In my story today, Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Mike Williams says he’s ready to build on last year’s 65-catch performance with another strong campaign this season.
The weight issues appear to be something of the past – Williams looks trim at 6-5, 235 pounds. But what he’d like to eliminate is the drops.
Williams finished among the league leaders with seven drops last year. And a couple of those came in critical situations – a potential touchdown with his team down 13-0 in the third quarter against Oakland, and another possible score against the New York Giants in the opening half with Seattle trailing 21-0 and reserve quarterback Charlie Whitehurst starting his first game.
That pass bounced off Williams’ hands and helmet and into the hands of Giants cornerback Terrell Thomas, halting a drive in an eventual 41-7 rout by New York.
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But perhaps Williams’ biggest no-show came in a 35-24 NFC playoff loss at Chicago, where Seattle’s go-to receiver was targeted 13 times but finished with just four receptions for 15 yards. He did catch two short touchdown passes in the fourth quarter, but that was after the game had long since been decided.
“Right now my goals are to eliminate the drops, and break a tackle and turn these 10-yard catches into big plays,” he said. “So having Sidney here obviously pushes me to want to play better, and to not kind of fall in the background, so to speak. So I’ll keep pushing myself, and we’ll see what happens.”
Mike Sando of ESPN.com takes a look at the Seahawks projected starters for this season, noting that several did not play much in 2010 because of injury or that this is their first year in the league.
John Boyle of the Everett Herald takes a closer look at Tom Cable and his tough task of improving Seattle’s offensive line.
Clare Farnsworth of Seahawks.com profiles rookie linebacker K.J. Wright, who gets his first career start at middle linebacker in place of David Hawthorne. The Heater is out with a knee issue.
Tona Ventrella of Seahawks.com previews tonight’s game against the Broncos in this video.
Christian Caple of Seattlepi.com offers five things to watch for in today’s game.
Greg Gabriel of the National Football Post takes a look at the best quarterbacks drafted since 2000 in his quest to find out of it’s necessary to draft a quarterback in the first round for a team to find a franchise quarterback.
Matt Williamson of Scouts Inc. includes Russell Okung among his fastest rising players in the league. You must be an ESPN Insider to view this.
ESPN 710 Seattle’s Brady Henderson offers this write up from an Kevin Calabro’s interview with NFL Network analyst Bucky Brooks, who likes Seattle to win the NFC West.
Brock Huard of ESPN 710 Seattle says it’s time for Sidney Rice to man up in this video link.
Jeff Legwold of the Denver Post writes that the Broncos’ starters will work into the third quarter, and that Tim Tebow could be the second quarterback up for Denver after Kyle Orton.