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Tyrell Williams: Keenan Allen return to 'open so much'

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As a rookie in 2015, Tyrell Williams caught two passes for 90 yards in seven games. One went for an 80-yard touchdown. Last season, the undrafted free agent led the Chargers with 69 receptions, 1,059 yards and earned seven TD catches.

The beneficiary of Keenan Allen's Week 1 ACL injury, the 6-foot-4 Williams grew into Philip Rivers' most potent wideout threat. Williams became just the 15th Chargers receiver ever to breach the 1,000-yard mark. Pro Football Focus rated the second-year player the No. 31 overall wideout in the NFL last season, above the likes of Alshon Jeffery, Michael Crabtree, DeSean Jackson and Steve Smith Sr.

With Allen feeling "80 to 85 percent" healthy at the start of offseason workouts and on pace to be healthy this season, Williams could see his share of targets cut down. The third-year pro, however, isn't fretting about how Allen's return will influence his production.

"Absolutely not," Williams told the team's official website on Monday. "I don't even think like that. I put in a lot of work heading into last season, and I'm approaching this year with the same mindset. I have a lot to improve on, so I'm focused on just getting better. Getting 1,000 yards is something I always wanted to get, and I was able to do that my first year really playing."

The speedy 25-year-old wideout believes Allen's presence will create more opportunities.

"He opens so much up for me," he said. "Defenses have to account for him, so that will open it for me and really the whole offense. He is such a big part (of what we do). He'll open things up for all the receivers and the backs, too. I think it will be a big year for all of us."

Williams' size and speed combination gives him the advantage on the edge. With Allen's precise route running on intermediate throws requiring defensive attention, Williams and Rivers should continue to connect deep this season.

"Keenan is going to take on a big load obviously coming back, but it won't change much for me," Williams said. "I can run slants. Keenan can run slants. And if you play us off each other, you can't key in on either of us. Plus, we can run lots (of different routes) so corners can't key in on what we are going to do. Really, he opens up a lot for me. But I like getting the ball on the run. I always pride myself on yards after catch. I feel like I can outrun anyone, so if I have some pace to me once I get the ball, it gives me an advantage."

The receiving corps of Allen, Williams, Travis Benjamin and Dontrelle Inman, along with tight ends Antonio Gates and Hunter Henry, provide Rivers a diverse array of weaponry to attack the defense. If L.A.'s offensive line stays healthy and Melvin Gordon returns to form coming off injury, the Chargers will boast a playoff-caliber offense to match their playoff-caliber defense in 2017.

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