By Edward Lee
6:00 AM EDT, September 22, 2011
As the new running back on the block, Ricky Williams understands his role, which is to complement starter Ray Rice and bring a bruising style to the Ravens’ rushing attack.
For Williams who joined the team on Aug. 9 after eight seasons with the Miami Dolphins, transitioning to the Ravens has been a gradual process.
“The run scheme is different from anything I’ve ever played in before,” Williams said without delving into specifics. “It’s just about getting familiar. A lot of the things that have been built over the last three years that guys like [quarterback] Joe [Flacco] and Ray and the line have been doing for a while, that stuff’s new. It’s little things like the snap count or the cadence or the signals. But in general, it’s still football.”
His debut as a Raven against the Pittsburgh Steelers seemed to suggest that Williams was doing swimmingly. He gained 63 yards on 12 carries and averaged 5.3 yards per attempt in the team’s 35-7 rout of the Steelers on Sept. 11.
But last Sunday, Williams was confined to just two yards on four carries, and he lost a fumble in the second quarter of a 26-13 loss to the Tennessee Titans.
Williams attributed his limited playing time to the team falling behind the Titans and being forced to throw the ball to attempt a comeback.
“I think it’s just the way the game went,” he said. “In the Steelers game, we had long drives. So I had a chance to get in, and there was a rhythm on offense. But in this past game, we really couldn’t get into any kind of rhythm.”
Williams said he is ready for more carries if the situation presents itself against the St. Louis Rams Sunday.
“I wouldn’t say my development is second nature, but I’m becoming more comfortable with each day in practice,” he said.
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