Doug Marrone on WR Mike Williams: 'Obviously, I care about the kid'
From the Never Made it to Print Because the Interview Took Place the Day Ralph Wilson Died Department ...
The Buffalo Bills today sent a sixth-round draft choice to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for Riverside High grad Mike Williams, a talented receiver with a checkered past.
Tampa Bay Times writer Rick Stroud reported the Buccaneers contacted all 31 other teams, but only two showed any interest.
Last week at the NFL owners meetings in Orlando, Fla., I asked Bills coach Doug Marrone what his Syracuse experience with Williams was like. The day before the interview, a report had surfaced that Williams' brother allegedly stabbed him in the thigh.
In 2009, Marrone's first season as Syracuse's head coach, he either kicked Williams off the team for poor off-field behavior, or Williams quit, depending on which version of the story you choose to believe.
Williams also had been suspended for academic reasons in 2008.
"I've always had a lot of respect for Mike," Marrone said in a reply that included several long pauses. "I thought Mike was a heck of a football player.
"We had a lot of conversations. There were a lot of good things going on. I got a lot of calls before the draft, and I told those guys, 'Mike would do well.'
"We've been disconnected from when he left to his time in Tampa, but I liked Mike. I really did. I wish him well."
Marrone said he approached Buccaneers General Manager Jason Licht to check on Williams' welfare after the stabbing.
"Obviously, I care about the kid," Marrone said.
Something seems to happen with Williams every week.
We learned Wednesday that Williams is being sued for $54,453 for a kitchen fire at the Avila, Fla., home he rented, the place that reportedly generated five 911 calls and had a stripper's pole in the living room.
That's also the same place he was stabbed.
Two weeks ago, Williams paid $995,000 cash to buy the home.
In December, Williams was charged with criminal mischief and trespassing for knocking a girlfriend's door off its hinges. Last week, he entered a pre-trial diversion program that could lead to the charges being dropped.
Williams was arrested for DUI his rookie season in 2010, when the Buccaneers drafted him in the fourth round, but the charges were dropped.