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Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Cadillac Williams passes physical, reports to camp

TAMPA — RB Cadillac Williams admits his inclusion on the active roster to start training camp makes for a crowded backfield. But he couldn't be bothered to wonder about his place in the mix.

He's just giddy to be part of the crowd.

Eight months after he tore the patellar tendon in his left knee — an injury that left him screaming and holding the knee as he lay crumpled on the sideline in the 2008 finale — Williams passed his physical exam and was included on the 80-man roster Friday.

He joins a running back corps that includes Earnest Graham, Derrick Ward and 2008 rookie sensation Clifton Smith.

"It is a crowded backfield," said Williams, the fifth overall pick in the 2005 draft. "For one, I just want to thank God. I'm just happy to be here."

Williams' injury was his second in just more than a year. He tore the patellar tendon in his right knee in September 2007. But that injury required a more lengthy rehabilitation because it was a more severe rupture.

This time, a less severe tear, coupled with Williams' experience in dealing with the injury, combined to get him back on the field faster. Williams also thought often about his powerful running that fateful December day against the Raiders, when he had 6.5 yards per carry before he was hurt.

"It was tough," Williams, 27, said of the process. "But the one good thing about this one is that I've been through it before. The second time around, (coming back) came a little easier. But once you're rehabbing a knee, it's always tough.

"From game to game and week to week, I actually felt like myself (last season). That gave me confidence."

SEARS A NO-SHOW: G Arron Sears failed to report, as expected. The team attributed his absence to unresolved personal issues. Sears has been absent since April, when questions began to emerge about his state of mind. The quest continues to determine the cause of his issues.

The team placed Sears, 24, on the reserve-did not report list, which enables him to be activated if he does report. Sears does not count against the 80-man preseason roster. But the Bucs offered no specifics on his status, nor did officials show much optimism.

Asked whether he sees football at any point in Sears' future, general manager Mark Dominik said, "I would hope so." Dominik said he has not communicated with Sears in some time but remains in almost daily contact with his agents.

"I'm just looking out for Arron, and I hope everything comes together for him and that he reports," Dominik said. "We want to be there to support him."

THROWING BACK: The Bucs unveiled the result of a painstaking process of replicating their vintage orange, white and red uniforms when they showcased their throwbacks.

LB Barrett Ruud, WR Antonio Bryant, DE Gaines Adams and RB Earnest Graham served as models, each expressing excitement to wear the uniforms Nov. 8 against the Packers.

The franchise was largely unsuccessful during its two decades wearing the original uniform. But the move to make it a throwback remains popular among the current players.

"I've been preparing for this. I have the mouthpiece, I have the cleats, I have the (towel)," Bryant said.

Said Graham: "I definitely remember watching some of the guys I played with, Derrick Brooks and Mike Alstott, when football was really influential to me. … I get to live it a little bit."

Settling on the final version of the uniform was complicated, team co-chairman Ed Glazer said. The first several versions that came from the league were not the desired shade of orange, requiring much fine-tuning.

"When people think of the orange jerseys, they think of just one color," Glazer said. "What we realized is that from 1976 to 1997, the jerseys changed dramatically. As soon as 1977, the jerseys started changing and getting darker. Things were changing rapidly."

INJURY UPDATE: DL Greg Peterson is expected to be limited for the first several days of camp as he completes his recovery from an offseason knee injury. Coach Raheem Morris said all other players were in good health.

Stephen F. Holder can be reached at sholder@sptimes.com.

When: Saturday to Aug. 19

Where: One Buccaneer Place, Tampa (except Saturday night, at Raymond James Stadium)

Admission: Free and open to the public, but a ticket is required. For tickets, register for the One Buc Club at buccaneers.com. The team will e-mail information on how to select and print tickets. Tickets also will be available on practice days if all have not been distributed.

Et cetera: All practices are weather permitting and subject to change; go to buccaneers.com for updates.

Practice and games schedule

Saturday: 10:15 a.m.-12:25 p.m. (no tickets available); 6:45-8:45 p.m. (no ticket required)

Sunday: 2:20-4:20 p.m. (no tickets available)

Monday: 10:15 a.m.-12:25 p.m.; 4:55-6:50 p.m. (no tickets available for either session)

Tuesday: 2:35-3:45 p.m. (special teams)

Wednesday: 10:15 a.m.-12:25 p.m.; 4:55-6:50 p.m.

Thursday: 2:30-4:20 p.m.

Aug. 7: 10:15 a.m.-12:25 p.m.; 4:45-6 p.m. (special teams)

Aug. 8: 10:15 a.m.-12:25 p.m.; 4:55-6:50 p.m.

Aug. 10: 2:30-4:20 p.m.

Aug. 11: 10:15 a.m.-12:25 p.m.; 4:55-7 p.m.

Aug. 12: 2:30-4:20 p.m.

Aug. 13: 10:20-11:30 a.m. (special teams); 4:55-7 p.m.

Aug. 14: 8:55-9:50 a.m.

Aug. 15: at Titans, 8, Ch. 8

Aug. 17: 2:45-4:35 p.m.

Aug. 18: 10:15 a.m.-12:25 p.m.; 4:55-7 p.m.

Aug. 19: 2:30-4:20 p.m.

Aug. 22: at Jaguars, 7:30, Ch. 8

Aug. 27: vs. Dolphins, 8, Raymond James Stadium, Ch. 13

Sept. 4: vs. Texans, 7, Raymond James Stadium, Ch. 8

Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Cadillac Williams passes physical, reports to camp 07/31/09 [Last modified: Saturday, August 1, 2009 6:36am]
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