Maxx Williams Responds To Rookie Of The Year Chatter


The excited chatter surrounding tight end Maxx Williams hasn't seemed to penetrate the stone walls of the Under Armour Performance Center, where rookies spend the majority of their days.

In the days after the draft, ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr. pointed to Williams as one of his top Offensive Rookie of the Year candidates because of Williams' skill and his opportunity to make an immediate impact.

On Monday, after the Ravens' seventh Organized Team Activities (OTAs) practice, Williams was asked for his take on Kiper's lofty projection.

"For me, my goals are just go out there and play," Williams said.

"And, really, whatever [the media is] saying about that, really, I can't affect that. All I can do is do what I do, and that's go out there every day and try to improve, try to earn my spot on the team and go out there and try to make plays."

With answers like that, it's easy to forget that Williams is so young.

He was just a few weeks removed from his 21st birthday when he arrived for his first day of work. Williams declared for the NFL after just two college seasons – albeit stellar college seasons. Over two years, Williams posted 61 catches for 986 yards and 13 touchdowns.

Now he's making a big adjustment to the NFL. Williams said the Ravens' scheme is entirely different from what he grew accustomed to in Minnesota, which was power running "all day" and play action. Williams said that was just about all they did.

"For me, it's really just kind of learning a brand new playbook, so it is starting off fresh where I don't really have any old habits," Williams said. "So, it's just learning the technique and trying to run with it."

Williams has received tutoring on his route running and other little pointers from veteran tight ends Dennis Pitta, Crockett Gillmore and even Allen Reisner and Konrad Reuland. Williams is also aided by having another rookie tight end, fifth rounder Nick Boyle, going through the same process.

Despite having a father, Brian Williams, who was a center for the New York Giants for a decade, Maxx said he didn't come into the league with any expectations. He didn't say whether it's been harder or easier than he anticipated.

"My dad has told me one thing since the beginning of college, beginning of high school and now in the pros, it's, 'Take it one step at a time, day-by-day,' because, really, I can't affect what's going to happen tomorrow," Williams said.

"I had my stuff today, and now I have to apply what I had today and go into tomorrow and try to improve. But for now, it's what happens today. I'm going to improve on that, and when tomorrow comes around, I'll work on things then."

For now, fantasy football owners should know that Williams is focused on his studies – not making any big proclamations about what kind of production he's going to have.

"I'm trying to prove to [the Ravens] that they did draft me for a good reason and going out here and proving, trying to be with everyone, even the guys who have been in the league for what 10 or 15 years," he said.

"You have Steve Smith, he has been out here how many years? Just watching guys like that, seeing what they do, what works for them and trying to apply that to my game."

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