Scouts looked at Terrance Williams’ 40-yard dash time in 2013 – a 4.52 -- and wondered if he could create separation in the NFL. With Williams now in his third season, it no longer remains a question.
Williams averaged 16.8 yards per catch in his first two seasons, with 24 of his 81 career receptions going for at least 20 yards, including eight of 40 or more.
The big-play receiver did it again Saturday, with a 60-yard, catch-and-run in a 28-14 preseason loss to the Vikings.
“Well, coach [Jason] Garrett and coach [Kevin] Carberry talk about it a lot -- me doing the big plays and the big chunk plays,” Williams said. “I just think the more chances that I get with the ball in my hands, it’s always in the back of my mind to get a big play. I try not to do stuff I’m not capable of. But I try to make the big play.”
At Baylor, Williams had 34 catches of at least 20 yards and 16 that went at least 30. Still, NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock stood among those not convinced that would continue at the next level, with Mayock saying, “The only concern is build-up speed. I need to see burst speed.”
Now you see it….
“Terrance’s speed is one of the best run-after-catch receivers in the league I think,” quarterback Tony Romo said. “I think he has proven that over and over again. He’s continuing to get better and better each year in his route running. He took a big step this offseason, and I think he’s going to have a big year.”
On his touchdown Saturday, Williams ran a 20-yard dig, gaining separation when cornerback Xavier Rhodes bit on the play-action fake. Romo found Williams, and free safety Harrison Smith accidentally picked off strong safety Robert Blanton. Linebacker Chad Greenway gave chase but had no chance.
“When I saw the backside safety hit the safety, I thought I had a chance, and I did,” Williams said. “I didn’t waste any steps on looking behind me. I just ran and trusted my speed. I just saw purple and tried to get away from them no matter what, because the whole league is fast. The more chances that I get to make a run after the catch, I think that’s a big strong point.”