Newly acquired Buffalo Bills wide receiver Mike Williams acknowledged today he needs to show more maturity to regain success in the NFL.
Williams was unloaded by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to the Bills last week for just a sixth-round draft choice, despite the fact he was a productive player for three straight seasons, from 2010 to 2012.
"Yes, I think I do need to grow up a little bit more," Williams said today, upon being introduced as a Bill. "I think with me having a son, it made me realize things a little bit more and how important it is, and what type of future I have for him and my family. A lot of people are depending on me, so you’re right, I do have to grow up."
Williams, 26, said he has a son in Buffalo who just turned 1-year old.
Williams last month was stabbed in the left thigh in Tampa. His brother, Eric Baylor, was charged with aggravated battery and domestic violence in the incident. Williams was approved to enter a pretrial intervention program last week to resolve misdemeanor charges of trespass and criminal mischief. He was accused of knocking a girlfriend's door off its hinges in December. Last year there were at least five 911 calls to his Tampa-area home Williams agreed in September to pay more than $50,000 in damages and deposits to the development.
"Two of those stories was actually made up," Williams said of his Tampa incidents. "They don’t want me to talk about the stories, so I’m not going to get into that. But all cases was dropped."
"I think one of my big mistakes is really trying to take care of too many people and trying to make too many people happy," Williams said. "Instead of me going out and doing what I have to do first, and then whatever after that."
Williams said he does not expect that playing in Buffalo, where he knows so many people, will cause more distractions for him.
"No, I’ve been in the league for five years," he said. "Even with me being in Tampa, people would try to fly down, get 100 tickets, this that. I learned how to adjust. One big thing is, I learned how to say no. Me being back home I’m going to just take it like me being at Syracuse or Riverside."
Williams, 6-foot-2 and 215 pounds, caught 65 passes for 964 yards and 11 TDs as a rookie in 2010. He caught 65 for 771 and three TDs in 2011. He caught 63 for 996 and nine TDs in 2012. Last season he tore a hamstring in the sixth game and was lost for the season. He finished with 22 catches for 216 yards. \
He said he is thrilled to play in his home town.
"It feels great," he said. "It’s a great opportunity for me to get back to see my family. I always grew up a Bills fan. It’s like a dream come true. It’s like waking up and living my dream again. I feel like it’s a fresh start."