Ricky 'Happy Being a Football Player'

After meeting with Ricky Williams on Thursday, Coach Cam Cameron declared that Williams will "be a member of this football team" and will start working out with the Dolphins on Monday. Shortly after, Williams met with the South Florida media and shared his thoughts on the recent past, the present and the future.

Q. Ricky, what's your motivation to come back to the NFL?

Ricky: "My motivation for coming back to the NFL? Could we start with an easier question? My motivation is to get my life going again. Being out of football in the situation I was in makes it difficult, you know? I want to create a better life for myself and for my family, and being a football player, for me, is a big part of that."

Q. How was the whole process, the 18 months being away from football and how are you now?

Ricky: "I was away from the NFL. I did play in Canada for a couple of months. I had a chance to really spend a lot of time with my family and really worked on that side of things. Spending so much time and energy and putting it into football and other things in life that I really haven't addressed ... picture myself as a family guy and so to really work on that and to be able to give support to my family and also receive support from my family has been the highlight of the time away."

Q. Have you talked to your teammates, and have they officially welcomed you back?

Ricky: "No, I'm not officially back until Monday."

Q. You spent time in therapy in Boston to help you deal with your social anxiety disorder. Do you feel cured of your anxiety disorder?

Ricky: "That's a personal issue and I have no desire to talk about that right now, but I will say: I wasn't there for social anxiety disorder. That's a mistake and I just want to clear that up. But other than that, I have no desire to talk about my personal life. I'm here to be a part of this team and that's the main focus."

Q. You never seemed to be that passionate about football when you were here before, yet your agent, Leigh Steinberg, said recently you were on "pins and needles" waiting for the NFL's decision. What's different?

Ricky: "First, I would question or challenge the fact that I haven't been excited about being a football player. Anybody who puts on film and sees me running, they see that I'm very passionate about what I do. On top of that, I'll say my time away and having a chance to reflect on my life, I guess, I'm in a place right now where it's easier to appreciate what it means to be a football player. Because of that, I think that's a big reason I'm here today."

Q. Why couldn't you appreciate being a football player?

Ricky: "Because I hated being a football player before. Someone asked me a question. They said, do you like playing football? I thought about it and I thought about it and I thought about it and I thought about it, and I couldn't answer the question. And the next day I was doing this exercise, where I was writing down my ideal, paradise moment and when I really thought about it, it was playing football. And so I realized that I love to play football, I love to be on the field but I hated being a football player. And having time to really embrace that side of myself and look at things, it's something that I'm more excited and better prepared to deal with."

Q. How do finances play into your decision to return?

Ricky: "In the past, I'd be asked that question and I would be almost insulted by it, saying the reason I play this game is for the love of this game. And I think everyone knows if you're in any kind of relationship purely because of desire or love, that it's going to lack and it's going to wane, and there has to be something else, more glue that holds it together. I do have a passion for the game and I also do have a family that I have to support, and when those two can come together and I can embrace both, it makes perfect sense."

Q. Why is this chapter going to end on a high note when the previous ones haven't?

Ricky: "I'm not necessarily looking for it to end on a high note, it's just going to help me to where I want to be."

Q. Where is that?

Ricky: "Going on with my life. I have plans; I want to go back to school and I want to pursue a profession outside of football. Playing football is the best way for me to get there."

Q. How confident are you that you will not fail another drug test?

Ricky: "I think if I wasn't confident, I wouldn't have even tried, I wouldn't have made the effort."

Q. What would you anticipate will be the reaction from your teammates?

Ricky: "I met with Cam (Cameron). What he told me is he says he talked to the guys and for the most part the guys were excited and no one said anything negative or against it. But also I know that there's skeptics out there, there's skeptics among Dolphins fans, there's skeptics in the media, there's skeptics in the locker room, and that's something I'm going to have to deal with."

Q. What kind of shape are you in?

Ricky: "I've been working out pretty good for the past month and a half. I feel I'm pretty good shape. But I think as far as moving forward it's really taking one day at a time and I can't see into the future. Just go out there on Monday and see."

Q. You going to be ready for Pittsburgh, Monday Night Football?

Ricky: "One day at a time. I don't know."


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