AFC East: Mike Pearson

Bills bust coming back after three-year layoff

April, 23, 2009
4/23/09
8:55
AM ET
Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Graham

The response from Buffalo Bills fans will be either laughter or a gag reflex when they learn Mike Williams is working on an NFL comeback.

Williams is one of the NFL's biggest draft busts of the past decade. The Bills used the fourth overall selection in 2002 to select the 6-foot-6, 370-pound Texas tackle.

Williams was ripped for his lack of desire. He couldn't make it through four seasons, finishing his career with five starts in 2005. He had a back problem, but that wasn't considered the real reason he retired after the Bills cut him.

"I know people have questions about me," Williams told Dallas Morning News reporter Barry Horn. "I know they are not questions about my talent. They are questions about my heart."

Williams and quarterback J.P. Losman have been the poster children for the Bills' 21st century failings.

But looking back on the 2002 draft class, Williams was the top prospect at a position of need. The next five tackles off the board were Bryant McKinnie (seventh overall), Levi Jones (10th), Marc Colombo (29th), Mike Pearson (40th), Chester Pitts (50th) and Langston Walker (53rd).

Horn looks back at Williams' bright future when he left Texas and retraces all of the troubles with Buffalo.

But Williams is only 29 years old. There is time to salvage a more meaningful career. He has been living and working out with Derrick Dockery, the high-priced left guard Buffalo released in February.

"I have a new love for the game," Williams told Horn. "I know I have a lot more than people think or what they saw."

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