The team likes Williams’ blocking so much, in fact, they’re converting the tight end to offensive tackle.
“He’s a guy with size and he’s athletic and it’s one of those things, too, where the guy had to fight to keep his weight down,” Lions head coach Jim Caldwell said of Williams. “He came back and he was somewhere in the neighborhood of 300 pounds. You don’t see too many 300-pound tight ends. He’s a big guy.”
Williams has the frame to play tackle at 6-foot-6, but will likely have to add some more bulk. He said he’s currently at 283 pounds and is on a regimen to pack on more.
“We’ve been talking about this for a while it was just up to me to make that decision,” Williams said. “I just felt like I could prolong my career this way. My style of tight end has not been used as much in the NFL.
“It’s just about me building my muscles and not just trying to gain weight. You have to gain the right weight.”
The Lions, however, have an opening for a fourth tackle behind
Caldwell said Williams has the potential to be a very athletic tackle.
“I was on a team where Chris Hinton was a tight end, actually. Chris Hinton was a tight end and moved from tight end to tackle and had an outstanding career (seven Pro Bowls),” Caldwell said.
“Another one I was around, just so happened I was at Louisville, we had Bruce Armstrong, who was also a tight end. One of those guys who was a big guy. He moved to tackle and played a number of years with New England (six Pro Bowls).
“I think Mike is going to be one of those guys who can help us if he can develop.”
Caldwell told reporters Tuesday night at the Taste of the Lions event that Fairley has a medical issue he’s dealing with and will be back as soon as he’s recovered.
MEET THE PRESIDENT
Tate is in Washington visiting the White House with the rest of his former Seattle Seahawks teammates from last season. President Barack Obama is honoring the Seahawks as defending Super Bowl champions on Wednesday.
“I think that’s an important moment,” Caldwell said. “I had the great pleasure of going to the White House on a couple of occasions and having an opportunity to shake the President’s hand, and not only that, enjoy something that’s highly unusual, that’s hard to do, that’s very difficult to do.
"You don’t know exactly when you’ll be there the next time or if you’ll ever get there again. You just don’t know that. There are no guarantees. And for him to miss out on that opportunity, I thought, would not be good.”
The Lions were without Fairley, Tate, running back