As the whirlwind free agency period comes to an end and training camp is under way. I take a look back at the signings and releasing of Chicago Bears players. One signing in particular stands out above all others this season, much like that of the Julius Peppers last season. And that is the signing of recently ousted wide receiver from the Dallas Cowboys Roy Williams.
Roy Williams story is unlike many others in football, reaching the figurative top of the mountain and crashing like a falling star from that very same success. Roy Eugene Williams Jr. grew up in Odessa, Texas attending Permian High School, were Roy earned all-state accolades in football and track, additionally reaching all-district nods in baseball as well. Roy also lettered in football, basketball, track and baseball. He attributes much of his success to being teased and criticized as his primary motivation to practice harder to prove himself to his peers.
By the time Williams arrived at the University of Texas, he was already touted as one the top recruits in his class. Along with freshman receivers BJ Johnson and Sloan Thomas the class was touted as one of the most talented groups of receivers in the university's history. And by the end, Roy was one of the most decorated receivers to put on a Longhorns uniform.
List of Roy's achievements at the University of Texas:
- 241 receptions - All-time Texas leader - 35th NCAA all-time
- 3,866 receiving yards - All-time Texas leader, 9th NCAA all-time, 2nd Big 12
- 36 receiving TD's - All-time Texas leader, 10th NCAA all-time, 3rd all-time Big 12
Roy entered the NFL as the seventh overall pick in the 2004 Draft, drafted by the Detroit Lions, Williams saw success early in his rookie season posting 5TD's for 326 yards on 24 receptions in his first five games as a Lions. Roy finished his rookie season with 817 receiving yards, 8TD's on 54 receptions.
His next season saw a drop in production, he was 200yds, and nine receptions short of his rookie mark. Although, he did repeat his 8TD effort from the season before. It was Roy's third season however that he broke out into a true NFL receiver.
Under the tutilage of offensive coordinator Mike Martz, Roy Williams put up awe-inspiring numbers in his third season with the Detroit Lions. Roy year saw career highs in receptions (82), receiving yards (1,310), and receiving yards per game (81.9).
Unfortunately that's where things go downhill for the receiver. Roy had his second best season the next year, grabbing 64 passes for 838 yards, Roy hasn't come within 400 yards of his junior effort since that season. He ultimately signed a contract with his hometown team the Dallas Cowboys at 6 years, $54 million with $26 million guaranteed.
In the following season Roy started seven games, caught 19 passes for 198 yards and one touchdown. But what was even more startling was that the Cowboys would sign the 27yr old after only one season in which he started more than 12 games.
By the end of the 2010 season here's Roy's stats for the Dallas Cowboys:
His 94 receptions for 1,324yds and 13TD's are paled when compared to his other seasons in Detroit:
One day after Roy was cut by the Cowboy's, Jerry Angelo and the Chicago Bears came calling for the maligned receiver. This is a coming home of sorts for Williams, as he is once again reunited with the only O.C. to lead him to true success in Mike Martz. He is also reunited with his old University of Texas wide receivers coach with now Bears receivers coach Darryl Drake.
Hopefully all this nostalgia will rewind Roy's clock back to 2006 when he was on the brink of becoming one of the leagues most dominating wide-outs. And at 6'3'', 213lbs he could be just that for the Chicago Bears.
Only time will tell "As I See It."
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Tags: B.J. Johnson, Baseball, Basketball, Big 12, Chicago Bears, ChicagoNow, Dallas Cowboys, Darryl Drake, Detroit Lions, Football, Jerry Angelo, Julius Peppers, Lovie Smith, Mike Martz, NCAA, NFL, Odessa Texas, Permian High School, Roy Williams, Sloan Thomas, Track & Field, Twitter, University of Texas