DAVIE, Fla. (AP) _ Ricky Williams is working hard again, showing
the kind of effort that once made him the NFL's leading rusher and
a Heisman Trophy winner in college.
The Miami Dolphins running back still has that quiet demeanor
that can make him seem detached from football, appearing as if he
doesn't care about the game or how he's perceived. His past
behavior might tell the same story: the early retirement, the
marijuana use and the subsequent suspensions.
He's been labeled a quitter by some, selfish by others, and his
free spirit nature has opened him up to punch lines. But the
controversial running back, who failed the league's substance abuse
test five times, cares about his football legacy. For him, this
season is partly about changing how he will be remembered.
Williams said he came back to clear his name. The NFL
salary doesn't hurt, either.
So far, he's earning it.
Williams didn't miss a voluntary practice in Miami's strict
offseason workout program under the new Bill Parcells-led regime.
He has bulked up to about 230 pounds, the weight he played at in
his prime. And with Pro Bowlers Jason Taylor and Zach Thomas long
gone, Williams is trying to be a leader.
(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)