Carnell “Cadillac” Williams shrugged off a sprained foot and insisted on finishing the game.
Several broken tackles and dozens of yards later, any questions about the rookie’s toughness or ability to handle a heavy workload for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers had been answered.
Williams topped 100 yards rushing for the second straight week, helping the Buccaneers dominate J.P. Losman and the Buffalo Bills, 19-3, Sunday for the team’s first 2-0 start in five years.
“Coming out of halftime, it felt like I couldn’t go. Then once I told Coach Gruden I wanted to go, they still wouldn’t let me go,” Williams said. “I had to kind of stress the point, ‘I’m going.’ ”
Williams carried 24 times for 128 yards and one touchdown. The performance followed a 148-yard, 27-carry debut that raised questions about whether Gruden called on Williams too much in a season-opening victory at Minnesota.
“I should be fine,” Williams said of his sore left foot, adding that the rest of his body is holding up to the pounding.
“I’m definitely in pain, but you never feel good,” he added. “I’m always going to hurt.”
Tampa Bay’s defense scored on a safety and was every bit as tough on Losman as it has been on a list of young quarterbacks that includes Michael Vick, Donovan McNabb and Daunte Culpepper in recent years.
Losman completed 12 of 29 passes for 113 yards. The second-year quarterback didn’t have any turnovers, but never came close to getting the offense for Buffalo (1-1) in synch.
“It’s a humbling experience. We came in high as a kite, and everyone was telling us how good we are. We met a team that matched us in intensity and physicalness,” Losman said.
Willis McGahee was held to 34 yards in 13 carries. Receiver Eric Moulds had one catch for eight yards as Tampa Bay’s defense held the opposition without an offensive touchdown for the second game in a row.