Despite the presence of Earnest Graham and Clifton Smith and the arrival of 1,000-yard rusher Derrick Ward, the Buccaneers are hoping to continue to cruise around Raymond James Stadium in their four-year-old Cadillac with two repaired wheels.
Offensive coordinator Greg Olson calls Cadillac Williams, the fifth overall pick in the 2005 draft, a “complete back.” And Olson thinks that it’s time for the team to make Williams the every-down option.
“We’re going to get him more involved. And really, that’s on me,” Olson said, per the St. Petersburg Times.
“Clifton [Smith] has been our guy because he’s a threat as a wide receiver
and often times in those situations, a back gets out and gets involved
in that,” Olson added. “He’s been our guy going back to last year. But Cadillac has
proven that he understands protections and he’s a real solid pass
protector and really, he’s developed as a receiver.
“We went into the season kind of with the mentality of let’s work
Cadillac in. Maybe we can rotate him with the other backs. But as good
as he’s looked here early on in the season, I think it’s time we become
more committed to Cadillac Williams as a full-time guy.”
Against the Redskins, Williams rushed for 77 yards on 16 carries and added 22 yards on four receptions.
Ward, who left the Giants after the 2008 season, missed last week’s game with a knee injury. He fully participated in practice on Wednesday.
Graham rushed for nearly 900 yards in 2007 after Cadillac Williams was lost for the year with a ruptured patellar tendon that many believed might end his career. But Graham has accepted his role as a backup tailback and part-time fullback.
Williams tore the patellar tendon in his other knee last season, after completing his inspiring comeback from the first injury.
Bottom line? With the risk of injury always present, especially for the guys running with the ball, it makes sense to have multiple guys ready to step in at a moment’s notice.
And maybe the Bucs would be a little better on defense if they had a few of them play safety or linebacker as well.