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Williamson caught the ball


It was the play for which the Vikings made Troy Williamson the seventh pick of the 2005 draft. The difference on this day was that Williamson made the catch.

He beat the defense badly; toasted two defensive backs who could do little more than watch the pass sail over their heads and into Williamson's hands. Then, there was a pregnant pause. Would the ball stick in Williamson's hands? Yeah, like glue.

It was the big play of Sunday morning's practice and it was, yet, more evidence that Williamson has put his failures in Minnesota behind him and is in the process of blossoming into the big-play wide receiver his size, speed and athletic ability originally promised. And the Jaguars got it all for a mere sixth-round pick.

"My thing is to keep the momentum going into the season. I'm comfortable in the system and it's working for me," Williamson said following practice on a blistering-hot morning.

He took a lot of momentum out of spring practices; didn't drop a pass. Three practices into training camp, the momentum has increased. With Jerry Porter out for the summer due to hamstring surgery, Reggie Williams on PUP with a knee strain and Mike Walker in a once-a-day practice regimen as he continues to rehab from knee surgery, Williamson was without a doubt the closest thing the Jaguars had to a number one receiver in Sunday's first of two practices.

Hey, why not him? He was drafted to be a number one, right? Why can't he be that guy with the Jaguars?

"No, all I need to do is work," Williamson said when asked if he's considered the possibility.

His career has sunk too low for him to consider anything more at this time than earning a roster spot and some playing time. He has to fight his way back one step at a time. It's understandable.

Williamson's talents, however, are undeniable. He moves with rare grace. He's a big target and Todd Bouman's perfectly-thrown pass made Sunday's big play a thing of beauty. The pass didn't wobble and Williamson caught it clean. Perfecto!

The Jaguars will practice in "shells" Sunday evening, which means they will introduce an element of contact to their practices before they go full pads for the first time on Monday night, a practice that will be highlighted by the annual fan-favorite Oklahoma drill.

Full-contact practices mark the next hurdle for Williamson. Yeah, he's done it in OTAs and in the first few practices of training camp, which are nothing more than glorified OTAs, but will Williamson keep the momentum going when the pads go on?

"It's just a mindset," Williamson said of avoiding dropped passes, which he didn't do often enough in Minnesota. "I came in here with a clean slate."

He's not the first Jaguars receiver to make a big splash in the spring. Chad Owens and Charles Sharon were spring wonders. Neither Owens nor Sharon is with the team now. Neither Owens nor Sharon, however, had Williamson's pedigree.

So why the dropped passes in Minnesota? Were they the result of a young player who was struggling to live up to his high draft selection?

"It's the only logical answer. Maybe that's it," wide receivers coach Todd Monken said.

"He's already far exceeded my expectations. He makes plays, he's fast as hell. What's not to like?" Offensive Coordinator Dirk Koetter said.

That's the question that, so far, anybody who has watched Williamson in Jaguars practices has been unable to answer. What's not to like?

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