OXNARD, Calif. – Terrance Williams wasn’t always serious about football. Before he ever started playing at Baylor for head coach Art Briles, Williams was a high school kid at W.T. White mainly focused on basketball.
Now entering his second year with the Dallas Cowboys, Williams’ full attention is on how he can help the team as its No. 2 wide receiver.
"When I got to college it was a big change," Williams said. "Coach Briles, he’s a perfect example that there’s a time to play and have a good time and then there’s time to do your job. You can still have fun doing your job, but you got different guys that depend on you."
A few guys depending on Williams now are Jason Garrett, Jason Witten, Tony Romo and Dez Bryant.
"I feel like whenever coach or Jason Witten or Tony or Dez or somebody else has something to say to me, I pay attention," Williams said. "I take notes and do what I have to do because when I’m in that huddle those different guys are depending on me to do my job. I don’t take that for granted."
And that carries over into his goals for the season. Williams, who finished his rookie year with 44 catches for 736 yards and five touchdowns, doesn’t have a statistical goal in mind. He just wants to be a reliable target.
When defenses are doubling Bryant and Witten, the former third-round pick wants Romo to be confident that the 6-2, 208-pound receiver will be in the correct spot.
"I try my best in walk-throughs and practice and during meetings to see if there are certain things that he wants me to do, so I’ll do it," Williams said. "I’m just trying to be the guy that Tony can depend on."
With Miles Austin now in Cleveland, Williams should see an even greater amount of opportunities with Scott Linehan calling plays. Williams says he isn’t feeling any pressure to be Austin, a two-time Pro Bowler.
Williams says he’s also not concerned with what Austin is doing now with the Browns, because that would "take away from my focus and take away from me being accountable to myself."
Bryant says Williams is doing just fine being himself.
"Terrance done blew up," Bryant said. "He’s lightning fast, outstanding hands, probably one of the best route runners I’ve ever seen. He’s going to do some big things."
And Garrett says Williams will get the opportunities to do those big things.
"Sometimes he’ll be sitting in meetings and it almost appears that he’s mad at you," Garrett said. "But he’s taking it in, trying to process what the coaching is and then go out on the practice field and implement it. When you have that kind of approach and you have that ability that he has, you have a chance to get better. And he improved dramatically over the course of the season last year, and that continued through the off-season.
"I think he has a little confidence based on how he played and he’s going to have a big role for our football team. He earned a bigger role on our football team last year. We’re excited to see him play."