Rookie Williams continues to impress
Anwar Richardson, The Tampa Tribune, published 20 September 2010|
Mike Williams is developing a rookie habit which might be encouraged by his teammates. Williams scored a touchdown in his second straight NFL game during Tampa Bay's 20-7 victory at Carolina. He finished with two receptions for 54 yards and the score, a 35-yard pass from QB Josh Freeman.
"Since he stepped foot on campus, he's been like that," Bucs coach Raheem Morris said. "He's been productive, Sammie Stroughter-like from a year ago. He came here and he's a No. 1 receiver. He's filled into that role nicely, is making plays all over the field and having fun.
"You watch him catch the ball with that big smile on his face, you watch Sammie catch that ball with that big smile on his face, and we all had fun today."
Williams has enjoyed burning NFL defenders in two games. Last week, Williams caught a dramatic 3-yard touchdown in Tampa Bay's victory against Cleveland. In the second quarter against Carolina, Williams beat CB Chris Gamble over the middle on a "go route." Once Freeman hit him in stride, Tampa Bay's rookie took it from there.
"Josh saw the safety bail over there and he gave it to me," Williams said. "I thought it was the wrong call myself because I'm about to run right into this safety, but then he bailed and I guess Josh knew what he was doing. He hit me in stride and I saw everything open up and said, 'They are not going to take me down inside the 10.'"
Chest bumps for everyone
After seeing Williams' touchdown reception, Morris showed the sideline enthusiasm for which he has sometimes been criticized.
While few coaches in the NFL duplicate Morris' energy, he was unapologetic for his emotions after the game.
"Sometimes I get a little carried away and do chest bumps with my guys, but again, I'm 34-years old and I'm not going to act like I'm anybody else," Morris said. "I'm not (Bill)Belichick, I'm not Rex Ryan. I'm Raheem Morris and that's what I am going to go out there and be every week."
Ronde has another twin
Ronde Barber already has a twin brother, Tiki, but on Sunday he had a duplicate on the football field. Barber recorded an interception in consecutive games, marking the first time he had back-to-back picks since December 2008 in games against Carolina and Atlanta.
"If (Carolina WR) Steve Smith hadn't been on my back, I probably could have made it into the end zone," Barber said.
Another type of blackout
Quincy Black brought his own version of Tampa Bay's "blackout" to Carolina.
The Panthers faced third-and-11 on Tampa Bay's 32-yard line in the fourth quarter when QB Matt Moore dropped back to pass. Black lined up on the outside, but ran up the middle on a stunt and steamrolled Moore, who had no time to react. Moore fumbled and the ball was recovered by Bucs DE Kyle Moore.
"Can't revert to last year, but last year they had a drive where they had 18 to 20 plays where they ran the ball like 1,000 times on 20 plays, it felt like, and they scored," Black said. "It kind of feels good when you're put in that situation and come out with a win."
Aqib Talib declined to be interviewed, but recorded his first interception of the season and 10th of his career. Talib faces possible discipline from the NFL for attending Tampa Bay's season-opening win against Cleveland when he was suspended one game after violating the league's personal conduct policy. Terms of Talib's suspension prohibited him from participating in team activities or attending the game.
The last time Tampa Bay began the season 2-0 was in 2005. Tampa Bay finished 11-5 that season
Tampa Bay is 19-2 since 2002 when they do not commit any turnovers
Earnest Graham recorded his first career receiving touchdown in the first quarter, a 14-yard pass from Freeman.
WR Micheal Spurlock, a former college quarterback, attempted a pass on a trick play that was nearly intercepted.
LG Jeremy Zuttah saw action, splitting time with Keydrick Vincent.