Demetrius in better focus (updated)
Nobody has to tell me that Demetrius Williams is a talented wide receiver who got a bad break when an Achilles tendon injury forced him onto the injured reserve list this week, but I called his father, Dwight, today and he called me on the carpet for saying in a post yesterday that the Ravens might not miss Demetrius that much.
"That's my kid and I would be the first to point out his shortcomings,'' Dwight said, "but I'll also be the first to come to his defense. I read some of the posts and people are saying he can't do this and he can't do that. ... He gets tagged with being injury-prone. The kid has played through several injuries. He wants to play."
Dwight is no ordinary sports dad. He is a former college player who made it to several NFL camps. He and Demetrius were featured in a Baltimore Sun article recently, which documented how Dwight has often been his son's biggest critic, because he knows how tough it is to succeed at this level.
He called me out on my contention that -- if you take away last week's 70-yard touchdown -- Demetrius averaged just two receptions and 18 yards receiving per game through the first six games of the season.
"I read where he isn't producing,'' Dwight said. "How do you produce when they throw to you only two times a game?"
The injury has played a role in that. Demetrius (shown burning Troy Polamalu for a TD in 2006) suffered a partial Achilles tear last year and has developed a bone spur near the point where it is healing. He'll undergo surgery to remove the spur next week. In a perfect world, he might have rested the injury during the offseason, but the Ravens had brought in a new coach and new offensive coordinator, so he felt he had to take every opportunity to learn the new offense.
"He wanted to get back in there because he's a little bit of a warrior,'' Dwight said. "They pushed him and OTA'd him and wouldn't let him rest it. We finally took him to a very famous doctor here in the Bay Area who said, 'You've got a partially torn Achilles. The only thing that's going to help is rest.' But they have a new coaching staff and he wanted to prove himself. Since then, it's been all bad."
What Dwight wants everyone to know about his son is that he's a quality vertical receiver who has a chance to be a very good NFL player when he gets back, which will happen when Joe Flacco has a full season of experience under his belt and likely be better equipped to throw the ball downfield.
"Demetrius is better than you give him credit," Dwight said. "The Ravens must recognize that to put him on the IR to get fixed for next year."
Roster update: Cornerback Derrick Martin has also been placed on injured reserve with a shoulder injury. The Ravens also signed free agent wide receiver Terrance Copper and signed kicker Steve Hauschka off their practice squad.
Baltimore Sun file photo