Cadillac Williams says the Bucs' zone-blocking scheme is a running back's dream
Cadillac Williams heard the roar of the crowd when he came through the southwest tunnel at Raymond James Stadium on Sunday afternoon, and he felt the fans' support every time he touched the ball. What wasn't so tangible to Williams, as he kicked off his second impressive career comeback with 97-yard outing, were all of the well-wishers watching him from afar.
How many Buccaneer fans, or just sympathetic NFL fans, watched Williams bursting through holes, running over tacklers and making stunning jump-cuts and wished they could give the twice-injured player a pat on the back? Who knows? Millions?
Some of them, however, were able to reach out to Williams, thanks to that latest communication sensation, Twitter.
Buccaneer fans who followed the team's official Twitter user (tbbuccaneers) on Sunday were given the chance to vote during the first half on which player they would want interviewed in the locker room after the game. As he slashed and bulled his way to 77 first-half yards, Williams emerged as the overwhelming favorite. In the second half, those same Twitter-enabled Bucs fans formed the postgame interview by sending in their questions.
A sampling of the submitted questions was chosen for the locker-room interview with Williams. The resulting interview is below. First, two notes:
- This feature was originally billed as part of the One Buc Club experience. Instead, we are planning different content for the One Buc Club and this interview will now be shared with all.
2: Since Twitter posts are limited to 140 characters each, users often abbreviate words to communicate their ideas as succinctly as possible. Some unconventional abbreviations, such as "r" for "are," become commonplace. The questions below are reprinted exactly as they were sent.
Cadillac Williams Twitter Q&A
? 4 Caddy: Do you feel splitting time throws off your rhythm, especially when you're running as good as you were today?"
Williams: "I don't want to get in that controversy. We have a 2-2-1 system going. If that's what they want to stick to, then so be it. D-Ward came in and definitely wasn't a slouch. We didn't miss a beat. I feel like they stuck to the system and D-Ward produced.
"We have a unique situation at running back. We have a guy in D-Ward, heck of a back, Earnest Graham, heck of a back. We know coming in that we're going to share the wealth. It's no big deal. Down the line, we're going to need all three of us to get going. D-Ward came in and there was no drop-off. We're good."
When things started going well today, could u feel the crowd responding to you? How did that feel
Williams: "Wow, it means everything. That's why when I scored my first touchdown I was so emotional. I put in all that work. I really wanted to keep the ball, but again, the one thing I can say about these Bucs fans the past two years, they have definitely been behind me. It's unbelievable when I go around town, people still love me, are cheering for me, rooting for me. So I saw a kid and felt like, you know what? I'm going to give this ball to the kid and make that guy's day.
"It was a real big emotion. A lot of things were running through my mind. I'm like, 'Should I keep the ball? Should I give it to a fan?' But I said, 'What the heck.' I wanted to give the ball to a fan to show them how much we appreciate their support."
D.Ward looked good, too. Were you cheering for him or really just wanting to get back in the game?
Williams: "No doubt. I am not a selfish person. I am not a person who wants to get all the attention. If it's D-Ward, Earnest Graham, Peanut [Clifton Smith], I'm on the sideline cheering. It's a team effort. I'm all about team first."
Looked like you had some nice holes to run through. How was the o-line for you today?
Williams: "Our offensive line did a great job early and late. Unfortunately we just couldn't put away a few plays here and there, but we're going to be okay as a team.
"Like I tell people, this is a running back's dream, the zone offense. I love it. It's downhill, guys getting body-on-body, and as a back, you just use your eyes and your ability, get north and south, make a guy miss here and there. It's going to be a good year in the run game."
U think you're going to be sore tomorrow
Williams: "Of course I'm going to be sore. That's a great thing. I feel like everybody's going to be sore. At the same time, strap it up — let's go next week."
Man, that game didn't end well… could you really enjoy your big day with the way the game went
Williams: "Man, I much rather would have gotten the W. The loss just spoiled everything. I didn't come back to stand out as an individual and lose ballgames. I'm a winner. This team is a winner. Unfortunately we lost, but things are going to get better. Am I proud of myself? Of course. I've come a long way and put in a lot of hard work. So I'll be good. I feel great."
I'm bummed right now…do you think the season will get better than it was today?
Williams: "No doubt. I feel like as a team we outhit them, but score-wise it doesn't show. We're going to be okay. Our offensive line did a lot of good things up front. As a team, we let some things get away from us. We left a lot of plays out there, but to me, it's not a time to panic. I've been playing in this league five years now. I see something special about this team. I still feel good about things.
"Our offense overall, it's going to be hard for teams to stop. We've got a new offensive coordinator, and we had, what, a week to prepare in this offense? He's new on the job, and we've got new players — D-Ward, [Kellen] Winslow. Once we get going and we jell, we're going to be a high-powered offense to deal with. As far as defense, those guys are going to correct things and we're going to get better on that side of the ball. We need to get better on both sides of the ball because we left a lot of plays out there. Things are going to get better. Guys are going to clean things up."
During rehab, what personal philosophies and people in your life did you rely on to stay focused/positive?
Williams: "You now what, I stayed close to family — my mother, friends. Then you have that coach or somebody that you talk to for that grind. I definitely keep a personal relationship with the Lord. Just through the whole situation, I stayed positive. I'm not going to sit up here and say I didn't have any dark moments, because of course I did. But at the end of the day, you've got to pick yourself up."