RENTON - Few thought Mike Williams would still be around this late in the season when the Seattle Seahawks decided to take a flier on the reclamation project in April.
The USC product said even his friends had doubts.
“They were saying how they didn’t even expect me to be here,” he said. “They thought I would come here and get released and then maybe make it somewhere else.”
But 10 months after his first tryout, Williams’ commitment to his old coach with the Trojans, Pete Carroll, has been rewarded. Williams confirmed that he has agreed to a three-year contract to remain with the team.
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Terms of the agreement were not disclosed. Williams signed a one-year deal with the Seahawks for the 2010 season with a base salary of $545,000.
“I always felt like I needed to be loyal to Coach Carroll,” he said. “He gave me the opportunity.
“So obviously there’s some excitement about maybe free agency and the possibilities, but I know I want to be here, and if we could get close to where I wanted to be, I was going to make it happen.”
The new contract was a nice birthday present for Williams, who turns 27 today.
After a two year absence from the league, Williams put together his best pro season, finishing as Seattle’s leading receiver with 65 catches for 751 yards and two touchdowns.
Heading into this season, Williams, the No. 10 overall pick in 2005 by Detroit, had a total of 44 receptions and two touchdowns in three NFL seasons.
Williams been a good fit in offensive coordinator Jeremy Bates’ system, giving Seattle a valuable possession receiver to build the offense around.
Carroll said it was important to secure Williams, and that it shows that the Sea-hawks are committed to players who show commitment on the field.
“I hope it’s a very obvious statement,” Carroll said. “I hope it’s a clear statement of guys fighting for who they are and what they want to become. And there’s nothing more powerful than that kind of will behind a guy’s efforts.
“So we want to make sure that’s clear. And so hopefully this will ring loud and clear for a lot of people in the program.”
QUINN TO GATORS
Carroll confirmed that defensive line coach Dan Quinn is headed to the University of Florida to become the Gators’ defensive coordinator.
Quinn will stay on through Seattle’s playoffs.
“This opportunity for Dan is one he really covets,” Carroll said. “He wants to be in charge. He knows it’s a big-time program. And he knows it’s one where he can prove himself.
“He wants to be a head coach and will be a head coach very soon, and this kind of responsibility is really important to him right now.”
Quinn worked with new Florida coach Will Muschamp while both were with the Miami Dolphins under Nick Saban.
Quinn interviewed to be defensive coordinator on Jim Mora’s Seattle staff two years ago when Gus Bradley was hired.
Seattle will be missing a couple of guys Saturday as a result of injuries Sunday. Offensive lineman Chester Pitts suffered a concussion, and tight end Chris Baker suffered a fractured hip. Carroll said receiver Brandon Stokley, who missed last week with a head injury, will be questionable. However, Carroll said he thinks there’s a chance Stokley could play.
Carroll praised defensive ends Chris Clemons (team-high 11 sacks) and Raheem Brock (nine sacks) for their career-high performances this season. “They’ve been really good for us,” Carroll said. “This is one of the areas that we had to do is help us pass-rush-wise, and (Seahawks GM John Schneider) found a way to get (Clemons) here. And we were able to find Raheem when we got him. And both those guys have brought the kind of energy and pass rush that you really love.”
Eric D. Williams: 253-597-8437 firstname.lastname@example.org blog.thenewstribune.com/seahawks/