|With Dolphins at 0-10, Williams' arrival taking center stage|
|Written by Admin|
|Monday, 19 November 2007 12:53|
All were good signs Sunday for the still-winless Miami Dolphins.
And all are surely to be overshadowed this week when Ricky Williams returns to the practice field.
Williams' latest comeback formally began Monday with some weightlifting and meetings with teammates. He'll practice for the first time Wednesday, and it's possible the enigmatic running back could play next Monday when the Dolphins visit the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Officially, though, Dolphins coach Cam Cameron has a wait-and-see attitude.
``He hasn't practiced yet,'' Cameron said. ``We'll take it one day at a time and evaluate each day and see what the next day brings and then I think you just take it from there and see what happens.''
Williams' suspension for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy was lifted last week, and Cameron welcomed him back to the team. Williams has played in only 12 games since retiring before the 2004 season, then returning.
Most Miami players seem intrigued to see what Williams can still do. If he can help salvage something from the Dolphins' season, then even better.
``I'd do anything for a victory right now,'' linebacker Joey Porter said late last week when news of Williams' return permeated the locker room. ``That's where I'm at.''
Players, including Williams, weren't available for comment Monday.
The Dolphins fell to 0-10 Sunday with a 17-7 loss in Philadelphia, a game where Beck made his debut and threw for 109 yards. He was 9-for-22 with no turnovers.
``The thing I liked is I've been around some guys who get that first rookie start and you don't win the game and they're all thrilled,'' Cameron said. ``Well, he wasn't thrilled. He's a perfectionist, he's very critical of himself, he understands that his job is to help us win.''
For his part, Beck said he was comfortable with the game plan.
``I do not think anything happened out there that surprised me,'' Beck said Sunday night. ``I hope in the upcoming weeks, there is none of that either.''
Miami, still the league's only winless team, led 7-3 at the half after Ginn's 87-yard punt return for a touchdown. But they couldn't hold off the Eagles in the final two quarters, even with Philadelphia quarterback Donovan McNabb sidelined by a sprained ankle.
Cameron insisted he sees signs suggesting Miami is getting closer.
``We're not going to abandon our philosophy on getting better in practice and demanding guys get better,'' Cameron said. ``That's what gives you a chance. You see guys making improvement. Now we haven't collectively put it together for 60 minutes so we can win a football game.''
Maybe Williams can change that.
Williams hasn't played in the NFL since 2005, when he averaged 4.4 yards per carry and finished with 743 yards for the Dolphins. He led the league with 1,853 yards in 2002, his first season with the Dolphins, and has clearly been an offensive spark before.
But Cameron didn't assure that Williams would be rushed back into the lineup. Quite the contrary, really, considering the noncommittal way Cameron responded about the notion of playing Williams against the Steelers.
``We haven't even practiced yet. I think that might be a question probably down the road here in a little bit,'' Cameron said. ``But I think today, with a guy I haven't seen practice yet and whose conditioning is a little bit of a question, I probably can answer that later on in the week.''