Tag:Ricky Williams
Posted on: January 4, 2011 9:45 am

Ricky blasts Sparano, says it's 'time to move on'

Posted by Will Brinson

Ricky Williams' contract is up and it sure seems he won't be a Miami Dolphin in 2011.

That's based on a slew of comments he made during his weekly radio show about the Dolphins 2010 season, Tony Sparano, and his role in the offense.

"It seems like now is time to move on," Williams said, via Ben Volin of the Palm Beach Post. "I was drafted in 1999, and this is the first time I’ve been a free agent. I’m excited to see what happens."

But the reasons Williams offered for moving on shouldn't sit well with current Fins management -- he called playing for Tony Sparano "not a great fit for me."

"It was an experience for me, and I learned a lot about myself and I got better as a football player, but at the same time, I didn’t enjoy it," Williams said. "For me it’s about playing football, it’s about having a good time and it’s about working hard."

Williams did say that the players "unequivocally" have "tons of respect for Tony," but that came after he pointed out that several players are unhappy with their current coach, possibly because of his "micromanaging."

"Tony goes through a lot of effort to show us the things it takes to win football games," Williams said. "Not turning the ball over, converting third downs, scoring in the Red Zone. He spends a lot of time saying, 'If you do these things, you win.' And sometimes I feel personally that he does a little bit too much. My personal opinion is if you have the right attitude that you guys are going to win, then all that other stuff takes care of itself."

Williams then spent another couple hundred words bashing the team's preparation before their blowout loss to New England in Week 17 and sprinkling in a few Nick Saban quotes. Then he bashed Chad Henne (by way of praising Tom Brady) and Brandon Marshall ("sometimes he makes it difficult to like him and support him") and even went so far as to say in the future he'd be rooting for, gasp, the Jets.

"I like watching the Jets play," he said. "Because of LT. I’m an LT fan. And I like the fact that the Jets run the ball."

The Jets have a slew of running backs with LaDainian Tomlinson, Shonn Green and Joe McKnight (though who couldn't pile up 150 yards against the Bills sieve of a rush defense?), so there might not be room for Ricky, but he'd actually be a pretty good fit in that offense, should he really feel like twisting the knife in the backs of Dolphins fans next year.

Or maybe they won't care after all this ranting and raving and the whole "I'm retiring to get high and then make a documentary" thing.

Either way, it seems pretty safe to say that Williams won't be returning to the 'Fins in 2011.

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Posted on: December 24, 2010 10:00 am
Edited on: December 24, 2010 4:08 pm

You best not mess with Gunther Cunningham

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Even though he’s 64 years old, don’t think that Lions defensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham won’t try to take out Dolphins RB Ricky Williams if Cunningham even sniffs the hint of an illegal crackback block from Williams.

"All I can say to Ricky Williams – I want him to know this – if he hits one of our DBs in the back on a crack block, then I'm coming on the field," Cunningham said, according to the Detroit Free Press. "I mean, he's had a couple of knockouts, but they've been nonlegal. I'll just put it as that."

Apparently, Detroit’s coaching staff has told its players this week to be on the lookout for those blind-sided blocks that go across the flow of a play known as crackbacks.

"Just make sure we show up fast on the run and stuff and keep our head on a swivel," Lions safety Amari Spievey said. "But most importantly, just show up fast in the run, so if they do block and if it's going to be in the back, hopefully, the refs will call it."

For his part, Miami coach Tony Sparano said he had no idea what Cunningham was talking about.

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Posted on: November 18, 2010 11:47 pm
Edited on: November 19, 2010 12:27 am

The Chicago Bears: Confounding contenders

Posted by Will Brinson

At 7-3, the Bears are confusing enough that it's impossible to bust out the old Denny Green "they are who we thought they are" line, because, well, how are they winning? (Although, congratulations on becoming the first franchise ever to win 700 games. Double congrats to the NFL Network for not having giant blue and orange fireworks explode on my screen.)

Their rushing attack is weak as can be (although it looked better in the second half), Jay Cutler continues to make poor decisions and play mediocre at the quarterback position (he hasn't had a QB rating above 100 since Week 2) and yet, here we are, 11 weeks into the season and they're on top of the division and currently locked into the No. 2 seed in the NFC.

"We're 7-3," Cutler said following the win. "We're looking good in the north division and we just have to keep getting better and better. This is the time of year when you want to play your best ball, and as long as we keep winning games and getting better and better we're gonna give ourselves a chance."

Cutler also threw props to the offensive line and the defense, as he should -- the offensive line allowed three sacks, but one was in relative garbage time and if that's all you cough up in a Cameron Wake - Frank Omiyale matchup, well, you've done yeoman's work.

As for the defense, they had a pretty easy gig going against a Miami offense that looked completely out of sorts: Tyler Thigpen couldn't do what he needed to do in order to succeed because the offensive line lost Cory Procter early and was forced to adjust on the fly.

