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Doug Williams signs through '08

Doug Williams is sticking around.

The former Bucs quarterback and Super Bowl XXII MVP with the Redskins signed a two-year contract extension to work as an executive in the pro personnel department.

Williams, who rejoined the team in 2004 after six successful seasons as the coach at Grambling State, will remain with the Bucs at least through 2008.

"I want to be a major part of what happens with this football team," Williams said Thursday. "Hopefully everything will work out in terms of getting a little more involved this offseason."

The Bucs have at least $25-million to $30-million under the salary cap to spend on free agents and a new training facility.

Williams' contract was set to expire in January.

"I'd be lying if I said I wasn't glad to be back and a lot of my teammates that I played with here, they're glad that I'm back," Williams said. "Not only teammates; I run across a lot of people in Tampa. They don't care what I do. They just say, 'I'm glad that you're back.' That's the kind of comments that I get, and that's a good feeling."

NOT PLAYING FOR FIRST: The silver lining to any losing season is a high position in the draft, but the Bucs do not think they would be better off losing the final four games in pursuit of the top pick.

At 3-9, they are among the league's four worst teams. The Raiders and Lions are 2-10, the Cardinals 3-9.

"We're not going to try to play for next year or position ourselves in the draft," coach Jon Gruden said. "We're going to try to win this game. I feel terrible about being where we are, but I also say I'm proud of the effort these guys are giving and at the end of the day that's something that's hard to get out of people - premier effort."

DEFENDING VICK: The Falcons surprised the Bucs defense with the spread option in a 14-3 victory in Week 2. Quarterback Michael Vick had 127 yards on 14 carries as Atlanta tallied 306 rushing yards, the most allowed by a Tampa Bay defense.

This time, the Bucs hope to be prepared.

"You better know how to defend it," Gruden said. "You better know what options they have. We'd never seen that before. Not a lot of teams in the NFL run an option attack. It has been kind of diminished from their scene here lately, but I'm sure we're going to see it. You better understand who has the quarterback. Your contain issues become very important."

Vick needs 40 yards to break the single-season record of 968 rushing yards by a quarterback, set by Chicago's Bobby Douglass in 1972.

"We expect that they're going to run the ball a lot," defensive end Dewayne White said. "Toward the end of the season Michael Vick likes to put the ball in his hands, playoffs on the line. He needs to win the game so he's going to take it and run it."

INJURY REPORT: Cornerback Juran Bolden (quadriceps), linebacker Shelton Quarles (knee/ankle), tight end Alex Smith (ankle) and defensive tackle Ellis Wyms (ankle) are questionable for Sunday. All participated in practice Thursday.

Joanne Korth can be reached at korth@sptimes.com or (727) 893-8810.

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