Cadillac Williams will sit out Buccaneers preseason opener
Bucs RB Cadillac Williams won't play Saturday at Tennessee, coach Raheem Morris said today.
Morris said Williams' surgically-repaired knee is fine, but Morris said it was a coaching decision to sit Williams and hold him until the third preseason game, against the Dolphins on Aug. 27.
Williams, who suffered a patellar tendon tear in December in the 2008 season finale, has benefited from intense rehabilitation that has allowed him to return to full speed during training camp. He has participated in full-contact drills without any limitations and has looked sharp. But the punishment running backs take in games, even those in the preseason, is quite different than that handed out in practice.
Thus Morris' cautious approach.
"That's just me being soft," Morris said. "I'm not going to sugarcoat it. He's been fine. He's been great. He's been moving around. I just don't think Cadillac needs to get used to getting hit. I think he knows what it's about. . . He's doing so well, I just want to keep it (going)."
Morris is not concerned that Williams' lack of preseason activity will affect his regular-season performance, pointing to his limited preseason participation as a rookie in 2005. Williams went on to have a NFL record-setting start in the first four games of that season.
"In the whole preseason, I think he carried it three times," Morris said. "Four games later, he was in (the Hall of Fame). He may follow that same format."
Williams had his cleats and gloves enshrined in a display at the Hall of Fame after breaking a league record for the best start by a rookie running back.