Caddy A Done Deal

August 3rd, 2011

Well, it now it’s official; Cadillac is gone.

There are few better sources out of St. Louis than veteran sports guy Howard Balzer, who has covered the NFL all kinds of ways over the years. And Balzer Twittered moments ago that Cadillac has joined the Rams.

@HBalzer721 Cadillac Williams has agreed to terms with the Rams

Joe wrote about this earlier a couple of ways (scroll down) but Joe’s going to take this space to wave goodbye to Caddy, who was a model of determination and character, and delivered a lot of great moments for Bucs fans. Anyone who’s been to training camp the last couple of years knows that Cadillac was hands down the fan favorite.

Joe remembers talking to Davin Joseph during the 2009 preseason about Caddy. Joseph basically told Joe that Cadillac was an extraordinary inspiration for the entire team. Essentially saying there’s guys with work ethic, and then there’s Cadillac in another league.

Joe hopes to be proven wrong, but Joe thinks the Bucs made a mistake by basically choosing unproven Kregg Lumpkin over durable Cadillac, who didn’t miss a game in 2009 and 2010, and was a realiable third-down option.

Rockstar general manager Mark Dominik talked this week about how he wanted to get back to fans knowing numbers of players and bonding with homegrown Bucs talent.

Everybody knew and loved No. 24.

42 Responses to “Caddy A Done Deal”

  1. Dew Says:

    Loved Caddy but Graham will be better IMO.

    The defensive line looked very good today in practice. Especially Clayborne. Can’t wait till the KC game.

    Free and Williams are like robots playing pitch and catch, connecting all over the field. And Williams hasn’t dropped a pass yet in camp that I’ve seen. We could score in bunches this year.

  2. FLBoyInDallas Says:

    Joe, you’ve been watching the NFL long enough to know that when a new coach & GM take over there aren’t many of the original players remaining after the new regime’s first 2-3 seasons. They draft, trade for and sign “their guys” and try to get those guys into starting roles as soon as possible. The only guys left over from the previous regime (Gruden) are going to be guys that are considered foundational. That’s just life in the NFL, and it’ll continue that way as long as this league exists.

  3. JakeBucsFan Says:

    well put Joe, I think I speak for a lot of people when I say my feelings exactly

  4. bucsalltheway Says:

    Grahm is good when healthy st.Louis wants caddy because they don’t want another game winning td. People forget the good things players do for ball clubs. I’m not too excited about the backs we have other than legarette blount. I think this was an even bigger mistake on us then dropping RUUD. We’re suppose to be adding pieces not losing them. But to each its own. I wish caddy luck because he worked hard and he was just coming back around.

  5. flmike Says:

    I’m going to miss him, but the fact remains neither he nor Ruud were looked at as top 10 position guys by the leagues GMs. If they were they would have been signed by teams ast week and given multi year deals, fact is they weren’t. We need see our young guys play. Caddy was reduced to a one down back, Graham can fill that role until one of our backs is ready to.

  6. Michael Weber Says:

    Runnin’ through your team in Cadillac………………………………. Good luck, Caddy!

  7. BecklesHeartsRuud Says:

    I didn’t love no.24 when he was getting 2.5 ypc as the feature back in the beginning of last year. Caddy was a nice guy but this is nothing like when guys like Nickerson, Sapp and Lynch went to play elsewhere. After managing only one 1,000 yard season in his career I’m not crying over his departure. Aside from his rookie season Caddy was always more of a feel good story than any kind of impact player.

  8. barton1017 Says:

    i live in St. Louis and im glad i still get to see Caddy, i love his passion for the game and desire. he went through some MAJOR knee issues and i dont think playin in that hell hole of a dome we hvae here will help his knees at all. i wish him the best but i wouldnt buy a cadilac with 2 repaired shocks. BUC IT IM OUT!!!!!

