Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Carnell “Cadillac” Williams was voted the Diet Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Week on Thursday.
Williams, who was the fifth overall in the 2005 NFL Draft, rushed 27 times for 148 yards and a touchdown last Sunday against the Minnesota Vikings. Williams’ 71-yard touchdown run came with 1:23 remaining in the Week 1 contest.
Miami Dolphins RB Ronnie Brown, Kansas City Chiefs LB Derrick Johnson, Jacksonville Jaguars WR Matt Jones and Cincinnati Bengals LB Odell Thurman were the candidates Williams went up against in NFL.com fan voting.
At the end of the 2005 regular season, five players will be nominated for the Diet Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Year award. The winner will be announced at a press conference at Super Bowl XL in Detroit.
COX RETURNS TO JAIL Bucs cornerback Torrie Cox returned to jail Thursday after it was determined that his arrest for driving under the influence on Tuesday morning violated his probation.
Cox, 24, was arrested in December of 2004 and charged with the same crime. However, he later pled guilty to a less charge, reckless driving, which came with probation.
Shortly after he returned to the Orient Road Jail, Cox posted $10,000 bail and returned to One Buc Place, where he practiced with his team.
“He was here for the whole practice, yes,” Bucs head coach Jon Gruden said of Cox.
The Bucs, who deactivated Cox for three games after his DUI arrest last season, have already confirmed that Cox has been benched for Sunday’s game against the Buffalo Bills.
Running back Michael Pittman and wide receiver Mark Jones are the leading candidates to replace Cox as Tampa Bay’s kickoff returner.
RICE, STINCHCOMB HELD OUT OF PRACTICE The Bucs held guard Matt Stinchcomb and defensive end Simeon Rice out of Thursday’s practice.
Stinchcomb (lower back) is listed as questionable for Sunday’s game vs. Buffalo. Rookie Dan Buenning will make his second straight start at left guard.
Rice has some elbow soreness, but is probable for the game against the Bills.
“He’s had a lot of at-bats here in the last week or so,” Gruden said of Rice. “He’s going to play in the game; we wanted to rest him today.”
BUCS PREPARE FOR CROWD NOISE The Bucs have called on their fans to make Raymond James Stadium as hostile and loud as possible when the Buffalo Bills come to town on Sunday.
In fact, the team is expecting nothing less. That’s why the Bucs used speakers at their practice on Thursday. Last week, Tampa Bay used the speakers in practice to help its offense prepare for the crowd noise it was going to encounter in the Metrodome. This week, the crowd noise at practice is being used to help the defense communicate.
“We use them for the defense in some key third-down situations, in the two-minute drill, in goal-line situations, short-yardage,” Gruden said of the speakers. “The fans get really excited and loud and the defense does have some checks and communication that needs to take place. So we need to practice those in the noise just like an offensive team would on the road.”
Tampa Bay will face one of the NFL’s hottest teams at Ray-Jay on Sunday, and Gruden said a raucous crowd could go a long way in the Bucs’ attempt to defeat the 1-0 Bills and improve to 2-0 on the season.
“Oh, yeah. I can sense that, and I can sense when the offense is also at the mercy of the crowd and a really good active defense,” Gruden said. “That’s what we’re trying to get back to. We’ve got a lot of respect for Buffalo. They didn’t win eight out of 10 last year at the end of the season by just being an average team; they’re for real. The crowd and a good solid defense obviously can make things tough on any offense.”
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