The Lions haven't had an offensive player in the Pro Bowl since 2000 and they
haven't sent a wide receiver to Honolulu since Herman Moore made four
consecutive appearances in 1998, but Roy Williams is getting mentioned as a Pro
Bowl candidate with increased frequency.
Eight games into the season, Williams is leading the NFC in receiving yardage
with 719 yards and is tied for sixth in receptions with 44. He has four games
with 135 yards or more receiving; no other NFL receiver has more than one.
And he is making occasional dazzling plays -- including his 60-yard touchdown
reception and a one-handed grab in the Lions 30-14 victory over Atlanta -- that
get him additional recognition also.
"He makes those catches every day," said quarterback Jon Kitna, when asked
about Williams' full-speed one-handed grab. "I don't even go 'ohhh' anymore. He
makes those every day in practice and my thing with him is that I just try to
get it in his area and he's going to come down with it."
Lions coach Rod Marinelli has made frequent references to Williams as a Pro
Bowl candidate and recently included running back Kevin Jones in that category.
"Forget about the numbers," Marinelli said. "Just watch them. That's what I
like. They're both making plays at critical times.
"The plays that Roy made in that (Atlanta) game, late in the game, that's
what champions do. You know, you can have all the talent but eventually it's got
to be, when everybody's tired and everything's on the line it's about
production. Who can produce. And what he did with that long touchdown and then
that third-down catch he made was special."
Williams says he has no special interest in playing in the Pro Bowl unless
the Lions are going to be playing in the playoffs.
"Not at all," he said. "To me, the Pro Bowl is an individual thing, it goes
off individual play. Now if we were in the playoffs and then I went to the Pro
Bowl, that's where it's at. But if you're on a losing team and you go to the Pro
Bowl, to me that's pointless."