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Williams Hopes Size Gives Him an Advantage


When the Redskins released veteran James Thrash, the competition for the fifth roster spot at wide receiver ensued.

Jaison Williams, the undrafted rookie out of Oregon, hopes to find himself in that position by the start of the season.

His ample size at 6-5, 237-pounds could give him an advantage over other competitors as the young wide receivers work to set themselves apart from each other.

"It's up to the coaches to decide how they want to utilize my size and stature," Williams said of his potential advantage. "Maybe it's an incentive because most defensive backs can't be physical with bigger guys, so that's the benefit of being bigger."

If there is one position that the Redskins have needed to excel in recent years, it has been wide receiver.

Despite having arguably the best receiver in the NFC East in Santana Moss, the Redskins need to have at least two or three other receivers really step up and make an impact on the field.

Last year, the Redskins brought in two second-round draft picks in Devin Thomas and Malcolm Kelly. Team officials hope they both have breakout seasons in 2009.

Though both Thomas and Kelly have high draft status and considerable potential, their lack of productivity during their rookie seasons was a disappointment.

For Jaison Williams, there is a lot of work to be done if he wants to impress coaches with his abilities.

"I need to work on my transitioning speed, downfield running and catching the ball in traffic," Williams said. "I need to work on how to keep running even when the ball is not going my way and take the [safety] coverage off the top by maintaining my speed."

Williams, along with the rest of the Redskins' rookies, worked out at the team facility in late June while most of the veterans were taking summer vacation before the start of training camp.

"I'm just working on getting bigger, faster and stronger," Williams said of his workouts. "I'm working out and getting some extra running in as well as catching. I'm trying to get reps with the quarterbacks, more so with [fellow rookie] Chase [Daniel] because he will pretty much be my quarterback during the preseason."

One of the larger tasks for all the rookies has been learning the extensive playbook.

Williams understands that knowledge of the playbook is something that also can set himself apart from the other rookie receivers.

"I need to stay sharp in the playbook and work just as much if not more than the next guy. It's a dog-eat-dog league and there is no rest for the weary here," Williams said of the competition. "I just need to try and stay one step ahead by knowing the plays and going out there as much as I can."

The more time Williams gets to learn the offense, the better chance he has of earning that fifth spot on the depth chart at wide receiver.

"Once you understand the concepts, the hardest part is splits and how far you are [lined up] from the next guy because that ultimately decides the play," Williams said. "It's all about timing in the NFL.

"We just need more time in the playbook to learn those plays. We go out there so we can get acclimated to running the plays on the field."

Williams, who ranks third among Oregon's all-time reception leaders, thinks the preseason competition could be intense, especially considering the Redskins spent a seventh-round draft pick on Marko Mitchell out of Nevada.

The opportunity to compete for a roster spot is all Williams could ask for after being signed as an undrafted rookie free agent on April 27.

As for his goals, Williams just wants to be in a position where he can help the Redskins succeed.

"I would be happy to make the team, but I'll be satisfied if I can help somewhere whether it's on special teams, going out there delivering a block or maybe making a 2-yard catch for a first down," Williams said. "I want to make myself available for the team and be an asset rather than a liability. I just want to go out there and play."

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