  9. D-Rome Says:

    I agree with BecklesHeartsRuud. He had great moments for the Bucs but I’m not shedding a tear. He’ll never be better than he was yesterday and quite frankly I didn’t think he was anything special as an NFL football player. He was an inspiration to many and seemed to be a good guy though.

  10. jvato24 Says:

    I feel like the Bucs lost part of their spark today. No way such an inexperienced team will compete with heavy hitters of NFC South. Not this year anyways.

    This is a 5-11 – 7-9 team without Freeman. He is really the only hope.

  11. flmike Says:

    @jvato wth are you talking about? Caddy ran for less than 4k yards in 6 seasons, only had 1 1k yard season, he was reduced to a 1 down back, and that was only because he knew the offense batter than Blount, before game 6 when Blount became the started Caddy’s avg was 2.5 ypc, that isn’t even practice squad good.I love Caddy and what he did for this team, but Graham knows the Offense, Blount is learning his protections, and the world moves on, my guess is he doesn’t make the Rams opening day roster.

  12. Mr. Lucky Says:

    I HOPE Freeman is ready to scramble

  13. jvato24 Says:

    Flmike … Caddy had some clutch plays when it counted last year and ability to get 1 more yard when needed to the sticks … Joe Jurevicius didnt have the best stats but he was a Big Time contributor ..

    Caddy would be a hell of a 3rd down back … Blount is clearly the Feature back .. Even when he rocked before he could get to the line of scrimmage HARD over and over .. He just popped back up .. He brought something to huddle .. Well see what Mr Lumpykin brings i guess.

  14. McBuc Says:

    JVato…Many said the same thing last year.

  15. Patrick Says:

    I’ve been yelling for Graham to get the ball for the past 2 years! Now that Caddy is gone, making him the running back is a no brainer. If you leave Graham at fullback, we have just Blount and Bradford. If they just give Lumpkin a chance and he fails (which will likely happen), I’ll be pissed off cause we could’ve kept Caddy. Hopefully Lumpkin wasn’t the reason for not re-signing Caddy.

  16. Brandon Says:

    Durable Caddy? That HAS to be a joke, right? You can’t call a guy durable that was injured and missed 28 of his first 64 games in the NFL. Considering Williams hasn’t busted a play over 50 yards since his rookie year in 2005, his burst is gone. He never had power, only since last season has even been average as a pass catcher (and yes, he was merely average). And though his age may say “29”, Williams’ knees are closer to 50.

    Graham has been hurt with ankle injuries almost every year, he also usually plays regardless. Graham runs with far more power, has far better hands, and is definitely a bigger threat to break away (he even had a 60+ yard run last season despite only getting 20 carries).

    What people don’t seem to understand here is that if WIlliams were to be on this team, then Graham wouldn’t be able to do what we already know he does better than Williams: Catch the ball, run the ball, block, and make this team better. And something people are forgetting about the 3rd RBs on almost every team… THEY HAVE TO PLAY SPECIAL TEAMS! Williams does not! You can’t waste a roster spot on a 3rd string RB that doesn’t play special teams.

    I know lots of people want Williams because he is an inspiration, he’s has heart, etc… but folks, don’t let a good story get in the way of the fact that he was a mediocre football player. He wasn’t that good, period. Yeah, there were those first few games at the beginning of his career, but since then, nothing but disappointment.

    EG is the better option, has younger legs, better hands, and better runner. Williams is gone, thanks for all he did, thanks for the memories, good luck, time to move on.

  17. Brandon Says:

    The reason we didn’t keep Williams is because Graham is not the FB anymore, he’s a better #2 RB than Wiliams, and #3 RBs HAVE to play special teams. Plain and simple, it’s not being cheap, it’s called not being stupid.

  18. MOBucs Says:

    Thank you flmike! Caddy is a fan favorite and it’s tough to see him go, but this is not a huge deal. Graham is more than capable of being a 3rd down back. I wish we would have signed LaRon McClain to replace Graham but he just signed with the Chiefs.

