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Now No. 2, Keiland Williams has similar role

While running back Keiland Williams has moved up the depth chart this week, it's still not clear how his role in the offense changes as the team prepares for the St. Louis Rams' game on Sunday.

Asked what might be different this week with Williams as the team's No. 2 running back, offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan said, "Not much."

"We expect him to be the same. He's got to be able to spell Clinton [Portis], and we'll see how it goes," he said.

Williams has appeared in both of the team's games, but still doesn't have a carry. He had four catches for 15 yards last week against the Texans. But after the team released Larry Johnson earlier this week, it's reasonable to think that Williams will get at least a couple of touches this weekend at St. Louis.

One thing that apparently hasn't changed is Williams's approach: "I'm going to prepare like I've been doing the first two weeks," he said.

Williams said practices this week are very similar to last week, when he was the No. 3 running back.

"Maybe got a few more carries here and there, but nothing tremendous," he said. "I am Clinton's backup in the sub downs, third-down package role. But as far as getting in there, getting touches or anything like that, as far as running the ball, I haven't had that discussion with anyone."

He can afford to be patient. Williams is an undrafted rookie who impressed coaches quickly this offseason. He's not the quickest back, but coaches seem to think he's a good fit for their scheme.

He says he's going to keep doing things the way he's been doing them. Thus far, it's paid off just fine.

"That says something about your preparation throughout camp, throughout the preseason," Williams said. "So I'm just excited."

By Rick Maese  | September 24, 2010; 12:00 PM ET
Categories:  Running backs  
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Next: Hard Hits Live webcast: LaVar Arrington on the Rams game


With Shanny here now...wouldn't be surprised if Simpson gets the nod this week!

Posted by: PlayAction | September 24, 2010 12:09 PM | Report abuse

With Shanny here now...wouldn't be surprised if Simpson gets the nod this week!

Posted by: PlayAction | September 24, 2010 12:09 PM | Report abuse

Don't be silly. No way either K or M Shanahan are going to give significant offensive touches to a guy that is fresh off the street.

The real lesson here, for those paying attention to that sort of thing, is that those who come in, do their work, learn the play book and keep their mouths shut get a chance to move up once they prove they won't screw the pooch when their shot comes.

DT11 should learn from this. Of course, somebody will have to explain it to him, again, because heretofore he has been unable to understand these seemingly simple concepts.

Posted by: SkinsfaninKaneohe | September 24, 2010 12:46 PM | Report abuse

I wouldn't mind them trying to shake it up a bit. I think that's as far as it will go, though.

Posted by: bostskin | September 24, 2010 12:51 PM | Report abuse

I does not serve any purpose for Shanahans to let Rams know their RB plan. It also does not help them to maintain a better relation with Clinton, until a solid replacement like Keiland's potential is proved in game situation.

Shanahan will find his RB; he always does. He has his QB in place. Just the O-line need to be solidified.

Defense would be already in good shape if Albert had a stable mind.

Posted by: SeedofChange | September 24, 2010 1:37 PM | Report abuse

Everyone is sleeping on K Williams. This is the guy who, later this season, people will be saying "I knew it all along. He's a classic Shanahan find. Number 2 back at LSU (so, "how good could he be?" Answer: plenty). 230 lbs, sub 4.5 speed, one cut runner (Shanahan prototype) with good hands and route running. They found out in pre-season that he likes to block too. That's why he beat out Torrain. Ryan can run very well in this offense, but Williams does that and everything else too.

His problem in college was fumbles. If he does that here, he won't make it. And he fumbled at least once in preseason (got it back).

The point is, the coaches have been watching him very closely. He's not screwing up and he looks good doing what he's asked. I think this is a classic case of Shanahan not offering any information through the press, and the press not noticing what's really happening. He's not number 2 now because they are desperate. He's there because he's shown nothing but "pretty damn good" since July.

In preseason he was the clear choice over Torrain and Parker (both good but limited in versatility. In two games, he made LJ expendable (actually LJ made himself expendable). Now KW is going to carry the ball a few times in games. If he doesn't put it on the ground... watch out for this kid. I don't think Shanhan loves him yet, but if he keeps not screwing anything up, he'll get the chance to run a lot more very soon. My guess is that his young legs, and bruising frame will make him exactly the runner this offense is looking for. 3 yards, 5 yards, 8 yards, 1 yard... then in the 3rd quarter... boom! Long, defense-breaking runs.

Just hang on to the ball, kid.

Posted by: bigfoot1 | September 24, 2010 2:15 PM | Report abuse

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