Ricky Williams Says He Retired From The NFL Because The Dolphins' QBs Sucked (Not Because Of Weed)
Ricky Williams, man. This guy. This fuckin' guy. What an enigma. If someone can understand this dude -- who, don't get me wrong, seems like a solid human being who speaks his mind in a way few appreciate -- please let me know, because I've been trying to figure him out since 1999, when he wore a wedding dress on the cover of ESPN The Magazine.
It's been awhile since we've heard from Ricky, though he did chime in on the Jonathan Martin situation and as of last year was still talking about his love of weed. There's an upcoming episode of "A Football Life" on the NFL Network about him, and NFL.com released this choice nugget of dank quote to get us hooked:
"I led the NFL in attempts the past two years and they really didn't go out and get a quarterback to help me, so I knew it's going to be all on me again," Williams says in the documentary, which premiers Friday. "I could see my mortality as a football player, that I'm not going to be able to do this much longer. It just became obvious to me that playing football for me is not going to be fun, not something I'm going to enjoy and it's time for me to do something different."
Ricky's quarterback in Miami was Jay Fiedler, and A.J. Feeley became the starter in 2004. Apparently, Feeley didn't inspire enough confidence, which is why Ricky announced his retirement from the game in July. He came back a year later, when Gus Frerotte was under center.
Though Jay Fielder being a bad quarterback is not a revelation (Fielder no longer plays football -- he runs a sleepaway camp), the profound effect his shittiness had on Ricky Williams' career arc is. Ricky failed to mention this aspect of the decision to quit a decade ago. From a 2004 ESPN article:
Retired Dolphins running back Ricky Williams said he failed a third drug test for marijuana use, which would cost him a four-game suspension if he decides to return to the NFL, The Miami Herald reported on its Web site Thursday.
Williams told the newspaper that marijuana played a larger role in his retirement than he indicated when he walked away after just five pro seasons. He said he learned of the failed test and possible suspension days before telling coach Dave Wannstedt last week that he was through playing...
"I didn't quit football because I failed a drug test," he told the Herald. "I failed a drug test because I was ready to quit football."
Sounds like a cop out to me, but I didn't have to run the ball 30 times a game because my quarterback sucked, so what do I know? These things could all be related: The high usage from the team not trusting Fielder led to bigger hits and more pain, which led to more hits and less pain (if you get my meaning), which led to failed drug tests, which led to his early retirement rather than having to deal with more BS just to get back on the field and run it another three dozen times between the tackles. And so on.
Regardless, yet another layer is added to the mystery that is the life and times of Ricky Williams. May he continue to say weird, not necessarily accurate shit for years to come.
Photo via Getty
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