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View Full Version : Is Roy Williams truly a number 1 receiver?


E-Man
04-27-2009, 06:06 PM
The huge question around here is whether or not Roy Williams can truly replace T.O. as the number one wideout. Well I decided to look into his numbers a little bit for a concrete look at what he's done in his career. I firmly believe that Roy is one of the most talented wide receivers in the game, but let's take a concrete look at his career.

Disclaimer. Stats are not everything! They are just used to look at his production. Just because he did things in the past doesn't mean he will do it again in the future.

2004. Rookie year stats
14 games active, 11 starts
54 catches, 817 yards, 8 touchdowns.

It's a well known fact that outside of quarterback receiver is the hardest position to develop in the NFL. So every rookie wideout's first year is basically a washout. Everyone won't be Randy Moss, Boldin, or Terry Glenn. Looking at Roy's numbers you have to think he justified his draft number there. 8 TDs as a rookie is alot compared to some other rooks. Really good first year that saw some cool circus catches.

2005. Year two.
13 games active, 12 starts
45 catches, 687 yards, 8 touchdowns.

Here we see his first drop in production. This can be seen as a red flag, even though his average per catch is a little higher with the same amount of touchdowns. So I decided to look a little further into what went on with the Lions that year. Basically Harrington was benched, and Garcia struggled mightily. You'd like to see Roy with better production, but you kinda understand seeing Detroit's history. Plus Roy had to make room for the mighty Mike Williams. He was on his way to meet Mel Kiper at the HoF.:D

2006. Year three.
16 games active, 16 starts
82 catches, 1,310 yards, 7 touchdowns.

Tell me that's not a stud wideout stat line. Getting 1,000 yards is a big deal for a wideout, but Roy got 1300. This is year three too. This is the big payoff year for wideouts, and Roy ripped it. Roy was the 4th best in all the NFL in terms of yards. Yes more than Boldin, T.O., Steve Smith, Torry Holt, Fitzgerald, Andre Johnson, etc. This is with Jon Kitna's sorry ass throwing to him, and running game that saw the lead back get 689 yards. Imagine what he could've done if he had a good QB throwing him the ball that year.

2007. Year four.
12 games active, 12 starts
64 catches, 838 yards, 5 touchdowns.

Wha wha whaaaaaaa. After a huge season in 2006 Roy had a down year. What's the problem Roy? I looked into it further. Roy has an injury problem. Every year outside of 2006 he's missed multiple games. I did the math to see what he was on pace for in a 16 game season. In a 16 game season he would've gotten 85 catches, 1117 yards, and only 6 touchdowns. Larry Fitzgerald had a similar year in 2006 FYI. Not the best stats in the world, but worthy of a number 1 receiver. Also keep in mind that Jon Kitna is throwing to him in Detroit. Can't stress that enough.

2008. Year five.
15 games active, 11 starts
36 catches, 430 yards, 2 touchdowns

Terrible terrible year. Even if you count his pace in Detroit you'll get 54 catches, 742 yards, and only 3 touchdowns. All this in the midst of him visibly looking like he didn't give a damn in Detroit. In Dallas he came into an offense that struggled, and he barely took the field regardless of him starting 7 games. Never got to get a rapport with Romo, and looked like he didn't yet grasp the offense. Bad year for Roy.

Now looking back on this guy we've seen two exciting first years, a bonafide Pro Bowl year to where he led the NFC is receiving yards, an injury down year, and a terrible year. Does you think he's a number one wideout?

Here's why I think yes.

-He's done it before, and I don't discount guys for having an off year.

-Detroit. Huge huge factor into everything.

-Played in crowded receiving corps most of the time. Furrey had some good years, and so did McDonald. Calvin Johnson took some catches away at the end there too.

-Who's throwing to him. Roy Williams has had Joey Harrington, Jeff Garcia, and Jon Kitna throwing to him. Seriously does anybody think those guys are even half of what Romo is? If you don't think that Romo will impact his numbers then you're dreaming.

-No running game whatsoever. The best back he had was Kevin Jones in both their rookie seasons. Jones got 1133 yards, and after that he dropped off hard. Best rushing yards after that? 689 yards. Think of how much better his numbers would be with a better running game.

So that's my breakdown. Anybody have anything else to add?

