Ricky Revelations

On Sunday, running back Ricky Williams is facing the team with which he began his NFL career 10 years ago. He spoke to New Orleans reporters this week on a conference call where he discussed, among other things, facing his old team and the Wildcat offense.

Here's a transcript of the interview:

Q: Right off the bat about the Wildcat, how much do you like it and how much is it working for you guys?

Ricky Williams: "I think that our stats show that we've been successful doing the direct snap and it's been a good part of our offense. It think it puts a lot of pressure on defense to figure it out."

Q: Do you like it as a running back?

Williams: "My thing is Ronnie (Brown) is the starting guy, but when we run some of that stuff I get to get in the games. I'm all for being on the field. We've had so much success that it's good."

Q: Why is your team more successful than any other at running the package?

Williams: "I think we believe in it. I think we were the first to do it a lot. I think a lot of teams see it and think it can be a good wrinkle and they throw in there, but I think for us, we had success very early and we made it a part of our offense and so I think we practice it more than other teams do."

Q: Do you take great pride in the Wildcat?

Williams: "I think we take great pride in everything we do being successful. I don't think the Wildcat is any different."

Q: How comfortable are you in Miami right now?

Williams: "I would like to be better than 2-3, but we're playing better these past few weeks and the season is starting to look up for us."

Q: Does playing New Orleans motivate you more than some other teams you might play since you played there?

Williams: "I try to get up for every game. None of the same players are there from when I played. It's not fun to go back and see the guys. It was nice in the preseason to go to New Orleans and see some of the fans and be a part of it. The Superdome was a great place to play and New Orleans is a great city. I think them coming here and I don't know that many people on the team, so it's another team coming in."

Q: What's been the difference for your team the last few weeks?

Williams: I think we had a lot of confidence coming up off the preseason going 4-0. Even though we lost our first three games, I think the whole time we still had confidence we were a good team and we just had to find a way to win and I think we had some things go our way and we put a complete ballgame together. Now we're at a point coming up against probably the best team in the NFL right now in the New Orleans Saints and it's an opportunity for us to show ourselves how good we are. It's a big challenge for us with an offense that scores a lot of points and a defense that puts a lot of pressure on the offense. We're busting our butts trying to get ready."

Q: As your team being the inventor of the Wildcat, what kinds of problems does this offense provide for a defense?

Williams: "I don't think we look at it that way. I think the way we approach it is we try to get our best athletes on the field and in positions to make plays. For us, Ronnie and myself are on the field at the same time and I think our offensive line has been playing great this season. We think just that challenge right there, teams have to prepare."

Q: Do you devote segments of practice to the Wildcat?

Williams: "I don't mean a lot more time. I imagine other teams throw it in as a wrinkle, but we run different formations. We have a bunch of different formations we run. The Wildcat stuff isn't something separate. It's just a part of our offense. If we like it, we'll just run it in practice with the other stuff."

Q: When you look at the Wildcat, it seems like 90 percent of the time it's the run. What is so difficult about defending it?

Williams: That's true. I don't want to take anything away from our offensive line, because in the Wildcat and out of the Wildcat we've been doing a really good job of running the ball when it comes down to it. My guess is for the most part is that NFL defenses aren't used to seeing it. It hasn't been around long enough for defensive coaches to have a really good handle for what's going on, but even our coach says as time goes on and we do it more, we're going to have to deal with the law of diminishing returns and ahve to find other creative ways to get our playmakers in open space. We know that if we block it up and do a good job, it doesn't matter what we call, we'll have success."

Q: Do you go into a game with a certain amount of plays in the Wildcat, or do you wait and see how things unfold?

Williams: "With Coach (Dan) Henning, you never know. It basically is however the game unfolds. If teams come in and have a good game plan against it, we're not going to try to run it to death, but if teams have trouble with it, we're going to get the most out of it."


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