I asked Sean Yuille over at SB Nation's Lions blog, Pride of Detroit, to answer some questions about new wide receiver Roy Williams. Sean is an excellent blogger who really knows his stuff and here's what he had to say about our newest player.
Blogging The Boys: What kind of player is Roy Williams on the field? What are his strengths and weaknesses?
Pride of Detroit: Roy is a spectacular catch type of receiver where he will make plays that leave you speechless. He is able to do that partly because of his size. He towers over many defensive backs and uses his size as a weapon, as he is able to go up and get jump balls. His biggest weakness by far is that he drops too many easy catches. He had drops in nearly every game this season and had 4 against the Bears. If he hauls in the easy catches along with the spectacular ones, he really would have nice numbers. The only other real weakness I can think of is that he gets called for offensive pass interference a lot. He actually received a penalty for that in the first four or so games of the season. He may be a target of officials because of the way he plays, but regardless, he gets called for that often.
BTB: Off the field, we've heard he's a good locker room guy. Is that a true perception?
POD: I would say he's a good guy to his teammates for the most part. He always made outlandish comments that kept the media entertained and seemed like a good person. He never threw teammates under the bus in the locker room, but he sort of did on the field with his antics against the Bears when Dan Orlovsky replaced Jon Kitna at quarterback. Roy threw his arms up in disgust every time a pass thrown to him was inaccurate, and at one point he seemed to utter the words "I'm done" on the sideline following another poorly thrown pass.
BTB: Did the Lions trade him because they weren't going to be able to re-sign him? Was there something more to it than just the financial considerations?
POD: The only way Roy Williams would have been a Lion in 2009 is if he was franchised. If the Lions would have simply let him become a free agent, then he would have likely been on the first plane to Texas. The main reason he was traded is because the Lions need to rebuild, and acquiring those three draft picks will help immensely if a competent general manger is making the selections next April. A more minor reason is that he was going to be a free agent anyways, so the Lions obviously felt that they might as well get something out of him while they can.
BTB: Are his numbers down because of Calvin Johnson? Was it the Lions offense in general? Jon Kitna?
POD: Being in the Mike Martz offense definitely helped Roy's stats since the Lions threw the ball so much. Detroit's offense is much worse than usual this season, but even so, Calvin Johnson had become Jon Kitna's favorite target. Roy sort of complained about not getting the ball enough earlier this season, but tried to play it off that he was just mad he couldn't help the team try to win. Either way, Calvin Johnson's increased role hurt his stats, but all of his drops probably played a pretty big factor as well.
BTB: You guys got to be happy with the haul of draft picks you received for Williams. What's the feeling about the trade among Detroit fans?
POD: Nearly all Lions fans are 100% happy with this trade. Many were calling for Roy to be traded as they got sick of his on the field antics (celebrating first downs like he won the Super Bowl even when the Lions are getting blown out and complaining about bad passes), but most wanted him gone simply because of what the Lions could get in return. Obviously using those acquired picks wisely is easier said than done, but as of right now the Lions have 5 picks in the top 100 and may make another move to acquire a sixth one. If the general manager, whomever that may be come April of next year, is able to draft wisely, then the Lions could wind up adding a few or more starters to the team. Considering how desperate they are for talented players on the offensive and defensive lines, linebacker, cornerback, and even quarterback, every pick helps quite a bit.
Sean also sent me this fun story about RW2 from a while back.