Mike Williams: “The mistake I made was walking out of his office out of frustration. I didn’t quit at all. I never was a quitter.”May 4, 2010 – 8:50 am by timgunter
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers selected Syracuse wide receiver Mike Williams in the fourth round of the NFL Draft in what most people call a risk-reward move. Had it not been for the self- inflicted wounds some say that Williams could have gone in the first round, but teams were too scared to select him that high because of his off-the-field issues. Williams was suspended as a junior in ‘08 for allegedly cheating on a test. He played in only seven games last year but didn’t finish the season because, depending on which side you are talking to, he either quit or he was dismissed from the team for violating curfew after getting into a car accident. According to Williams, he said that he was dismissed from the team because of a “miscommunication” issue after, out of frustration, walking out of head coach Doug Marine’s office. It sounds to me like he is a little immature and has a lot of growing up to do before the ‘quitter’ label is dropped. In order for an NFL team to assume the risk of a player with a ton of baggage, the player must have enough talent or value and that is exactly what the Buccaneers see in him.
Mike Williams joined WDAE in Tampa Bay to talk about what fans should expect from him on the field, the incident that went down at Syracuse, and how tough it was to talk to NFL teams and them asking about being a quitter.
His thoughts on his first day of mini-camp and whether it was what he thought it would be:
“It was great. They say that it is a job interview by you going out there and presenting yourself to the coaches in your first mini-camp and I think I went out there and put my best foot forward and let them guys know what I can bring to the team.”
What fans should expect from him on the field:
“Oh man I am going to be the same person. Be the same Mike Williams, the same guy that they have seen on the field playing, the same guy they have seen going up for them balls, the same guy that catches everything. That is what I can inform the fans they are going to see.”
What his thoughts and emotions were going through the draft and up until mini-camp:
“Oh man it was a long process. Crazy. The Combine. The whole going on all of the visits all the way up to the draft. The draft was long, like you said it took all the way to the last day to get drafted. I am blessed to be playing for Tampa Bay.”
On the incident that went down at Syracuse:
“Oh yeah, the misconception was that I quit. It wasn’t a quit; it was just a misunderstanding with me and the coach. I got into a car accident that night and I got suspended. The mistake I made was walking out of his office out of frustration. I didn’t quit at all. I never was a quitter. If I would have quit and got suspended because of my grades I would have left school then. I had the opportunity to do that then, but people know that I am not a quitter. That was just a misunderstanding with everybody. Everybody saying that I quit and left the team but really I got into a car accident and got suspended.”
How tough it was to talk to NFL teams and them asking about being a quitter:
“Oh yeah it is very troubling. Everybody that knows me and knows what type of person I am they know that I am a good person. Like I have been telling people, I made three mistakes in my life. Not handing in a paper, getting in a car accident and getting suspended because of my grades and it was my three mistakes. If you say that I am a bad person because of those three mistakes I guess there is a lot worse people than me. It was hard going through that process and I am just glad that it is over.”
Tags: 2010 NFL Draft, character issues, dismissed from the team, Doug Marrone, Drafted by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, glad to get a second chance, Mike Williams, NFL Football, quit the team, Syracuse Wide Receiver