Bucs RB Cadillac Williams drew more votes than fellow rookies in Cincinnati, Jacksonville, Kansas City and Miami
Carnell "Cadillac" Williams needed one week to become an NFL fan favorite.
Williams, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' rookie running back, was named the NFL Rookie of the Week for Week One on Thursday. One of five league newcomers nominated for the award, Williams won a vote of the fans on NFL.com, edging Cincinnati linebacker Odell Thurman.
Williams keyed the Buccaneers' opening-day win at Minnesota with 148 rushing yards, the fifth-highest total ever by a player in his first NFL game. He scored the final touchdown in the 24-13 decision on a 71-yard touchdown run with 1:23 left in the game, the fifth-longest carry in Buccaneer history. Williams' 148 yards were also the second most in a single game by a Tampa Bay rookie. His 27 carries were the most by a first-year Buc since 1994.
The fan balloting, which was conducted from Tuesday through Thursday on NFL.com, drew 41,520 votes. While the award practically became the personal property of Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger last year, it may be more up for grabs on a weekly basis this season. Williams had to beat out two linebackers (Thurman and Kansas City's Derrick Johnson), a wide receiver (Jacksonville's Matt Jones) and his own running back mate at Auburn (Miami's Ronnie Brown).
After the regular season, five players will be nominated for Diet Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Year honors. Fans can vote for the winner on NFL.com throughout the month of January. The winner will be announced at a press conference at Super Bowl XL in Detroit.
Williams was also chosen as the league's Rookie of the Week by the NFL Players Association on NFLPlayers.com. For a more detailed look at this honor, please click here.
In addition, Williams was one of three nominees for another weekly award on NFL.com, the FedEx Ground Player of the Week. This one, as well as the FedEx Air Player of the Week, is open to all players, rookies and veterans. Williams was one of three nominees for the Ground award, along with Kansas City's Larry Johnson and eventual winner Willie Parker of the Pittsburgh Steelers.