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Mike Williams talks about his return from surgery; strong beard game

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Jim Kelly's emotional speech to the Bills before the final practice of minicamp today proved to be extra special for Buffalo native Mike Williams.

"That brought a tear to my eye. That's a legend right there," Williams said. "I kept saying that every time he said a word, 'that's a legend.' It was a joy to see him out there talking and walking around. To come and talk to us, and to say the things he said about our offense, it was kind of like a joy."

Williams said he's at about 80 percent in his recovery from surgery to repair a torn hamstring. Initially, his practice workload was bigger, but the injury began to give him trouble as spring practices wore on.

"We started off where they threw me out there and I was just going every rep, and then the leg started getting to me," he said. "Then they started holding me back more and more. But then I started getting my leg back.

"I'm almost there. Like, I keep telling them I'm at like 80 percent, they telling me I'm at 70 percent. We going back and forth, but I think I'm getting there. With this month right now until camp, I think I'll be 100 percent coming into camp."

Otherwise, Williams said he's in the best shape of his life. He said it hasn't quite sunk in yet that he's playing for his hometown team.

"I think it'll be September. Right now, it's all on the focus of getting my leg better, getting used to my teammates, and learning the plays," he said. "That's kind of blocking that I'm playing for the Bills, but I think it will be September when it really sinks in that my dream came true."

Williams said his family and friends are likewise thrilled to have him home.

"My whole family is diehard Bills fans, so it was always, 'ok, I guess we'll cheer for the Buccaneers.' ... Everybody's excited, they can't wait to be at the games. They kind of know what I'm going to bring to the team."

Williams is sporting a beard that would make Abe Lincoln proud. As for how long it will stick around, he said "If we get to the playoffs this year, that's when I'm going to cut it."

  • Jan Reimers

    I guess he didn't major in English at Syracuse, but he IS a great wide receiver.

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Vic Carucci returned to The Buffalo News as a Bills beat reporter in September. Carucci covered the Bills for 17 years before joining NFL.com as a columnist in 1999. Prior to rejoining The News, he spent three years as a senior editor for the Cleveland Browns.

Tim Graham returned to The Buffalo News in 2011 after covering the NFL for three years at ESPN and for one year at the Palm Beach Post. Before that, the Cleveland native spent seven seasons on the Buffalo Sabres beat for The News and was president of the Boxing Writers Association of America.

Jay Skurski joined The News in January 2009. The Lewiston native attended St. Francis High School before graduating from the University of South Florida.