Cadillac needs a rest, will split carries with other RBs
Cadillac Williams is 28, has had two major knee surgeries in three years and could use a rest.
So the Bucs' running back will begin to split carries with Kareem Huggins and rookie LeGarrette Blount beginning this week at Cincinnati, according to offensive coordinator Greg Olson.
Williams has 55 carries for 139 yards this season, a 2.5-yard average that is among the worst in the NFL among starting running backs.
Huggins, a second-year pro from Hofstra who led the Bucs in rushing during the preseason, has missed the last two games with a groin strain. Blount, the former Oregon star who was claimed off waivers from Tennessee last month, made his debut two weeks ago against Pittsburgh and carried six times for 27 yards and a touchdown.
Olson said it's important for Huggins and Blount to share the rushing workload with Williams moving forward.
"Particularly in our case, where we’ve got a Cadillac Williams who has had two major knee surgeries and has rehabbed and done a tremendous job of coming back as a player,'' Olson said. "But at this time in his career, he’s probably a guy, or he is a player who needs a rest, that needs a break or it would be difficult. I think the younger the player, the easier it is to hand him the ball on the carries. Obviously, on our part, too, there’s a tremendous amount of trust that we have in Cadillac Williams to get lined up correctly, to know the blitz checks, to know his protection assignments, so there’s a trust factor there as well that Kareem Huggins and LeGarrette Blount are earning with us right now. We need to get Cadillac a rest and we need to make sure he’s fresh when he is in the game.''
Whereas Blount may be used primarily in short yardage and goal line situations against the Bengals, Huggins' role is likely to be on third down or to provide an explosive play utilizing his speed.
“He’s a great change of pace back for us,'' Olson said. "He has great speed, legitimate speed, and I think we all witnessed that in the preseason. That’s why it will be nice to have him back and get a chance to what he can do because we haven’t gotten a chance to see it yet in a regular season game. So there’s some excitement on our part to see what Kareen Huggins can do in a regular season game and he’ll be able to spell Cadillac and give Cadillac that rest that we think he needs.''