  19. Patrick Says:

    Graham could still probably run pretty well. He may be 30, but he didn’t even touch the ball until 2007, therefore there’s much less mileage and stress on his legs. Plus he doesn’t have two blown out knees like Caddy did. And he’s only gotten a couple of carries since 2008.

  20. Bucc Fan In Hawkeye Country Says:

    Stats aint everything to me.. dudes got heart. love that dude. Just think what he coulda been without the injuries. Basically “career ending injury” to grabbin game winning touchdowns. He coulda just said F it and hung em up. Dudes ok in my book. If u cant be inspired by him I dunno what to tell ya.

  21. dave Says:

    Don’t think the blocking is a big deal like some. Freeman will be a touch faster in decisions and the line is another year together and should e better. Plus they have a) to play fake to. Realistically Caddy had no upside. Good luck to him though

  22. simeon Says:

    Never forget his first 3 games, didnt he go for 450 or something like that over the first 3? Back in the 2005 days when we thought Chris Simms/Michael Clayton/Caddy was the future. Wow how things have changed.

  23. NickinMelb Says:

    I think we will miss Caddy badly for his pass protection and pass catching ability. I like Earnest Graham and just hope he can stay healthy. As soon as I am hearing Caddy is gone I hear Lorig now has a strained achilles??? Dominick is leaving this team with very little depth and I have to feel his luck in having the cheap backups that can come in and not miss a beat will run out sooner or later. Hopefully later. Goodbye Caddilac you were a great person and I know you won at least one game for us last year with that last second touchdown against the Rams. Freeman has to be upset on this one. So much with keeping our own free agents lol

  24. Macabee Says:

    I just read that Caddy signed a 1 year deal for the veteran minimum of $685,000. You think he left for a better deal somewhere else? You decide!

  25. BamBamBuc Says:

    He didn’t leave for a better money deal. If he chose to leave (and I think the Bucs pretty much told him what his role would be if he returned), then it would be because the Rams offered more playing time and more opportunity, which would translate into a better deal next year when he’ll be a free agent again.

  26. Macabee Says:

    C’mon BamBam, nobody leaves a job paying 2.5mil/yr in a place that you love for 685k to play for the god awful Rams. Tell me again why you would do this!!

  27. BigMacAttack Says:

    Players that sign 1 yr league minimum contracts usually get cut before Game 1.

    Thanks Cadi, but I’m over it, focusing on those left on the roster.

    Go Graham!

  28. Mark Says:

    We let Caddy go because he’s torn BOTH patellar tendons. As a physician I can tell you that this is one injury you never fully recover from if you tear ONE. The fact that Caddy got as far as he did in terms of recovery speaks to his dedication and intensive rehab. But he’ll never be what he once was. So you let him go and you give the younger guys a chance. One thing this coaching staff has proven is the ability to mold young inexperienced talent into competitive football players. You still got EG as a veteran who’s proven himself. Don’t know about Pumpkin but the rooks are intriguing. Bradford will give us some power at the goal line and Armando Allen is a scat back who also can return kicks and get into a little wildcat action.

  29. Bucbeliever Says:

    Gonna’ miss u Caddy!

    (Now I gotta get another jersey…how much are Lumpkins? 🙂

    GO BUCS!

  30. Mark Says:

    Awesome article in the trib on Dominik’s philosophy regarding the team.

  31. Picked_Off Says:

    Wish he was coming back, but that’s the business. Hope Lumpkin is really worth all the praise Dom has been putting on him. Still think they need to find another veteran backup to Blount. His running style requires a proven backup.

    Would rather have Caddy, but I’m sure Dom and Morris will figure it out. Go Bucs!

  32. admin Says:

    JOe here,

    @Mark — No need to post links in here, unless it’s something really remote, or you can email Joe sees all. If Joe finds it interesting and fresh, you’ll find it here.

