BALTIMORE - NOVEMBER 20: Ricky Williams #34 of the Baltimore Ravens runs the ball against the Cincinnati Bengals at M&T Bank Stadium on November 20, 2011 in Baltimore, Maryland. The Ravens defeated the Bengals 31-24. (Photo by Larry French/Getty Images)
Ravens number two running back Ricky Williams has become used to playing a secondary role at this stage of his career. Since his return to football in 2008 in Miami, Williams has played second fiddle to Ronnie Brown and now Ray Rice here in Baltimore.
In 2009 Brown was sidelined for the season with an injury leaving Williams as the starting tailback for the Dolphins. Ricky had an excellent year recording 1,121 yards on 241 carries and 11 rushing touchdowns. He also added 35 receptions for 264 yards and two touchdowns through the air. Not bad for a guy who was considered to have had his best years behind him after spending two years away from football
In 2008 and 2010, playing as back up to Brown, Williams averaged about 160 carries a season, a number Ricky is well below this season in Baltimore. Coming into the last game of the season Williams has 102 carries for 416 yards and two touchdowns for Baltimore and seems to be really hitting his stride of late. Maybe it is because the Ravens have put a new emphasis on the run game or maybe it is because Williams is well rested from a career low in carries this season but Ricky seems to be running with more authority late in the season.
Since week 13, minus the San Diego game in which he only carried the ball three times, Williams is averaging over five yards a carry. He is also getting more touches as the Ravens are relying more on the run of late. This is great for the Ravens as an extra boost heading into the playoffs. With the injury to Anquan Boldin Baltimore will be looking for more production from players all over the field.
In week 13 Williams had his best game of the season, carrying the ball 16 times for 76 yards and a touchdown. This past weekend here in Baltimore Williams carried the ball 10 times for 45 yards. The big thing is that he is now running with more aggressiveness and the coaching staff is showing more trust in him.
Now finally on a playoff team, Williams is fresh and well rested, ready to make major contributions in the post season for the Ravens. It is crucial for Baltimore that they do not have too much of a drop off in production when all star Ray Rice needs a breather. Ricky Williams is a down hill runner and works as a great complement to the shifty Rice. Williams is doing a very good job for the team and he seems to be heating up right when they need him most.