Crimson79
04-27-2009, 06:38 PM
I don't think many are denying he doesn't have the talent to be a number 1 in the NFL. I think most are questioning the mental aspect of his game. If he gets his act together then I think he could easily be a number 1.

bigmac076
04-27-2009, 06:51 PM
I willing to wipe the slate clean this year and forget about some of the horrible route running and lack of effort of his last year. I'll give him the benefit of the doubt and see how he bounces back after a full off-season with the Cowboys. Also interested to see how he deals with the fact that TO was canned by Jerry; essentially handing him the top spot on the WR depth chart. He has quite a bit to prove and he will be highly scrutinized.

E-Man
04-27-2009, 07:54 PM
His mental problems scare me, but they're not that bad as some others in the league. I just think he needs to be motivated. That'll be the tough task.

Calvin & Kevin
04-27-2009, 08:15 PM
Roy always struck me as an interesting guy during his time here, real intelligent but very very hard to connect with or to nail down - always holding something back and staying aloof. He did a weekly thing on a local sports station for like 3 years so I heard him talk often.

He certainly was never a guy with an unstoppable motor or an elite commitment level. There were many times when he had mistakes on routes that led to turnovers, and he dropped way more passes than an elite receiver should (but then again you could say that about some others).

On the other hand he was always positive, always professed to care about the Lions and about succeeding here and I believed him. He had some little beefs with his QB and offensive coaching from time to time, but nowhere near on a level with TO or Moss.

In his first year or two, he showed some insane ability, making circus catches, athletic runs, and looked like he was a beast just waiting to explode. In the last couple of years for whatever reason he didn't show as much of that. In the last year in particular he looked very ordinary.

Probably several years of being beaten down had gotten to him, but it's possible his raw skills have begun to deteriorate. Then again, it's just as likely that he's still got several prime years left and being the #1 WR for the Cowboys, which was obviously his dream, will bring his best out again.

I would put the odds like this: 70% he will finally break out and become a top-10 receiver (as long as the Cowboys stay good overall), 30% he is on the downhill and will never reach the potential he once had.

D-Unit
04-27-2009, 09:16 PM
Wow. I can really respect your opinion C&K.

Even though he has only been here a short time, I can already see the same trend. When he first got here, he was the consummate teammate, looked like he was running great routes and making catches when thrown his direction. Then the Cowboys got in a rut, started losing, a lot of finger pointing going on and Roy openly stated that he wanted the ball more. Next thing you know he's dropping passes, running horrendous routes and giving up on plays before they're done.

So my opinion of him is that he has #1 WR talent, but bench warmer attitude. Weak minded. Selfish. Will have a lot to prove. Highly doubtful that he puts up the same numbers of TO. At least TO was strong minded and hard working and never gave up on the field.

Roy is a #1 only in the routes he will be assigned to. Will he lift this team on his back? No. Will he be a top 10 receiver? Maybe. Can he help us win? Yes.

Macarthur
04-27-2009, 11:00 PM
I don't think there's any doubt that he has #1 talent.

Don't discount the "Detroit" factor. I can imagine after getting beaten down game after game, it takes a toll on you.

The word out of the ranch is that he is with the 7:30 lifting group which is primarily OL/DL and are regarded as the hardest workers in the weightroom. Roy is running 4 days a week instead of 2 when he was in Detroit. He's in great shape and has been showing off his abs. He's been working diligently with Romo and is getting high praise from the staff.

I think a change of scenery will do him good.

D-Unit
04-28-2009, 12:13 AM
I don't think there's any doubt that he has #1 talent.

Don't discount the "Detroit" factor. I can imagine after getting beaten down game after game, it takes a toll on you.

The word out of the ranch is that he is with the 7:30 lifting group which is primarily OL/DL and are regarded as the hardest workers in the weightroom. Roy is running 4 days a week instead of 2 when he was in Detroit. He's in great shape and has been showing off his abs. He's been working diligently with Romo and is getting high praise from the staff.

I think a change of scenery will do him good.
Good to hear that kind of news. Got a link? Sometimes these rumors are false... like the Roy Williams (SS) lost weight and stuff.

Macarthur
04-28-2009, 09:08 AM
Good to hear that kind of news. Got a link? Sometimes these rumors are false... like the Roy Williams (SS) lost weight and stuff.


No link. They were discussing it on 103.3 espn yesterday. And, yea, it could be smoke, but that came from a beat reporter so I don't think they would make it up.

The other interesting point they made was that Roy has been in Dallas full-time. In the past, he was rarely in Detroit. He was either in Odessa or Austin.