And frankly, there's no real way to compete without your top center, your top two quarterbacks and your No. 1 wide receiver -- in a short week, no less -- against a top-five NFL defense, which the Bears are.

"We thought they'd try and run it, you know, and they didn't," Urlacher said. "And we kind of got after them a little bit and they started throwing it around."

Urlacher's spot on -- Tyler Thigpen was the top rusher for the Dolphins, picking up 27 yards on six carries. Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams? 11 yards on six carries.

Part of that is on the Bears' defense, part of that is on a torn-up offensive line, and part of that is on a poor gameplan. Not that it matters -- the Dolphins are donecakes when it comes to the 2010 season, given what they have to work with on offense from here on out, and given how far behind the rest of the AFC contenders they are (mathematically, of course, they're still in it, but I mean, come on).

But maybe the Bears are a contender. It just seems odd to think that way considering how porous the offensive line was to begin the season, and how lucky they looked picking up some wins early.

But Chicago scrapes by on offense, dominates on defense and utilizes Devin Hester's special talents to give themselves just enough of an edge and win games, even if it's not in a pretty fashion.

So, yeah, they're the Chicago Bears. Maybe we do know.

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Posted on: October 4, 2010 8:21 pm

Three keys for MNF

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

A couple of keys before we settle in to watch the Patriots play the Dolphins.

1) Patriots WR Randy Moss vs. Dolphins CBs Vontae Davis or Jason Allen:
Last season, Moss had some pretty good stats vs. the Dolphins, combining for eight catches, 213 yards and two TDs. But Davis, in his second season, is looking to change that outcome tonight. Also, the Miami secondary has some height to it, and that could create some problems for New England’s wide receivers. But don’t forget about the Patriots tight ends – Aaron Hernandez, Rob Gronkowski and Alge Crumpler.

2) Dolphins RBs Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams vs. the Patriots run defense: New England is currently ranked No. 24 in the league by allowing 119 yards per game, and though Miami hasn’t been great in this facet (112 yards per game and just one TD), it’s got talent. Brown has been much better than Williams – who’s already lost three fumbles this year – but the two are still splitting carries. Brown will be looking for a big game tonight, and he just might get it.

3) Neither team can afford to fall behind the Jets in the AFC East:
With the Jets easy win against Buffalo on Sunday, they moved to 3-1 on the season. New England and Miami are 2-1, but both already have losses against New York. A loss tonight, though it certainly wouldn’t be disastrous, would push that team to into third place in the AFC East. It won’t be a pretty view if that team has to look up at the Jets and the Patriots.

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Posted on: October 1, 2010 8:32 am

Ricky Williams shares unique perspective as rep

Posted by Andy Benoit

We don’t hear a lot about what life is like as an NFL union rep. You’d think we would. A union rep is elected by teammates. In a lot of ways, he’s the ultimate captain. The players are going to elect whoever they feel has the smartest business mind and best communicative skills.

Ben Volin of the Palm Beach Post scored a rare interview with Dolphins player rep Ricky Williams (rare because Williams isn’t exactly known for speaking with the local media). Here are the highlights:

Ricky Williams saw what happened to former Dolphins kicker Jay Feely the season after he was the team’s union representative in 2007-08. Williams saw what happened to L.J. Shelton, Vonnie Holliday and Greg Camarillo, who were the union reps the past few seasons.
None lasted very long in Miami.

“The joke is that every union rep gets cut or traded or they’re not here the next year,” Williams, the team’s new union rep after Camarillo was traded to the Vikings in August, said recently. “I don’t make too much of it. It’s been like this for 15-20 years. No big deal.”

Williams, 33, first took an interest in the NFL’s CBA and business endeavors when he was in Hawaii during his 2004 disappearing act. “Most guys don’t want to (be union rep),” Williams said. “Basically Chad (Pennington) said, ‘I don’t want to do it.’ It goes to the smart guy or the old guy – a guy who has a broad enough view to appreciate it.”

Williams said not too many players in the locker room are focused on the CBA at this moment (they’re too busy prepping for games). Williams also called the 18-game schedule a “contentious issue”, though he did say he thinks it could be worked out as long as there are the proper pay increases. He also said owners need to show players the books (go figure).

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Category: NFL
Posted on: August 21, 2010 11:31 am

The best fullback in football is...

Posted by Andy Benoit

Chances are, you’re familiar with the name Lousaka Polite. After all, it’s a very unique name for a football player. (And it’s one that is ripe for puns.) But, chances are, you actually know close to nothing about Lousaka Polite. That’s the way it goes with fullbacks these days. L. Polite (US Presswire)

In short, the soon-to-be 29-year-old Dolphin is the best lead-blocker in football right now. Polite, a converted linebacker, spent the first three years of his career as somewhat of a fringe player with the Cowboys. In 2008 he was part of the wave of Cowboy backups who followed Tony Sparano, Bill Parcells and Jeff Ireland to Miami.

