Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Tampa Bay Bucs running back Cadillac Williams looks sharp in first preseason game of year

In his first preseason game after his second serious knee injury, running back Cadillac Williams moves around the field for some of his 54 yards on eight carries.

DANIEL WALLACE | Times

In his first preseason game after his second serious knee injury, running back Cadillac Williams moves around the field for some of his 54 yards on eight carries.

TAMPA — All week long, Bucs coach Raheem Morris has been singing the praises of Cadillac Williams, proclaiming that the fifth-year back has been showing flashes of his old brilliance on the practice field, the kind fans knew before serious knee injuries in 2007 and 2008 knocked his career out of gear.

Thursday night, spectators at Raymond James Stadium and a national TV audience saw what Morris was talking about. Williams, making his first appearance of the preseason, hit holes with power and abandon during his first-half stint and briefly in the second against the Dolphins.

There was no sign of jitters or timidity from the player running with a pair of reconstructed knees against the NFL's No. 10 rushing defense in 2008. From his first run on the second play from scrimmage — slamming up the middle for a 4-yard gain and a first down — No. 24 sent a message that he could be a major factor in Tampa Bay's running game this season.

"It just feels great. It's a blessing," said Williams, who finished with 54 yards on eight carries. "I'm just so excited to be out there with these guys. I feel so good to be out there this season."

As for his most recent injury, a patellar tendon tear in his left knee in the final game last season, he said, "The knee is not an issue for me. … I feel great."

His best moment came on third and 5 from Miami's 38-yard line with just over 10 minutes left in the first quarter. He busted through a hole on the left side and raced 19 yards, helping to set up Mike Nugent's 29-yard field goal for a 3-0 lead.

It was an encouraging sight for the Bucs, particularly given their zone blocking schemes designed to create creases at the line. Williams showed he's ready to exploit them, finishing the first quarter with 32 yards on five carries, 6.4 yards per tote.

Williams then gave way to Derrick Ward, the second man up in Morris' new 2-2-1 running back rotation. Ward's first three carries netted minus-2 yards.

Then Earnest Graham got his chance as the "1." On his second carry, he broke two tackles on a 27-yard romp down the left sideline.

"Those guys are a big key in what we do," Williams said. " … It's going to be tough on defenses.''

And back Williams came, picking up where he had left off, cutting back against the grain for a 12-yard gain, later adding a slashing 8-yard run in the third quarter.

Tampa Bay Bucs running back Cadillac Williams looks sharp in first preseason game of year 08/28/09 [Last modified: Friday, August 28, 2009 8:13am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. For starters: Rays at Twins, looking for another with Odorizzi starting

    Blogs

    UPDATE, 12:45: Cash said Robertson was taking better swings Friday and so he wanted to move him up today, liking the idea of having three straight right-handers vs. a LHP they don't know much about. ... Souza was still smiling this morning about his failed dive attempt last night, and the reaction it got. .. The …

  2. Why the Lightning would consider trading Jonathan Drouin

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — This summer, the Lightning could trade one of its most dynamic young players ever.

    Tampa Bay Lightning left wing Jonathan Drouin (27) celebrates with his team on the bench after beating Chicago Blackhawks goalie Scott Darling (33) to score his second goal of the period and to tie the score at 4 to 4 during second period action at the Amalie Arena in Tampa Monday evening (03/27/17).
  3. Why the Lightning should keep Jonathan Drouin

    Lightning Strikes

    Keep him.

    Jonathan Drouin is live bait. The Lightning is ready to run the hook through him and cast him out there again. Drouin has enough talent for the Lightning to meet some defensive needs in a deal.

    Keep him.

    Lightning wing Jonathan Drouin celebrates after beating Los Angeles Kings goalie Peter Budaj during the first period of Tuesday's win in Tampa. [DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD   |   Times]
  4. This Tampa Bay Lightning wing rides the newest wave of fan interaction

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — There are photos of Lightning fan Shaun Egger as a toddler at center ice at the then-Thunderome, aka Tropicana Field. He's played in the Lightning's high school hockey league for Palm Harbor University. But his closest personal encounter with players had been waving through a crowd after a training camp …

    Tampa Bay Lightning player J.T. Brown wears his anti UV glasses as he talks over the headset with a hockey fan while they play against each other on line in an XBOX NHL video game in Brown's game room at his home in south Tampa. The fan chose to be the Washington Capitals and Brown, of course, was the Tampa Bay Lightning. Brown interacts with fans through video game systems as he streams the games live on Twitch with plans for the proceeds to go to charity.
  5. ‘Biggest fight' behind her, Petra Kvitova returns ahead of schedule

    Tennis

    PARIS — Five months after a home invader's knife sliced into her left hand, Petra Kvitova will return to competitive tennis at the French Open, a last-minute decision to make her comeback earlier than expected.

    Petra Kvitova adjusts her hair during a news conference at Roland Garros Stadium, where she will make her tennis return at the French Open. Kvitova's left hand was badly injured by a knife-wielding intruder in December; she has recovered ahead of schedule. [Associated Press]