I know there are doubters out there, and that's your prerogative. However, I'm thinking that Roy Williams is going to have a great year in 2009.
Last year was not a stellar year and his low production gave fuel to those who doubt that Williams was worth what the Cowboys gave up for him. There were three contributing factors to his lack of production last year (19 receptions/198 yards/ 1 TD) that need to be taken into consideration.
He came to the Cowboys with the season well underway and he had to adjust to a new QB and new teammates almost overnight. To illustrate how familiarity can impact a player's performance, consider that he had more yards in the first five games with Detroit than he had the rest of the season in Dallas.
More after the jump.He struggled with plantar fasciitis, a painful foot condition that caused him problems for a significant part of his season. All players endure and play with some degree of pain, but mix the pain with the uncertainty that comes with being the new guy and you have a better understanding of why his timing and reactions might have been off.
The third contributing factor was that the Cowboys lacked balls. (Shame on you) What I mean is the team had a lot of talent and Romo had other options to spread the balls around to - options that Romo may have had more confidence in.
That was 2008, now take a look at his last two full seasons in Detroit. In 2007 he missed four games with an injury and his production was still 64 receptions/ 838 yards/ 5 TDs on a team that finished 7 - 9. That season the Lions offense was ranked last in rushing attempts, ranked next to last in rushing yards, gave up 20 interceptions and 51 sacks. When you played the Lions you schemed to stop the pass; you keyed on the receivers. If you were to extrapolate out for Williams having a full season his numbers that year would look more like 85 receptions/ 1117 yards/ 6 TDs.
Go back another year and look at 2006 when the Lions finished 3 - 13 and that year their offense was ranked dead last in rushing attempts and yards, with Kitna being tagged for 22 interceptions and 63 sacks. Williams had his best year as a pro compiling 82 receptions/ 1310 yards/ 7 TDs. His complimentary receiving mate was Mike Furrey. Admittedly, Detroit was operating under the pass-happy offensive scheme of Mike Martz and William's numbers may have benefited from playing there. However, if everyone in the stadium is thinking pass, and your receiver is still winning those battles, that's a good thing.
Fast forward to 2009. Roy Williams looks healthy and focused. He is in his home state where his folks will have to read every comment written about him. Williams and Romo have developed a connection, getting familiar with each others timing. Opponents will have to account for Smash, Dash and Tash as well as players like Jason Witten and Marty B. Roy Williams' complementary receivers are at least as good if not better than Mike Furrey.
If Roy Williams can put up respectable numbers on a struggling team with a marginal supporting cast, isn't it safe to assume he could do the same on a more balanced team with stronger players around him?
I think he can and I think he will. You may want to buy your Roy E. Williams jerseys now folks, they could get more expensive as the season rolls on.