- Pat Yasinskas, ESPN Staff Writer
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A player, coach or issue that should be on your radar as training camp approaches.
If you look at the numbers Tampa Bay running back Cadillac Williams put up last season, they’re not bad. He carried 211 times for 823 yards and four touchdowns. He also caught 28 passes for 217 yards and three touchdowns.
If you then look at the circumstances, Williams’ numbers actually were very good. Coming off his second major knee injury, Williams did all that behind a team that was the worst in the NFL for the first half of last season. While changing offensive coordinators and not knowing from week to week who would be the starting quarterback, Williams put up a lot of those numbers behind an offensive line that wasn’t as good as it was billed to be and on an offense that usually was throwing more than anybody wanted because the Bucs were always trying to catch up.
Take all that into consideration and look forward. It’s not hard to imagine Williams turning in a bigger year in 2010. He’s completely healthy now and he’s the unquestioned starter at running back. The Bucs have shifted Earnest Graham over to fullback and Derrick Ward, who was signed last year with the dream of him becoming the feature back, has shown he’s just a backup.
Williams’ heart has kept him way ahead of Ward on the depth chart and made him a favorite of the coaching staff. With the Bucs expecting to have more stability on offense now that Greg Olson and Josh Freeman are firmly established as the coordinator and quarterback, Tampa Bay should be able to have at least some sort of rhythm on offense.
Look for Williams and a more consistent running game to be a big part of that rhythm.