Williams' Record Day Propels OT Victory
Unlike the emotions during Saturday's game, running back Cadillac Williams doesn't get too high and he doesn't get too low.
His even-keeled approach to the game allows Williams to trust his instincts. On Saturday, the rookie predicted it was going to be a good day.
"He kept saying, 'Coach, I'm feelin' it,' " Bucs running backs coach Art Valero said. "Whenever he says that, I know we're good to go."
Williams was good for 150 yards on 31 carries and one touchdown in the Bucs' 27-24 overtime victory against Atlanta. It was the sixth time this season Williams has surpassed the 100-yard mark, a team record. Williams eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark for the season and established a team rookie rushing record; his 1,097 yards broke Errict Rhett's 1994 mark of 1,011. Williams also became the first Bucs runner to rush for more than 1,000 yards since Warrick Dunn in 2000 (1,133).
"That feels great," Williams said. "It did feel great, but this is a team victory and we control our own destiny. If we can come out and next week win the division, that will be an even sweeter feeling."
Williams' 150 yards were a huge chunk of the Bucs' 174 rushing yards, the fifth time in the past six games Tampa Bay gained more than 100 yards on the ground. On Saturday, Williams was one of three backs to score, along with fullbacks Jameel Cook and Mike Alstott. "We always try to pride ourselves on being the difference makers," Williams said. "I thought we were the difference makers."
Chris Simms gives Williams credit for being more than a difference maker. "He's just a workhorse," Simms said. "He's unbelievable. He's carrying our team right now."
Williams wants to carry the team to the postseason. Given what he has done so far, his teammates like their chances when the ball is in Williams' hands.
"For him to touch the ball 20 times a game is not enough," Valero said. "Put the ball in No. 24's hands and let him go."
Katherine Smith, The Tampa Tribune 25 December 2005