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Williams hopes for apology from critics

Despite an uneven preseason, Roy Williams said his goal is to be the best receiver in the NFL. AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh

Chicago Bears receiver Roy Williams claims to be oblivious to what's written about him, but apparently someone keeps him in the loop regarding press clippings.

Having endured a preseason rife with pointed criticism, Williams relishes the chance to change the perception that he's no longer fit to be a team's go-to receiver.

"Expectations should be high. I want them to be high, so talk bad about me," Williams said. "I appreciate it. But if I do well, just please write that you're sorry."

That sounds fair, considering the frequency of criticism and scrutiny about virtually every aspect of Williams' day-to-day performances throughout training camp and the preseason.

But Williams insists he's not motivated by the desire to gain the respect of critics.

"It [doesn't] push me. My thing, [and] people can take it the way they want to, I want to be the best in the league," he said. "People are going to have their comments, but that's my goal. It's not your goal. It's not anybody else's goal. It's my goal. That's my goal, and to help this football team win games."

Williams caught just two passes for 33 yards over three games in a meaningless preseason, and failed to come up with grabs on several passes thrown his way, while letting defenders knock the ball loose on at least two other occasions.

Aside from the criticism levied at Williams for those performances, the receiver also took heat for not building chemistry immediately with quarterback Jay Cutler and for reporting to training camp somewhat out of peak conditioning. There's also the perception that Williams drops more balls than most receivers, which is interesting given that Miles Austin led the Cowboys in drops last year and Williams caught a higher percentage of balls thrown his way in 2010 than both Devin Hester and Johnny Knox.

"I'm a lot more comfortable," Williams said. "It's been a progression, and we've made a lot of progression. We should be ready to go. I've never struggled with anything. It's all the same: same system, same words, same numbers. [It was just about] getting back into the flow with this offense."

With Chicago's traditionally stingy defense, Williams says the key to the success for the offense against the Falcons on Sunday is eliminating turnovers. But "time will tell" how explosive the unit can be throughout the season.

Asked whether he was nervous about his Bears debut, Williams shot back quickly.

"For what?" he asked. "This is year eight for me. It's not my first rodeo."

Upon quick reflection though, Williams came clean about his true feelings.

"I love this game, man. So yeah, there will be some butterflies," Williams said. "I was trying to sound tough before. But, yeah, there will be butterflies."