When Ricky Williams, the former Texas Tech running back signed on as a free agent with the New Orleans Saints, he knew that there would be talk about Ricky Williams the former Texas running back. The Saints traded away running back Ricky Williams to the Miami Dolphins after three tumultuous seasons. Fans that crowd the sidelines during practice call to him, kid him about his missing dreadlocks, ask him if he's lost weight. Even the Saints equipment men thought another Ricky Williams was a pretty good joke.
When he joined the team, they tried to issue him #34 the first Ricky Williams' number. His position coach stopped that, however, and the new Williams ended up with #42.
At Texas Tech, Williams had 789 carries for 3,661 yards and 36 touchdowns. What got the Saints attention though was his 172 receptions for 1,151 yards and 6 TDs. Offensive Coordinator Mike McCarthy likes backs that can catch the football. Coach Jim Haslett likes ones that can hang onto it once they do. That was a problem for the first Ricky Williams -- a tendency to cough up the ball.
If only he could catch like he drives cars. The future would be unlimited for the mighty dreadlocked one.