TE Michael Williams wants to be a dual-threat player in Lions' offense

Posted Jun 24, 2013

Entering the offseason program, Williams made one of his primary goals to refine his skill set as a pass catcher

In today's NFL game, the ideal tight end is considered as a dual-threat, a player who can serve as a solid blocker, but also have a hand in the passing game, creating a mismatch on the field.

The Lions' selected Michael Williams out of Alabama in the seventh round of April's draft with the notion of being able to develop that type of player, adding him to an already talented tandem in Brandon Pettigrew and Tony Scheffler.

Michael WilliamsTE Michael Williams

In his four-year collegiate career, Williams proved to be a valuable blocker, first and foremost, and was used more as a situational receiver, finishing with 51 catches, including a high of 24 receptions for four touchdowns in 2012.

Entering the offseason program, it was one of his primary goals to refine his skill set as a pass catcher.

"I've grown tremendously, just through these 10 organized team activities and two mini-camps," said Williams. "I think my coaches see it – I see it - and I feel it. I feel myself coming out of breaks faster. I feel myself coming downhill when I get out of those breaks.

"It's those little things that make a route, or a route combination work. I feel like I've gotten 10 times better from when OTAs started."

Coming from a powerhouse college football program, Williams feels he was well taught to make the transition to the pros. In fact, he was already accustomed to some of the terminology in the Lions' offensive playbook.

"Coach (Nick) Saban has a program, that once you get to this level, you feel like you've done some of it," said Williams. "At every level what you have to do is adjust to the speed, and once you're taught the right way and brought up the right way, most of the concepts are the same."

After learning to adjust to the speed of the game, Williams said he focused in on the "little things," most of which came from adapting to tight ends coach Bobby Johnson's style of teaching, including the different ways to run pass routes in this system.

Williams found that while taking everything in, being able to lean on his veteran teammates was a big help in improving his skills.

"Basically the offseason is time for the older guys to show us younger guys the ropes around here," said Williams. "Pettigrew and Scheffler have shown me a lot and have just helped me grow as a player. Pettigrew isn't as boisterous as you would think, Scheffler is our 'hype man,' as we like to say. They're both cool guys.

"I'm trying to add whatever they tell me to my game, to get adjusted to the speed and go out there and play 100 percent."