Pittman Not Ready To Concede

Michael Pittman wants the ball even after the arrival of Cadillac Williams

By Jeff Berlinicke

The coronation of Cadillac Williams as the heir to the traditionally shaky Tampa Bay Buccaneers offense won't begin anytime soon because nobody thought to inform Michael Pittman.

Pittman, who has been the Bucs leading rusher for three straight seasons has always been a reliable ground gainer, but he frustrated Bucs coach Jon Gruden with fumbles at the wrong times.

Pittman wasn't at all surprised when the Bucs used the No. 5 overall pick in the 2005 NFL Draft on another running back, and even Gruden conceded the job to Williams who has looked good in early workouts.

Still, Pittman doesn't plan to give up his carries quietly.

"I don't think my role is going to change much,'' Pittman said. "I'm doing a lot more stuff now than I did before Cadillac got here. I don't feel under appreciated. Sometimes people overlook my stats but I'm not the kind of guy who goes out to get a bunch of attention. Last year the fumbles didn't make my year as good as I wanted it to be, but I went out there and gave it 100 percent every time.''

For Pittman to not become a late salary cap cut, he'll have to prove himself as a receiver who can make the third down conversion

"With addition of Cadillac we finally can open up the offense and I enjoy doing that. I'm having a good time and you will be seeing a lot of Cadillac and me in the backfield.''

Pittman promised he has no hard feelings towards Williams despite the competitive nature of the situation.

"Me and Cadillac are building a friendship now,'' Pittman said. "I'm not selfish of him and he's not selfish of me.''

Pittman said he is trying to play the role of big brother and mentor, but that all changes on Opening Day

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