Chargers WR Mike Williams Sports New Haircut & 'Team First' Mentality Heading Into Contract Year

The receiver has a team first mentality heading into a contract year.
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On the first day of training camp, as attendance was being taken to make sure everyone was present, something looked different with number 81. Until he started jogging, the light bulb clicked that his dreadlocks had been cut off.

When going through 11 on 11 or other activities when he jumped up in the air, his hair wouldn't move the way it did in the past. So when he stepped up to the podium after practice, it was the first thing he was asked to Williams.

"I was back home in South Carolina, and I told my mom I was going to cut it one morning, and she didn't believe me," said Williams with a smile on his face. "So, the first day I got out here, I just cut it off."

Even his fellow receiver Keenan Allen had some fun with it.

"He looks young, a young boy," joked Allen. "He looks about 14 again."

He said that the last time he cut his hair was his freshman year at Clemson. Was it really about his mom? Or could it be because of aerodynamics or to get a better jump?

"Naw, nothing to do with that," laughed Williams. "I still got to 'em maybe I'll put them in before the season starts."

If Williams put them back, they would be like extensions, but he should embrace the new look like quarterback Justin Herbert did last season. Speaking of extensions, when general manager Tom Telesco has done them, it is usually before training camp, so that means Williams will be playing out his fifth year on his option.

"[It's] not really [on my mind]," said Williams about his contract. "I feel like if I handle my business on the field, everything else will happen on its own. I'm just going to handle my responsibility on the field."

Williams is the kind of player that leaves it all out on the field. He is one of the better jump-ball receivers in the NFL and sometimes lands very hard. He has had injuries in the past, but he feels like he is the healthiest he has ever been coming into this training camp.

"I would say that [this is the best I've felt in a while]," explained Williams. "I took the offseason and invested a lot in my body this offseason. In the past, there would be little things here and there that would limit my plays, but I'm trying to not have that this season. I'm trying to be available to help this team win."

He started up yoga about two years about but said he has added bodywork, massages, cryotherapy, and more. When athletes like Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson or LA Lakers superstar LeBron James say they spend over a million dollars on their bodies, it is understandable that more and more players begin to do it.

It seems like head coach Brandon Staley understands that and why he has been cautious in his planning of practices. He has said numerous times that he wants the players to work hard and take care of their bodies.

"We're making the plays," said Williams. "We're making the corrections every day. We're having fun, that's the main thing. Coach [Staley] is trying his best to take care of us. Injuries [were an issue] in the past, so he's taking care of us. We're having fun. We're making the best of every opportunity and every rep in practice."

The Chargers offense picked it up on Saturday after the last two days, the defense getting the better of them. Williams made some catches, but Herbert was on. He was spreading the ball really well, and his best throw was to a diving Tyron Johnson.

"As an offense, we made a lot of plays," he said. "Everybody was making them, too, from the top of the list to the younger guys who got here. Everybody was making plays and having fun."

The crowd on Saturday was significantly bigger, and they kept cheering on those plays. The players seem to feed off of the crowd at times.

"It's lit. This is the most lit [camp has been in a couple of years], for sure," said Williams. "It's a Saturday, and there were a lot of people out here. We're going to enjoy the energy."

As things move along during training camp, there are specific goals that the team will start laying out. Every player has their individual goals, especially in a contract year, but Williams displays a team-first mindset.

He was asked about his goals but mentioned a goal the team hasn't done since 2009, another goal they haven't accomplished since 1995, and the last goal has only happened once, and it was by the 2020 Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

"As a team, win the division," explained Williams. "Get to the playoffs and hopefully get to the Super Bowl. That's the main thing. The Super Bowl is here in LA. We want to for sure be part of that, but first, we have to win the division. Take over this division, make the playoffs and get this thing rolling."