Ricky Williams to Ravens: 5 Valuable Lessons Williams Can Bring to Baltimore
Now that the Ravens don't have Le'Ron McClain or Willis McGahee, all that's left behind Joe Flacco is Ray Rice.
Now, although Rice is a solid RB, having a decent backup always helps the cause.
Ricky Williams has all the assets—tangible and intangible—to be that guy.
A lot of skeptics are going to dislike this signing, mainly because of Ricky's age (34). But he proved in Miami that he could be a great contributor en route to helping a franchise get back on track.
Baltimore however, has something they can offer that the Dolphins could not: a shot at the Super Bowl.
It's a win-win situation for both parties.
Donald Miralle/Getty Images
He began with the New Orleans Saints in 1999, briefly retired after 2004 from Miami because of drug issues, and came back to the Dolphins in 2007 before suffering an injury.
So, it's safe to say that he's been around the block and has put himself through some rough times.
Well, taking Ray Rice under his wing and helping him reach his maximum potential is something Ricky can offer.
It's an intangible that Ray Lewis has used to have a positive influence on his younger teammates, and there's no reason why Williams can't do the same.
Marc Serota/Getty Images
If there's one thing that the Ravens have going for them, it's veteran leadership.
The addition of Ricky Williams can only add more wood to the fire in that regard.
Now, despite the injury-prone Ronnie Brown in Miami, Williams still proved to be a positive influence as Brown was rather productive when healthy.
Well, Ray Rice has already surpassed Brown as a better NFL RB; but even for the unknown backs in Baltimore's organization, he'll be a great role model.
Marc Serota/Getty Images
After Williams briefly retired, there was a lot of pessimism about his return.
For one, how could someone take such a long time off from football, then come back and perform on a decent level?
Williams has never complained about any situation he's found himself in, and he has played hurt in the past.
At his age, it's definitely going to be difficult for him to overcome any serious injuries, but Baltimore is a tough city, with a tough team and the efforts of Ricky Williams won't go unnoticed.
Rick Stewart/Getty Images
Ricky Williams has been in the NFL long enough that's he's most likely seen as many defensive schemes as Ray Lewis has seen offensive schemes.
However, it also couldn't have been easy learning a completely new offense that took the NFL back to the 1920s—what we now call "the Wildcat."
That said, it made him a more versatile, dynamic player and proved Williams isn't afraid to try something new.
Also, when running the Wildcat, Williams had to block for Ronnie Brown at times, which is something he had never done prior to rejoining Miami.
Plus, he gives QB Joe Flacco a second RB he can trust, as all the other backs on the roster not named Ray Rice still have a long way to go.
Rob Loud/Getty Images
If there's one thing Ray Lewis knows about, it's perseverance. Ricky Williams is right there with him.
It takes a lot to do what he did, turn everything around and come back to the NFL—not to mention, his stats and on-field production turned some heads as well.
In 2002, Williams won the rushing title and earned a first team All-Pro selection. Six years later, he ran for over 1,000 yards and put himself back on the map.
After everything he went through in New Orleans, and after his first retirement, for Williams to rush for over 1,000 yards in a season is remarkable.