Last season is when Polite truly blossomed into one of the game’s hardest-hitting, most cerebral fullbacks. Besides paving the way for Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams in Miami’s fourth ranked rushing attack, Polite converted all 16 of his third/fourth-down-and-one rushing attempts. By season’s end, he was finally being recognized as an on-field leader and unheralded warrior.

ESPN’s Tim Graham wrote a feature on Polite this weekend:

"His role on the offense is very, very important," Sparano told Dolphins reporters this week. "Never mind what he does in some of the short-yardage situations. This guy is one of the people that you can really trust out there.

"Ricky and Ronnie would tell you they trust him because they know that he's going to help them get through the smoke. They just trust that the guy is going to be in the right place at the right time. ... As a football team you hope that you have more and more people that can trust each other like that group trusts Lousaka Polite."

Williams also appreciates that Polite can be so amenable. Williams explained a lot of fullbacks he has played with in the past can't diversify their approach, but Polite will cater to either Williams' or Brown's running styles.

"The way that I run, I like to get downhill as soon as possible," Williams said. "Some backs like to make people miss more. They trust and use their vision more.

"But the way I run, I say 'All you can do is get in the guy's way, Lou, because I'm going to be off your butt so fast you just need to get out of my way.' When I get the ball, there's never even a doubt in my mind he's going to be in the right place and that there's going to be a crease."

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Posted on: August 18, 2010 11:34 pm

Ricky Williams talks future

Posted by Andy Benoit

There has been speculation that the 2010 NFL season could be the last for Ricky Williams. But the 33-year-old running back has declared that he’d like 2011 to be his final year. R. Williams (US Presswire)

We’ll share this excerpt from a recent ESPN article because Todd Graham has an excellent line that shouldn’t go unnoticed:

Williams has been sheepish about his football future. Last year, he signed a contract extension with the Miami Dolphins that will take him through the 2010 season.

Beyond that? Well, contemplating "beyond that" has been the story of Williams' life.


Williams told Graham, "Ideally, right now, I would like to get a year extension with the Miami Dolphins, play this year and next year and then really focus on my schooling.” Very few running backs are a worthy investment in their-mid 30s. But the Dolphins have marveled at Williams’s durability and conditioning. And, clearly, Williams is still a 1,000-yard quality back.

More from Graham’s article:

Williams is working toward his pre-med degree at Nova Southeastern University, the campus where the Dolphins' training facility is located. He wants to complete his degree at Texas and then get his doctorate in psychiatry, with his eye on Harvard Medical School.

"It's really easy for me to get excited about school and the next part of my life," Williams said, "and that helps because it gives me a clarity to really know when it's time for me to stop.

"A lot of players get confused and get a little afraid when they get to the end of their careers because they're not sure of their identity outside of being a football player. It makes the end of their career a little bit stressful and foggy."

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Category: NFL
Posted on: August 10, 2010 10:03 pm

Rick Williams "drama tweets" Dolphins fans

Posted by Andy Benoit

You’ve likely been on the receiving end of a Drama Text. Perhaps you’ve even sent a Drama Text. A Drama Text is an emotional string of texts. Receiving a Drama Text feels odd. Your phone chimes. You start reading the text (perhaps it’s in all caps). As you get halfway through, your phone chimes again. Then again. Then again. The person texting you isn’t messing around.

Ricky Williams essentially Drama Texted the entire Dolphins fan base recently. Williams sent a string of related Tweets asking fans to not distract the players or boo them during practice. Here’s what Williams wrote (thanks to the Palm Beach Post for putting this together):

“OK, so I have two things in particular I would like to address that came to my attention on Saturday.

“I have to preface it by saying that we REALLY DO APPRECIATE OUR FANS, & during training camp it is very motivating having you out there.

But #1) When we’re on the field we r focused on what our coaches need us 2 be doing, not shouts of ?’s from the crowd. In order 4 us 2 get better we need 2 be able 2 focus on practicing & getting better. Cheers & applauds are great, but ?s r distracting
#2) When we make a mistake on the field it would be great if fans would motivate us instead of shouting negativity We know we did wrong & it doesn’t help to be boo’d or ridiculed. Ea of us is on the field 2 help this team win & we don’t intentionally try to make mistakes.

OK those r the 2 things I wanted to say. We’re looking 4ward 2 2nt’s practice w/fans out there. Pls help us gt better out there & b positive
I truly appreciate all of our fans. A big thank you to everyone! … The 2010 season is upon us!!!”

And here are a sample of some of the fan responses he re-tweeted:

“@TheBDHill NO. I’m not having a bad day at all. I don’t have bad days. It’s how you handle adversity. I simply want to help my team be great”

“@Big23Puma The thing is we need every1 to join 2geth to be the best My teammates & I have to work hard, our coaches, the front off, AND fans”

“RT @GABuckeye Could u imagine if people were heckled @ their daily jobs? I bet they would think twice about doing it 2 athletes.<–Exactly”

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Category: NFL
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