Mike Williams' sophomore slump has become reality

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - OCTOBER 09: Mike Williams #19 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers can't catch up to this pass guarded by Tarell Brown #25 of the San Francisco 49ers in the third quarter during an NFL football game at Candlestick Park on October 9, 2011 in San Francisco, California. The 49ers won the game 48-3. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

A rookie receiver who broke records and looked like a future star in his first season has a bad case of the dropsies and can't seem to separate himself from his defenders. Where oh where have we seen that before? It seems Mike Williams has developed a disease called 'Michael Claytonus'. Perhaps it's a bad sign to have a first name like that.


Last season Mike Williams stood out because he was a good route runner who performed miracles on jump balls. Time after time he bailed out Josh Freeman with tough catches in tight coverage. This year he has mostly hurt the passing game by dropping balls, and I have yet to see him make a catch on a jump ball.

I'm not sure why this is happening, to be honest. I'm sure the lockout didn't hurt, but offseason reports suggested that Mike Williams was going to have a terrific year. The wideout supposedly looked great in training camp, but the problems started in preseason when he barely got a look. Through five games now he has caught just 19 balls for 183 yards, which makes for an abysmal 9.6 yards per catch.

Mike Williams' slump is part of more general struggles in the passing game, as only Preston Parker has really performed well. And for the passing game to succeed, Mike Williams needs to get back on track.

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