Tyrell Williams is going to be a popular man Thursday night at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum.
Not only has the Silver and Black’s top wideout already endeared himself to fans of the Silver and Black, but after spending the first four seasons of his career with the Chargers – both San Diego and Los Angeles – Williams is sure to have no shortage of people to say hello to pregame.
“It’s definitely going to be weird, but I’m excited,” Williams said Tuesday when asked about squaring off against his old team. “It’s going to be a lot of fun. I’ve got a lot of friends on the team still, so I’m excited for that. It’s going to be fun.”
And while Williams was incredibly productive on game days – he recorded 155 passes for 2,530 yards and 17 touchdowns during his time in Southern California – the athletic wide receiver also understandably became very close with the defensive backs on the Chargers’ roster, but come Thursday night, he’ll need to use that knowledge to benefit his new team.
That said, it doesn’t mean that the uniqueness of the situation is lost on Williams.
“Those are guys I’ve been going against for four years,” Williams explained. “It’s going to definitely be weird having all the reps I had against them in practice for four years. It’ll be cool though. I’m excited for it.”
Williams – even with missing a pair of games due to injury – still leads the Silver and Black in receiving touchdowns (5), and ranks second on the team in receiving yards (355), and although he doesn’t boast an overly boisterous personality, he’s unquestionably grown into the team’s No. 1 wide receiver.
“I feel really good,” Williams explained. “Like I said, it’s just more getting healthy, and being able to feel more myself – because I know I can make every play – so just get back to feeling 100 percent, and I’m getting there now, so that confidence is right where I want it. I’m excited to finish off the season.”
“You know he can lineup all the way across the ball at receiver,” added Williams’ former head coach Anthony Lynn. “You know he can read coverages. He can get open. He developed into a good route runner. He developed into catching the high point of the ball down the field. You know you see him doing that more and his size. He’s a physical presence. He’s a tall receiver with speed.”
On an individual level, Thursday’s primetime clash will mean a lot to Williams, but for the Raiders as a whole, the Week 10 battle with the Chargers will likely have lasting repercussions for the respective division rivals.
Both the Raiders and the Bolts are coming off big wins in Week 9, and with an AFC West that still seems to be very much up for grabs entering the back half of the season, a big win in the division would go a long ways for whichever team handles business.
Add all that up, and Tyrell Williams is ready for the lights to go on, and get to work at the OACC.
“I’ve been kind of more excited all week, I guess, to be able to have this game,” Williams said. “I do stay pretty even keel, but I think I’ll have a lot more juice this week.”
Kickoff is scheduled for 5:20 PM.
Head out to Alameda, Calif. and check out photos from the Raiders' practice as they prepare for their Week 10 matchup against the division-rival Los Angeles Chargers.