Terrance Williams has been a polarizing figure around Cowboys Nation for a while now. He's shown a tremendous ability to make some amazing catches in the early part of his career. His blocking ability in the run game is tremendous; you always see him down-field blocking for others on runs after the catch as well.
He doesn't quit. He's a Jason Garrett type of player.
I think many of us were surprised that Williams returned to play for the Dallas Cowboys. The thinking being that his market value would likely price him out of the Cowboys' budget. But he signed a nice, yet team friendly deal to stay with the only team he's ever known, and Williams seems to be ready to take the next step.
According to Bryan Broaddus over at DallasCowboys.com, in his Scouting Notebook from day two of minicamp, Williams has been impressive catching the ball. Broaddus stated:
“Even when the ball has been a little high, he has not tried to contort his body in order to use it to make the catch.”
There are a few more notes from the minicamp that you should definitely read.
What has been difficult for Williams — at times — is showing a consistency in using his hands to attack the ball as a receiver, instead letting the ball get into his body. He's effective while catching the ball with his body. The problem with “body catching” is that if you let the ball get into your chest, it can make it difficult to absorb the ball.
Think about the practice from The Mighty Ducks, where Gordon Bombay has the kids passing eggs back and forth on the ice.
When the kids didn't try to absorb the egg by cradling it on arrival, the egg would explode. The same principle applies to the football when it hits the chest piece on the shoulder pads.
The ball will bounce off the shoulder pads making it much more difficult to catch. When a player uses their hands to absorb the catch, the elbows allow your arms to give a little when the ball arrives, and that keeps the ball from bouncing as much.
We all know Terrance Williams can make some spectacular grabs with his hands, as evidenced by this play against Seattle several years ago.
The question with Williams has been: is he willing to do it consistently? If minicamp is any indication, he might be ready to take the next step as an NFL wide receiver.