Last season, very few fans knew of Miami Dolphins running back Damien Williams. As an undrafted rookie out of Oklahoma, Williams did catch the eye of our guy on the ground, Luis Sung, during training camp last year, and he made an impression on the coaches as well, making the roster behind Lamar Miller and Knowshon Moreno. This year there is a lot more competition, with LaMichael James and rookie Jay Ajayi joining the mix, but Williams is again gaining recognition from the coaches, getting a mention by coach Joe Philbin at the conclusion of offseason training activities.
“Damien Williams has been moving around athletically,” said Philbin. “I think it’s a good group.”
Williams had 36 carries for 122 yards last year, but was more of a factor catching passes out of the backfield and showing some nifty moves after the catch. He caught 21 passes for 187 yards, including his first TD as an NFL player - a 3-yard score against the Vikings in Week 16. And he knows he has his work cut out for him this year.
“Last year it was kind of a new staff, new offense,” Williams said in an interview with the Finsiders. “Now, we’re in the rhythm. Same offense, couple of new things here and there. Guys are picking it up, getting comfortable with it and that’s when you can roll. I got year one under my belt. I’ll take what I’ve learned from last year and implement it in my game this year and keep going from there.”
On what it will take to stand out this year, Williams said, “Making sure I get as many roles as possible so I can get help my team in any situation there is, whether it’s returning, blocking, going out there and catching the ball, running the ball. It doesn’t matter. I’m just going to make my options even wider.”
A pattern of camaraderie on the team seems to be emerging this year on the Dolphins, and the running back group is no exception, as Williams notes that the RB room at practices is a tight-knit bunch of guys that all support each other.
“I love our room,” said Williams. “We actually talk all the time about how we’re all different but kind of the same. We all bring different personalities to the table, and I feel like we can all feed off of each other if we’re all here at the end of the day.
“I think we kind of all know once we step out on the field, it’s a business. It’s a job. We all want the job. Nobody wants to be the backup. It’s difficult, but you kind of know your place at the same time. You’re never going to just put down a guy, or if he needs help you’re not going to help him. We’re always there for each other - young, old, it doesn’t matter. But there’s a difference. You’ve got to know how to separate them.”
This story was written by Eldon Jenson. Follow him on Twitter @EJFootball.
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