Bucs Central

The Real Skinny On Mike Williams Departure From Syracuse

Finally, the truth comes out about what transpired behind the scenes

In a lengthy column, Tyler Dunne, the Managing Editor of the Daily Orange, an independent student newspaper for Syracuse University unearths the real reason former star and current Tampa Bay Buccaneers receiver Mike Williams left the Orangemen last season.

Based on the article and what has been written previously about Williams, and his insisting that he did not quit the team. But rather, that it was poor communication between himself and Syracuse head coach Doug Marrone after reading the Gone With the Wind style saga by Dunne it does seems strange how his departure from Syracuse transpired.

Later that day, [Marrone] held a team vote to decide whether or not Williams should stay on the team. It wasn’t even close. Multiple players said that the black players generally voted “yes” and the white players generally voted “no.”

[Receiver Donte] Davis said more than 80 percent of the team voted Williams to stay.

“And the next thing I know, they say that he won’t be on the team again,” Davis said. “I said, ‘Well, that’s crazy!’ I don’t know what went down. The majority voted him back on the team.”

The problem was communication. After the vote, Williams said Marrone tried to call him. Tried to give him a chance to come back. One problem. Williams’ phone was lost inside the car involved in the accident. He wasn’t available at his apartment, either. His roommate had swine flu. Williams was quarantining himself at another friend’s house.

It sounds definitely like a case of bad communication all around, from player to coach. However, it’s hard to deny that Williams had a history of problems and had no business missing curfew or even being in situations that could potentially be misinterpreted.

Speaking on just how far the Bucs dug into Williams back-round, well they went all the way back to his high school coach to get answer’s to questions and after thoroughly being satisfied with all of the information gathered, along with the upside of Williams was the reason the team took a chance on the phenom.

When the Buccaneers dug into Mike’s past, they couldn’t even find a speeding ticket. They talked to Truilizio and Marrone for details on the breakup. Interest grew. Contact between Truilizio and a Bucs scout escalated from a phone call to e-mails to a one-hour meeting at Williams’ pro day.

But somehow Williams himself needed to prove his professionalism, the trait that has Elizondo worried.

So there Williams was, sitting inside the Buccaneers’ film room. Breaking down his routes with the team’s wide receivers coach, Eric Yarber. One play had Yarber confused. On a “POCO” route, in which receivers can either take a route to the post or the corner, Williams dashed to the corner. Strange. With the right safety cheating to the outside, it didn’t make sense.

Then Williams explained his reasoning. No other receivers in the designed play were running a route that’d freeze the backside safety. Going to the post meant decapitation. Or an interception. Williams knew better. He went to the corner, ensured a one-on-one matchup and won the jump ball.

“That’s a three- or four-year vet telling you that,” Yarber said. “He said things you don’t expect a rookie to say.”

Now everyone knows why so many NFL executives are touting Williams as an early sleeper for offensive rookie of the year. A player that is blessed with natural athletic ability and has the mind of a third or fourth year veteran receiver that could pay immediate dividends for a receiver starved team.

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