LaQuan Williams was one of the stars of training camp.
For the second year in a row, the former undrafted receiver out of Maryland was the talk of camp, showing off his athleticism and big-play potential on the practice field. That effort during the preseason earned Williams a spot on the 53-man roster, but the success has not translated to the regular season.
Williams has been a healthy scratch for the Ravens' first four games.
"It's just a work in progress for me," Williams said. "I'm working hard every day. I'm still trying to get out there on the field."
Williams has fallen victim to the numbers games, as the Ravens have opted to keep five receivers – Anquan Boldin, Torrey Smith, Jacoby Jones, Tandon Doss and Deonte Thompson – active on gameday. Thompson is the team's top kick returner and Doss is emerging as a wideout, which has earned them playing time.
Williams insists that he's staying patient in the early part of the season.
"I'm just controlling what I can control," Williams said. "It's just going out every day, giving my best effort and trying to get better."
His opportunity to contribute on the field might not be far off this season.
"His chance is coming, no doubt about it," Head Coach John Harbaugh said. "He's been practicing really well, does a great job, he's played a lot for us, so we have a lot of confidence in LaQuan and he's going to be out there soon enough."
Williams played in 12 games last year, mostly on special teams where he registered four tackles and a forced fumble in the AFC championship. He did get limited opportunities to contribute on offense and made some clutch receptions, including two catches in a victory over the Steelers on the road.
He showed potential to step into a larger role on offense this year after finishing the preseason with six catches for 76 yards and a touchdown.
"Being able to do that in preseason games let you know that you have the ability to do that," Williams said. "It's a good thing for your confidence, but at the same time, you also want to get out there and do it on the big stage."
The emphasis for Williams right now is to improve on the "technical part" of his game, developing his route running and understanding of defenses rather than relying on his athleticism. He didn't start playing wide receiver until his second year in college, so that position is still relatively new to him.
His game is still coming along, and he's hoping to get an opportunity to show that development in game action.
"I feel like I'm developing overall as a receiver," Williams said. "It's just overall, period. I'm working to get where I can come in there and affect the outcome of the game. That's what I'm working towards."