Time is now for Chargers' Mike Williams 'to step up'

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  • By Grant Gordon NFL.com
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In a seminal victory for the Chargers in 2018, it was Mike Williams who came up clutch and produced in prime time.

As the 2019 season inches closer, it is Williams who will need to come up clutch and produce no matter what time as his role will no doubt grow with the Los Angeles offense.

Quite simply, as one Williams has departed, another Williams will arrive in his place.

"We lost a big weapon in Tyrell [Williams to the Raiders, so] a lot of people in the room have to step up," Mike Williams told reporters via the team website. "I feel like me being the player that I am, I feel like I can do that... I feel like the role is going to change. I feel I'm going to get a lot more opportunities than I did last year. A lot more balls coming my way. I'm looking forward to it."

Within the statistics, there's plenty of evidence that this Williams already came up clutch plenty of times this past year.

He was tops among all receivers with 83.7 percent of receptions going for first downs and his nose for the end zone was displayed to the tune of 11 total touchdowns.

His consistency wavered, though, as he had one catch or fewer in six games. Then there was the aforementioned big game in prime time, as he hauled in a season-high seven catches for 76 yards and two touchdowns in the Chargers' 29-28 triumph over the Chiefs in Week 14. So he flashed brilliance, but also came up empty.

That will need to change as he likely joins Keenan Allen and Travis Benjamin in L.A.'s starting receiver group.

At 6-foot-4 and 220 pounds, Williams is the prototypical NFL wideout. He's been on the depth chart behind the likes of Allen and the other Williams. His numbers improved exponentially from his rookie year to his sophomore season, increasing from 11 catches for 95 yards in 10 games with one start to 43 grabs for 664 yards and 10 receiving scores in 16 games with five starts. All the signs are there for a big leap for Williams in 2019, including what he's saying.

"Well, this is my third year going into the offense," he said. "I'm a lot more confident coming out here and playing. My role is going to expand with Tyrell leaving. I'm looking forward to that. I'm ready to make some plays this upcoming season."

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