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November 15, 2010 @ 7:45 pm
Current rating: 4.00 Stars/1 Votes

Despite Dwindling Role, Cadillac Is Happy

Written by Wolf
Wolf Heard


Beat Writer & Videographer E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
While he may not be receiving as many touches as he used to, running back Cadillac Williams is happy with his role on the team, and is excited that the Bucs are back to their winning ways.
No one likes to see someone else step into his or her shoes and take their job. Especially not when that someone is a running back in the NFL who is used to touching the football 20 times per game. But that is exactly what has happened to Cadillac Williams, who has seen his touches and production drop due to the rise of rookie tailback LeGarrette Blount.

"I am a competitor and I would love to be out there to get more carries and put forth what I can do out there," Williams said. "It is what it is. We're 6-3 and it's just a pleasure seeing the young guys playing good. It's cool. Whenever my number is called I'm going to continue to do all I can do."

After producing just a 2.4 per carry average and no rushing touchdowns through the first half of the season, Williams finally got into the end zone in the Bucs 31-16 victory over the Carolina Panthers. Williams carried the ball five times for 62 yards (12.4 avg.), including a 45-yard scamper to ice the game for Tampa Bay. He now has 287 rushing yards on 97 carries (3.0 avg.).

"It felt great to be in the open field – just to have that green grass," Williams said. "I feel like I have a lot to offer. I feel I can still do more, but it's team-first with me. I'm going to continue to support these guys and get people ready to play and be a leader on this team. Whenever my number is called I will just try to do my best."

After receiving a bulk of the carries in the first five games of the season, Williams has seen Blount carry the load on the ground in recent weeks. In the last four games Williams has only received 21 carries after having 76 in the five contests before. In that span Williams has basically been the third back for Tampa Bay. But Williams is not bitter about it. He has enjoyed mentoring Blount and his just happy to be a part of an up-and-coming team that is putting up W’s in the win column.

“I know Cadillac is not one of our team captains because it didn’t get voted that way, but he is certainly one of our team characters,” said head coach Raheem Morris. “There is no doubt about it. That’s why when Cadillac doesn’t have a great game running the ball and everyone wants to be down on him, it is easy to be a coach from outside the building when you don’t know what is going on inside the building. If you don’t know how much Cadillac has helped LeGarrette Blount up to this point then you are sadly mistaken, and making a big mistake on judging that young man’s character…. Cadillac is the ultimate character guy on our football team. He means a lot to us, he means a lot to our offense, and he certainly means a lot to Free. Just ask him.”

Williams’ willingness to step aside and help the younger Blount into what has been his job since 2005 speaks volumes to his character. Offensive coordinator Greg Olson says that it is rare for a player to do that in this sport.

“I think it is unique, it is unique for that position really, but he is a unique person,” said Olson. “As Ra said, he is a very high character guy. He was not voted a team captain, but if you were to ask the guys on the team they would say he is one of the most popular players and one of the players that all of our players look up to and admire… he’s been great throughout that whole bit and the entire season. All he wants to do is win and he will do whatever it takes to win so we are lucky to have him.”

Meanwhile, Blount has rushed for 358 yards on 75 carries (4.8 avg.) with four touchdowns. But if you ask him, Blount says that Williams is still the main tailback on the Buccaneers.

“I definitely have not replaced him because has you seen he can still run the ball and play just like when he was a rookie,” said Blount. “Cadillac is the premiere back on this team and he is going to continue to be the premiere back on this team. They trust him. The fans love him. I love him and I am going to continue to ride off of everything that he is teaching me.”
Last modified on Monday, 22 November 2010 15:52

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  • avatar

    Maybe Caddy cross trains at FB next year then he can play FB in the I and TB in split back formations with Blount like Pittman did with Caddy.
  • avatar

    I think we have finally established the way these two backs with different styles and abilities should be used. I remember that Caddy wasn't exactly a good receiver his first year, so there's definitely a learning curve for Blount. This one-two combination is going to do wonders for the passing game - with Caddy in on passing downs, the draw opens up and leaves teams vulnerable. Then there's the effectiveness of the play action now. Love it!
  • avatar

    Given that Caddy is usually fresh when he gets into the game on 3rd down the can go full speed instead of when he was getting all the carries and was tired by the fourth. I would love to see him back next year as insurance if Huggins doesn't turn out to be as good of a 3rd down back as Caddy.
  • avatar

    I would say that even though his touches have gone down, his production has gone up. He has 97 yds on those 21 carries in the last 4 games (4.6 avg), and he has shown to be a good runner in a draw or trap play (the play that netted him the 45yd TD run on Sunday). I've been wanting see Blount play on this team since before we signed him, and am excited about the fact he's proving to be the player I thought he would be. However he is clearly not the pass protector nor reciever that Caddy is right now, and may need a year (or two) to fully develop those aspects of his game. In the mean time, Caddy has proven himself a more the capable 3rd down/ 2 minute drill back. You need at least 2 RBs to compete in the NFL these days anyways, and right now, these two are looking like a pretty Dynamic Tandem (maybe not top 5 or even 10, but definetly Top half of the league).
  • avatar

    Caddy, just be realistic of your worth when you negotiate with the GM. Here's a thought; deal with the GM straight up and leave out an agent. I'll bet you'll be rewarded for it.
  • avatar

    He should be rewarded for the things he's already done like his dedication to the team, the sacrifices he's made physically (two blown knees), being a great mentor and his performance on the field. Not saying top back pay, but he's earned another opportunity with this team. And, you should never negotiate without representation, it would be foolish. Just ask Andre Johnson, he'll give 20 million reasons why an agent is a good idea.
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