Exclusive: Williams Reflects on Rookie Season

<i>Posted: 1/18/05</i><br> In an exclusive interview with Scout.com, Lions' wide receiver Roy Williams shares his take on his rookie season, what the Lions' offense and quarterback Joey Harrington can do to improve, running back Kevin Jones, and more.

Lions' wide receiver Roy Williams isn't shy about his disappointment of the 2004 season.

After a 4-2 start spawned premature post-season talks along with rookie of the year suggestions supporting the former Texas standout, it all came crashing down ever so swiftly. The Lions won only two more games the remainder of the season, and Williams, nagged by an ankle injury, suffered a drop-off in production.

"You lose so many games…I have never lost ten games – I lost ten games at Texas in four years and lost ten games in one year here," said Williams, who finished the season with 54 receptions for 817 yards and 8 touchdowns -- all team bests. "(But) the team is in good spirits. Everyone knows what type of team we have, we just have to put it altogether."

Part of that is chemistry with quarterback Joey Harrington. Harrington, who enjoyed career numbers during his third campaign in the league last season, has received the brunt of the criticism that inevitably begins each January in Detroit. Much of the criticism is due to the frustrating nature of the Lions' offense, which witnessed another season plagued with dropped or inaccurate passes, too many checkdowns, and primarily, a lack of scoring.

However, with the right cadence, Williams believes the unit can become cohesive.

"Timing wise with Joey (can be improved)," Williams said, "When you watch teams, you see people turning around and the ball is already there. And with me and Joey, I turn around and I am looking at him and he is looking at me and then we throw the football. That comes with offseason work and getting to know each other.

"We are going to workout everyday from April to whenever. Hopefully everyone can see an improvement, not only from Joey, but from the receiving corps. We dropped a couple of balls in the last three or four games."

And the return of former No. 2 overall pick Charles Rogers won't hurt, either. Rogers suffered a broken collarbone -- his second in as many seasons -- in September. The combination of Rogers and Williams was expected to take the NFL by storm, but because of the injury, it was never able to materialize.

"Next year we are going to keep a lot of teams off-balance." Williams said. "Hopefully when they bring that eighth guy in the box to stop Kevin (Jones) we can go over the top and stretch the field with me and Charles (Rogers)."

MORE COMMENTS FROM LIONS' ROOKIE STANDOUT ROY WILLIAMS

On Running Back Kevin Jones ...

"It was fun watching him. At first, he was trying to get to the outside like he could in college. In New York, once he figured out it’s up in between the tackles, then get outside, that is when he really exploded. It was fun to block for him and be a part of that."

On the Team's Offensive Leaders ...

"Damien Woody, number one. Him and Tai Streets, you have to put them in the same boat. We always joke around in practice and laugh and joke and get through practice but at the same time they show how to work hard and how to finish. Tai Streets played with Jerry Rice so he is teaching us how Jerry Rice worked. It is fun to watch them."

On the Defense ...

"Our defense played extremely well this year. They held a lot of teams to under 17 points and you could not ask anything better from our defense, holding teams to under 17 points. We have to score more than 17."

On the Coaching Staff ...

"My wide receiver coach at Texas was a real good one. My receiver coach here (Kevin Higgins) is pretty good. Coach Mariucci, you see him on TV and the success he has had in San Francisco, it is fun to be a part of the organization."

Interview compiled by Denis Savage, Scout.com


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