Cadillac Williams, Derrick Ward will duel for carries
The Bucs tried and failed in several efforts last season to systematically divide carries among their running backs.
This time, coach Raheem Morris says the club is going back to basics: competition.
Gone is the 2-2-1 approach, one in which the Bucs attempted to divide carries with two series for one back, two series for the next and a single series for a third back.
This year, Morris said the decisions will be based strictly on performance. Cadillac Williams remains the likely recipient of the majority of the carries, but Derrick Ward can close the gap based on his preseason and training camp performance.
"Now I think the carries are going to be dictated by the hot back," Morris said. "I think the carries are going to be dictated by the guy who’s in there getting it done. I think these guys will both have the opportunity to run the football like every team in the league that has two running backs. That’s who we are. Ward’s come into camp and had a couple of good runs today. He’s getting better and better every day. And I think Cadillac’s ready to fight. I think those guys want to fight for carries and that’s a good thing."
But Morris concedes that Williams has a special place with the franchise given his rookie feats and his twin battles back from a pair of torn patellar tendons. That, coupled with his superior performance in 2009, when he was the club's leading rusher, give him the edge.
"Caddy has done a lot of things around here," Morris said. "He’s done a lot of special things for us.
"He’s got some more money in the emotional bank account here in Tampa. Derrick’s got to earn a little bit more of that. . . He can certainly make a few deposits into the emotional bank account as well if he’s able to pick up a few first downs."