Ricky Williams will walk onto the Miami Dolphins field for the first time since 2005 and his return will be shrouded in wonder. Is this the Ricky Williams that Miami has always wanted? Will he falter along the way when the pressure gets to him? All valid questions that the Dolphins management team has to wonder as well.
Last year, he carried the ball for 15 yards in Pittsburgh before injuring his shoulder and finishing the season on injured list. Only a few days before the oft suspended RB was activated after being re-instated from his 4th failed drug test suspension.
This Ricky, they say, is not that Ricky. In fact, they say this Ricky is not the same Ricky that was on the field in 2005 or for that matter any year prior to that. Clean shaven, Ricky Williams is becoming a leader in the locker room, someone the youngsters are looking up to. Ricky Williams? Seriously? That’s what word is out of Miami.
Tony Sparano has done nothing but rave about him since the first day the two of them shared a practice field. Bill Parcells has taken it upon himself to work with the once troubled and spacey man who hid behind face shield, dread locks, and yoga. Now, in spite of all his history with Miami, the longest tenured Dolphin seems to have found the one thing that for years he has been seeking. Inner Peace.
The wear and tear on Ricky’s 32 year old body is bright in comparison to other RB’s in the NFL his age. When the bit 3 – 0 rolls around, the light at the end of the career tunnel begins to fade. For Ricky, his body feels young, his mind now mature, and his focus is his strength. For the first time, in perhaps his entire career, Ricky Williams is happy, and finally having fun.
2 years away from NFL football will do that. Over the last 5 years, Ricky has spent more time rehabilitating a habit than he has playing ball. His body is youn, it’s not bruised battered, and worn down. He is a young 32.
This Sunday, Ricky will start the next chapter in his life. His next chapter for the Miami Dolphins, how it ends will be up to him. With a new contract extension that keeps him in Miami through the 2009 season, the Miami Dolphins are relying on the explosive back once again. For better or for worse.