It's an easy thing to do to write-off Kyle Williams as part of the 49ers roster going-forward. What with the team signing Randy Moss and Mario Manningham. With them potentially eyeing a wide receiver in the early rounds of the NFL Draft. With the return of Ted Ginn, Jr., even.
The biggest reason for most people, though, are the egregious mistakes Williams made in the NFC Championship game earlier this year.
Sure, he made mistakes on the biggest stage, at the worst moment, and was a key reason the 49ers lost that fateful game. It stings.
This young man, a former sixth-round draft pick who had hardly seen the field a year earlier, thrust into the role of punt-returner on the second biggest stage that there is in all of professional football, the Super Bowl being the biggest.
But was it really that Williams wasn't ready for the job? Is he forever to be deemed as a guy who chokes in the big moment? Will he make those mistakes again because he simply has bad judgement? Or is there more to it?
Perhaps maybe he wasn't right out there. It's no secret that Gregg Williams and the Saints had Williams on their list of players with previous injuries that they wanted to "test". The Giants seemed to be gunning for him with equal fervor in the Championship game. Did they succeed in rattling his brain, literally?
Williams will deny there were any other factors involved, and he should. Nobody likes excuses, they like results and pressing onward.
Maybe we should do the same.
Have we forgotten the beautiful fade route touchdown vs. Dallas, complete with over-the-shoulder-catch coordination and tip-toe grace? Did we not all agree there weren't a few guys on the team who could have turned that come-back route into a long touchdown vs. St. Louis?
Williams is arguably the quickest guy on the team, getting up to speed in a hurry. He's got heart, too. Just watching him leap up after the touchdown in the Dallas game, legs flailing and wiggling...he was full of adrenaline and I loved it.
I have long felt like Williams had the most traits befitting a WR of anyone on the team. Height is the only thing this guy doesn't have, unless you count draft-status or salary as reasons why a guy should get playing time (and some do). How quickly we forget how he's shown us so much in limited opportunities.
I've seen this kid level a defensive end on a crack-back block, more than once. He's not afraid of anything...and I guarantee you he's not afraid of losing his roster spot. He'll just come in and play his ass off like he always has.
That plus his undeniable skills should overshadow the unfortunate mistakes he made earlier this year. Put your emotion aside and remember why he was in that position in the first place.
Randy Moss' roster spot is up for grabs until the last bell rings, if he doesn't flake-out sooner.
Ted Ginn wants more playing time on offense, that's nice. He's had several years to prove himself in that area. He's a nice returner and a good spot-player, but let's not cut a young talent like Williams because Alligator-arms wants a bigger role. Sorry Ted, I like you, but you've had plenty of chances.
Even if the 49ers draft a WR in the early rounds I don't think it guarantee's Williams' demise. While they won't march four WR's onto the field often, heck, rarely even three...last season saw what injuries can do to your team at the position. There needs to be five to six quality players on the squad.
So don't buy into the "Williams roster spot tenuous" story. Take away those mistakes and I guarantee it wouldn't even be up for debate.