  33. Patrick Says:

    How much do Tyrone McKenzie jerseys cost?! LOL

  34. BamBamBuc Says:

    Macabee, he wouldn’t have made 2.5M this year with the Bucs either. They weren’t going to pay him that, and I can’t blame them for paying him less for a reduced role. I will say that if the salary were the same, but he had a better opportunity to showcase his skills for another team, then he’d probably take it (unless he was considering retirement next year or the year after). Caddy obviously loves the game, and wants to play, even if he can’t start, he wants to get as many opportunities as he can. I’m sure the Bucs encouraged him to go where the opportunities were rather than come back.

    On a side note, I’ve been going over the games from last year. Every time Graham touched the ball, it was positive gain. I’m not worried at all about Graham as our 3rd down back. He’s still got what it takes. Lumpkin, on the other hand, only had limited opportunites, but didn’t do much of anything with them. If we have to rely on him for ANYTHING, I’d be worried this year.

  35. Macabee Says:

    BamBam, A reasonable assessment. I agree!

  36. Hawaiian Buc Says:

    I understand why they would get rid of Caddy, but I’m really going to miss him (hopefully a lot more than the team will). He’s one of my favorite Bucs of all time, even though his career here has been relatively short and not extremely glamorous (aside from his rookie year). He conducts himself the way a professional is supposed to, on and off the field. There are very few guys I root for that don’t wear red and pewter (as a rule, I generally hate everyone that doesn’t), but he will be one I will always cheer for. Thanks Cadillac and good luck with the rest of your career.

  37. Gringo Dave Says:

    I’m thinking of switching my favorite team, to the Eagles. Doesn’t make a lot of sense for a Tampa Bay ex-patriot living la dolce vida in Mexico, but I can’t stand the penny pinching Glazers. The Philadelphia Eagles are making a real move to win the Super Bowl and spending the correct amount to do so. Every penny the Glazers don’t spend, is money stolen from the people of Tampa Bay. Can you smell more blackouts?

    I was listening to Steve Duemig yesterday extolling the virtues of the tight and penny pinching attitude of Mark Dominik and the Bucs. He constantly pounded the thrift propaganda over the airwaves. He was especially eloquent in his defense of not spending money. He was so convincing that he had to spend the last ten minutes of the show explaining that he’s not getting paid by the Buc’s and he is only doing this out of the goodness of his heart and common sense. Listen, you can buy a journalist for the cost of a cheap call girl, and Duemig sold his soul for access. Yes, his Faustian deal provides his with unfettered access to the training camp and one on one interviews with Raheem and other players. Do you really think that Duemig’s agent didn’t set this up when the Big Dog’s contract was negotiated several weeks ago. Duemig has no credibility whatsoever.

    Another thing about the Big Dog, can someone firmly grab a hold of his shoulders and yank his nose out of Derek Brook’s ass cheeks. I’m so sick of that freaking pervert preying upon the children of Tampa Bay, it makes me want to puke. The Big Dog fawns over him like he was a teenage girl meeting Justin Beiber, just don’t mention teenage girls around Brooks.

  38. Capt.Tim Says:

    Sad to see Caddy go. A brave young man.

    I’m sure it came down to who would play for the minimum wage first.

    Even more depressed to say that.

  39. Joe Says:

    Gringo Dave:

    Joe can’t disagree with you more but that was one beautiful rant. My compliments!

    Great way to start Joe’s day!!!

  40. Patrick Says:

    It’s a joke that Dominick is talking up this Lumpkin guy so freaking much. The guy will be lucky if he makes the team, and I’m being fair.

  41. Eric Says:

    Brooks is doing what?

    I was totally with ya till that Gringo!

    I would have thrown in that SD cold topped a three iron on the Big Break.

    Not relevant, but enjoyable to remember.

  42. Gringo Dave Says:

    I guess you would have to be raising beautiful teenage girls to appreciate that 30+ year old married professional athletes are stalking your children.