He may be generating "buzz" at Rams Park, but free agent RB Cadillac Williams' first preference is to return to Tampa Bay in 2011. He told the Tampa Tribune yesterday that he would like to finish out his career with the Buccaneers, the team that drafted him. Williams is one potential option for the St. Louis Rams, desperate to find a backup for Steven Jackson.
The fan base in and out the community, dealing with different people, it's a very special place to me. I've grown accustomed to the area and living here. Tampa is a great city, great place and most of all, a really great place to play. It's definitely a place I would love to play and finish out my career, but only time will tell.
Talk of a potential St. Louis landing came as a surprise to Williams. He then expressed frustration because the lockout has prevented him, and other pending free agents, from visiting with suitors and getting a feel for potential landing spots.
Personally, Williams wouldn't be my first choice for a backup at this point. As far as free agents go, I like two running backs from another Florida team, Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams. Reggie Bush and Darren Sproles might be even better, but those other two would give the Rams some options for carries on first and second downs.
It's slim pickin's in free agency, veteran free agency, but there might be some help available among the pool of undrafted free agents, who are being denied their shot at an NFL career by the lockout. Two names among those players that I like:
Brandon Saine, OSU: Check his tattoos, kidding. at 5'11" 220 lbs, Saine is a big guy, and he also runs a 4.40 forty. His production tailed off as a senior, and he lacks the makeup to be an every down back in the NFL. As a time share guy though, he can be very useful. He can run between the tackles like you would expect a man of his size to do, and he can block and catch a pass out of the backfield. I could see him as a guy that would benefit greatly from playing for Rams RB coach Sylvester Croom, who has done wonders with similar players.
John Clay, Wisconsin: A really big, powerful guy who has the lower body strength to push a pile and drag a defender. He would be a short-yardage specialist and good for powering through on running downs. Can you tell I'm hung up on the idea of bringing in a big running back? I love the idea of Steven Jackson working as a receiver and on those outside runs much more than the thought of driving him through the pile for 2 yards at a time.
Mario Fannin, Auburn: Come on, he's an Auburn running back. Good size, speed combo here. Seems like a guy who could pick up the grinding runs, but has the ability to catch passes.