Now I’m not going to go on a huge rant claiming Damian Williams is the best receiver in the NFL and should be the Titans number one receiver, but I am going to say why he is a great asset to the Tennessee Titans.
The Titans started out the 2011 season with a bang, having Kenny Britt up in the top five receivers with some ridiculous yardage in the first few games and Matt Hasselbeck looking like a Godsend. When Britt went down with his season ending injury, we all felt the pain. He’s our star receiver and any team minus its’ star receiver is going to feel the loss. The Titans still finished with over 3,500 passing yards, making Hasselbeck only the second Titans quarterback to achieve such an accomplishment.
He didn’t do it alone.
Certainly, Washington stepped up, as he had his first 1,000 season. That still shouldn’t take away from what Williams did. The Titans were one of the hardest teams to stop once they got in the red-zone. That was thanks to Williams. He found ways to get open and worked the boundaries as much as a receiver can, bringing in a few that brought back memories of Kenny Britt’s game winning touchdown against the Cardinals two years ago.
Williams numbers don’t jump off the page at anyone (45 receptions, 592 yards, 5 touchdowns, 13.2 yard average) but they weren’t terrible. He’s a young receiver in a new system who certainly has room for growth, but shouldn’t be torn down because he didn’t blow people away in his one season where he’s gotten to see the field. He made big plays just as much as he made mistakes.
He’s not the first 3rd round pick who hasn’t immediately produced big numbers. Does Laurent Robinson sound familiar? He’s the Cowboys wide receiver who had 858 receiving yards and 11 touchdowns this past season. He didn’t just come out of nowhere.
Robinson was taken in the 3rd round of the 2007 NFL draft by the Atlanta Falcons. It wasn’t until four years, three teams later and an injury to key receiver Miles Austin that Robinson truly emerged as the threat he is.
My point? Things take time.
Williams’ season wasn’t amazing, but it was far from subpar. He made mistakes, but he also made some big plays. To just throw away all that potential because people are impatient is moronic. Williams has displayed great hands, speed and athleticism. To give up after having less than a real, full season out of him, is ludicrous.
Stop the hate on Williams. I’m tired of it. At least wait till the end of next season…
You can find me on Twitter @JustinLStewart.