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Wednesday, May 23, 2018
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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Bucs Hot Reads: WR Williams set to challenge former teammates

A familiar face will be waiting for the Buccaneers on Saturday at Ralph Wilson Stadium, eager to challenge Tampa Bay’s revamped secondary.

WR Mike Williams, traded to the Bills in April for a sixth-round draft pick, already has impressed second-year QB EJ Manuel with his ball skills.

“He’s done it day-in and day-out,’’ Manuel said of Williams, who caught 25 touchdowns passes in four years with the Bucs. “Mike has been very consistent as far as tracking the ball, whether it’s a fade or a deep ball or a post.’’

Williams has three catches for 49 yards through three preseason games, including a leaping 28-yard grab over the middle against Carolina. On the depth chart, he is listed as a backup to first-round pick Sammy Watkins and Robert Woods, who caught 40 passes as a rookie.

“I always tell them throw it to the clouds — I’m going to find a way to bring it down,’’ said Williams, a former fourth-round pick whose tenure in Tampa was marked by acrobatic catches and a series of off-field incidents that disappointed Bucs coach Lovie Smith and GM Jason Licht.

Did you know?

Watkins suffered a rib injury on Saturday, and the No. 4 overall pick in the draft might not play against the Bucs.

Quote of the day

“Their best against your best, that’s what you want.’’

— Bucs OLB Lavonte David, on Saturday afternoon’s matchup in Buffalo

Stat of the day

The Bucs have faced Buffalo on the road only one time in franchise history during the regular season, dropping a 33-20 decision in 2009 despite a 296-yard passing day by Byron Leftwich.

Ira Kaufman

Preseason schedule

Aug. 8: Jaguars 16, Bucs 10

Aug. 16: Dolphins 20, Bucs 14

Saturday: at Buffalo, 4:30 p.m.

Aug. 28: vs. Washington, 7:30 p.m.

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