January 21, 2013

Rookie of the Year: Cadillac Williams, 2005


Running Back, Tampa Bay Buccaneers



Age: 23
College: Auburn
Height: 5’11” Weight: 217

Prelude:
Following a record-setting college career in which he rushed for 3831 yards and broke Bo Jackson’s school record with 45 touchdowns, Carnell “Cadillac” Williams was taken in the first round of the 2005 NFL draft (fifth overall). He was prized for his versatility and had an immediate impact. However, after a fast start to the 2005 season in which he rushed for 434 yards in the first three games, he missed two contests due to injury, setting the tone for his career.

2005 Season Summary
Appeared in 14 of 16 games
[Bracketed numbers indicate league rank in Top 20]

Rushing
Attempts – 290 [11]
Most attempts, game - 37 (for 158 yds.) at Green Bay 9/25
Yards – 1178 [13]
Most yards, game – 158 yards (on 37 carries) at Green Bay 9/25
Average gain – 4.1
TDs – 6 [18, tied with five others]
100-yard rushing games – 6

Pass Receiving
Receptions – 20      
Most receptions, game – 3 (for 25 yds.) vs. Carolina 11/6, (for 13 yds.) at Atlanta 11/20, (for 4 yds.) at New England 12/17
Yards – 81
Most yards, game - 25 (on 3 catches) vs. Carolina 11/6
Average gain – 4.1
TDs – 0

Scoring
TDs – 6
Points – 36

Postseason: 1 G (NFC Wild Card playoff vs. Washington)
Rushing attempts – 18
Rushing yards – 49
Average gain rushing – 2.7
Rushing TDs – 0

Pass receptions – 3
Pass receiving yards - 10
Average yards per reception – 3.3
Pass Receiving TDs - 0

Awards & Honors:
NFL Rookie of the Year: League/Pepsi
NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year: AP, PFWA

Buccaneers went 11-5 to finish first in the NFC South. Lost NFC Wild Card playoff to Washington Redskins (17-10).

Aftermath:
Williams suffered a foot injury in 2006 and, with the team sinking below .500, was often not a factor in the second half of games. He rushed for 798 yards and caught 30 passes for 196 more. Williams appeared in just 10 games combined in 2007 and ’08, due to two major knee injuries, but bounced back in 2009 to run for 823 yards. Used more in third down situations in 2010, he caught a career-high 46 passes for 355 yards while gaining 437 yards on the ground. Williams moved on to the St. Louis Rams as a free agent in 2011, backing up Steven Jackson. For his injury-marred career through 2011, he rushed for 4038 yards on 1055 carries (3.8 avg.) and had 148 pass receptions for 1002 yards with a total of 25 TDs.

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Rookie of the Year Profiles feature players who were named Rookie of the Year in the NFL, AFL (1960-69), or USFL (1983-85) by a recognized organization (Associated Press – Offense or Defense, Newspaper Enterprise Association, United Press International, The Sporting News, or the league itself – Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Year). 

[Updated 2/6/14]

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