To Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Mike Williams, a lockout is nothing new. As he puts it, he basically locked himself out of the league for two years because of weight issues and incidents with coaches and management, all of which collectively made it seemed like Williams was going to throw a potentially promising career by the wayside. Instead, Williams worked to get another opportunity in the league and he made the most of it when former college coach Pete Carroll gave him on in Williams caught 65 passes for 751 yards and a pair of touchdowns for the Seahawks, who made the playoffs and stunned the New Orleans Saints once they got there.
Williams may have gone through a transition to get to where he is today, but it certainly hasn’t taken anything away from his personality. As he puts it, this lockout has been good for him because he no longer has to answer the typical offseason questions about his weight. Of course, hopefully he’s kept up his training as the lockout appears close to an end and those questions are certainly on the way. Mike Williams joined KLAC in Los Angeles with Petros and Money to discuss how involved with and closely he’s followed the lockout, what he thought when he learned last Thursday night that the owners had agreed to newly proposed CBA, his comeback season a year ago, why he struggled in his early days in the NFL, and why he basically never speaks to fellow former USC players on the football field.
How involved have you been with the lockout?:
“Just about as much time as everyone else, honestly. I just kind of stick to my player reps, Lawyer Milloy and Matt Hasselbeck. I kind of just take what they email to the team and I use that. I don’t really follow this lockout. I was kind of locked out of the league for two years so I try to stay away from that.”
What did you think when the owners announced they had successfully voted
on the new proposal?:
“When I first heard they came to an agreement, the first thing I did was call my agent. I was like, ‘Hey, when do I need to get up there? How’s this thing going to work?’ He was like, ‘No, no, it’s nothing like that. That’s just the owners agreement. The players still have to look over it and see if it works.’ That was just their view on what they agreed on on their side. It’s up to the players to see if it’s fair, see if they like it, make their changes and come back with how we feel. I know there’s still more negotiations. I know things like worker’s compensation are still on the table. … There’s still a lot of issues, collective bargaining issues. This thing, from what I’m told, is nowhere near finished like ESPN’s making it out to be.”
Man, you are sounding like a lawyer now:
“I know. Right now, when you’re a football player, the only thing you’re talking about is the lockout. This is the best thing for me. Usually I have to worry about people going, ‘How much do you weigh?’ … All I have to do is entertain this lockout.”
Now that you’ve had time to reflect on your comeback season, how do you look at it?:
“I wouldn’t say proud. I think the things you’ve mentioned and my career in college, it’s just really being back on track. I try to look at my role and what I did as kind of a reality check for these young guys that are out here now that regardless of who you think you are in college or what you think you’ve done, there’s always going to be work involved and you’re always going to have to apply yourself. … I was just kind of fortunate and blessed to get another opportunity to do what I do and that’s play ball.”
More on the struggles in his early NFL years:
“It was a learning process. Those couple years, I was a young guy, learning. It’s not really an excuse. When you’re drafted high and have a good college career, there really wasn’t an excuse for how my first couple years worked out. I played in college for a pro coach in Coach Carroll, so it wasn’t like I didn’t know structure and all the things I needed to apply to the league. So it really was just growing up. It sounds crazy, but I’m happy for the experience. A lot of people tell me I’m a motivation for them, I’m a sign that you can turn things around. … I’m not proud of my road to where I’m at, I’m just kind of proud that I’m living up to what a Trojan is.”
Was the playoff game against the Saints the last time you talked to Reggie Bush?:
“I didn’t talk to Reggie after that game. Believe it or not, SC guys, everything like that, they’re my guys and I love them, but when we’re playing, I don’t want to talk to them. We’re trying to win. Steve Smith was the same way. We played him in New York and he kind of gave me the WTF face because I didn’t speak to him. I was ready to play. I talked to Reggie a little bit and, moving forward, I wish him the best.