by: Samson151 | May 9, 2010 12:09 PM | Report abuse

Now if we could only get big dumb Haynesworth to "get it"

Posted by: Mike4169 | May 9, 2010 12:10 PM | Report abuse

Still can't quite figure out why we cut Jeremy Bridges...would love to have him in the mix at RT....

Posted by: dchandl3 | May 9, 2010 12:49 PM | Report abuse

It took him 8 years to realize that you should work out in the offseason? Offensive linemen tend to be among the smartest guys on the team. Unfortunately, this guy doesn't seem to fit into that category. Maybe Trent Williams should be looking for a different mentor.

Posted by: randysbailin | May 9, 2010 1:55 PM | Report abuse

beep-beep, Vinny is gone, you can let your hard on die down now!

Posted by: vexed50verizonnet | May 9, 2010 3:00 PM | Report abuse

fat boy williams starting r g?mcnab is doomed

Posted by: DLESMonday | May 9, 2010 9:34 PM | Report abuse

...........................................
"Shanahan knows running backs and the offensive line. If he says BMW is the man at right guard, I believe him."


To run a screen pass, a guard has to be agile enough to block, delay, then move to block to the side of the screen.
Pulling and trapping aren't in Shanny's playbook, so there's no need to gauge Williams' ability at those two gaurd-specific tasks.
...........................................

My muscle Milk tells me that to run a """ZONE""" blocking scheme ( owe yea by the way I have ) the zone is designed to block the man in your track , sorta like a train track ( see serve angle blocking ) this blocking scheme is great for getting outside and inside " DUh " therefore the scheme has other options 1. speed trap with in the gcg and counter trap that requires the backside gaurd and sometimes the tackle to pull get to the point of contact by building a wall to the inside then move after chipping that man to the next level and in doin so this is still called """zone""" blocking but it has a twist to it now ....ya see ? Run that """zone""" scheme all day getting outside ( this is what made CP famous andy ) anyway run this jack 65 percent allday then you got that counter tray joint hitting the backside with the front side blocking scheme that looks like the same play """ok lost ya now but """ and BAME there goes Willy Parker for a 18 yard gain. I do not see Larry Johnson making the opening day roster . I see that Holds free agent making this team as a # 4 wr and then fitting into KR / PR this should happen but maybe not ......

One thing I know about shanny and I know this from hands on experience he loves speed and more speed and speed that you have makes you a speedy football player , now who knows speedy the football player ? Player .... speedy!

Posted by: terryreece | May 10, 2010 7:49 AM | Report abuse

People are crediting Vinny for signing Mike Williams?

That's like claiming you're a genius for buying the winning lottery ticket. Williams was a pure desperation move. Vinny had failed for years to shore up the offensive line, and last year the Grim Reaper showed up to be paid. Vinny had empty pockets.

If anything, the Mike Williams signing is absolute proof of what a complete, total failure Vinny was.

I'm not knocking Williams. I applaud him for finally putting it together. But the guy is too old and too far gone to be anything but a short-term solution at guard. That's not a terrible thing -- the Skins desperately need a short-term solution at guard. But they also need to develop good young players. Hopefully Williams isn't taking a spot from a player who could contribute in the future. The Skins don't need a 'win now' mentality.

Posted by: diesel_skins_ | May 12, 2010 9:45 AM | Report abuse

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