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Tight end Williams glad to be back with Rams
ST. LOUIS - Roland Williams says he's glad to back with the St. Louis Rams, a team he helped win the Super Bowl in 2000.
St. Louis signed the 6-foot-5, 265-pounder in the offseason.
Williams, who played with the Rams from 1998 to 2000, was traded to the Oakland Raiders before the star to the 2001 season. He stayed with Oakland for two years, then went to Tampa Bay, then returned to the Raiders.
"It feels great to be back," Williams said Saturday after the morning practice at Rams Park. "This is where I started playing my career. I'm going into year eight. This is great to come back and have a rebirth after going through injuries and that stuff.
"It's great to come back to a place I love so much to get it going again."
Williams has impressed coach Mike Martz in the early days of camp.
Martz said Williams will be the starter. Brandon Manumaleuna, who started 15 games last season, will back up Williams, although he'll still see playing time.
"We're kind of moving in a different direction," Martz said. "We're going to do a lot of two tight end stuff. In essence, they are both starters."
A solid blocker, Williams has shown he can also catch the ball.
"Roland Williams is probably the most pleasant surprise of the offseason," Martz said. "When we brought him back here, I felt like he was going to be a solid player.
"What Roland did in the spring is much more than I anticipated. He deserves the opportunity to step and battle."
Sharing the spot with Manumaleuna is fine with Williams.
"I feel like we're the best tight end tandem in the league," Williams said.
Receiver Torry Holt said he is glad Williams is back wearing the blue and gold of the Rams. Williams is a positive presence in the locker room.
"It's good," Holt said of his gregarious teammate who often wears a smile and loves playing football. "Roland is good for our football team because of the energy and the passion that he has for the game of football. It's so big and critical for the young guys to see his energy and passion day after day."
A fourth-round pick by the Rams in 1998, Williams appeared in 14 games as a rookie and earned Offensive Rookie of the Years honors. In 1999, Williams played in 16 games, starting 15, and caught 25 passes for 226 yards and six touchdowns. He caught one pass in the Super Bowl win over the Tennessee Titans.
After the 2000 season, the Rams traded Williams to Oakland for a fourth-round draft pick in the 2001 draft. In two years with Oakland, Williams caught 60 passes.
He was placed on the physically unable-to-perform list by the Raiders at the start of training camp in 2003. After healing several injuries, Williams signed with Tampa Bay and played in one game. He rejoined the Raiders in April 2004 after spending most of last season rehabbing a handful of injuries that sidelined him at the end of the Raiders' Super Bowl season two years ago.
"Being an Oakland Raider is a unique experience," Williams said. "I wish everyone could go and be a Raider for at least a day. I've never seen as many elderly women with tattoos or as many children named after players. I had a great time out there, but now it's time to be back home."
So far, the camp is going well for Williams.
"I feel good," he said. "I'm trying to refine my game. It's like with Tiger Woods and those guys, their golf swing. They keep refining and getting better. I want to have a great season, not just a good season.
"I'll keep working, hacking away one day at a time."
Williams' goal is to aid St. Louis to return to the Super Bowl.
"We've got a good team of guys who care, and that's all it takes. Super Bowls are what it's all about. That's why I play."
Re: Tight end Williams glad to be back with Rams"I feel like we're the best tight end tandem in the league," Williams said.
-07-31-2005 #3DJRamFan Guest
Re: Tight end Williams glad to be back with Rams
I can't stand him. He's from my area so I should cheer for him, but he's got stone hands.