RB Cadillac Williams won two of the four NFL Offensive Rookie of the Month awards this season
Another day, another award from another organization for Cadillac Williams. Who's it going to be tomorrow, Car and Driver?
On Thursday, one day after the Associated Press named Williams the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year, the National Football League revealed that he is also the league's Offensive Rookie of the Month for December. Both awards were sealed by a hot five-game stretch for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' running back to end the 2005 season.
Williams rushed for 462 yards and three touchdowns over the Bucs' five games in December and January (the January 1 games were included in the December award). He gained at least 81 rushing yards in four of those five games and, not coincidentally, the Bucs won all four. His blazing finish allowed Williams to break the Buccaneers' rookie single-season rushing record with 1,178 yards.
The top highlights of the month for Williams came in the Bucs' victories over the two other teams contending for the NFC South title, Carolina and Atlanta. Tampa Bay upset the Panthers on the road on November 11 behind Williams' 112 yards and two touchdowns on 29 carries. Two weeks later, the Bucs' rookie blasted for 150 yards and a score on 31 carries against the Falcons. His 45 yards in overtime were instrumental in the team's 30-27 sudden-death victory.
After just one season, Williams' mantle is crowded with awards. This is his second NFL Offensive Rookie of the Month award; he ran away with it in September with an NFL-record 434 rushing yards in the first three games of his career. He has also been selected the NFL Rookie of the Week three times, as determined by weekly fan voting on NFL.com and he will be a front-runner in the NFL Rookie of the Year honor in which this series of awards culminates. No other rookie won the weekly award three times this season and only one other, Cleveland quarterback Charlie Frye, won it twice.
Of course, Williams would like to believe that there are more accolades to come this season, for him and the team. The Bucs are about to begin the playoffs with a Wild Card game against Washington on Saturday, and a run all the way to the Super Bowl would extend the season another month. While he appreciates the awards and makes sure to share the credit with his blockers, the Bucs' rookie is currently focused on the task ahead.
"This is my first year and I have an opportunity to make the playoffs so I'm going to seize the moment," he said. "I'm looking forward to it."