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Karlos Williams eying redemption heading into second season

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Posted at 10:08 PM, Jul 30, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-31 06:14:28-04

Karlos Williams burst onto the scene as a rookie.

His first career carry? Touchdown.

The fifth round pick went onto to score a TD in his first six games, joining Robert Edwards as the only players to accomplish the feat in NFL history.

While he did miss five games due to a concussion, Williams ran for more than 500 yards, averaged more than five yards per carry and combined to score nine touchdowns. 

He was the thunder to LeSean McCoy’s lightning.

But, as he admitted to reporters following a rocky offseason, he’s disappointed in himself.

Williams showed up to mandatory minicamp in June overweight and out of football shape.  Earlier this month he was slapped with a four game suspension for violating the league's substance abuse policy.

“I put the organization, my teammates, and my family in a very bad situation,” he told reporters on Saturday.

Where did it all go wrong heading into his second season?

“Being a young guy, a young kid, just making bad decisions.  Not thinking things through. I think that happens to a lot of people coming into the NFL, they have good success and kind of go off the hinges just a little bit,” he added.  “That happened to me but it’s time to move forward, it’s time to move on and progress.”

“The coaches, the ownership, they put a lot of trust in me, they invested in me.”

Now, Williams is being held out of training camp as he continues to work off the weight he gained in the offseason.

Head Coach Rex Ryan isn’t going to rush him back.

“Give him an unrealistic goal to report to camp in and all of the sudden he’s “hurt,” Ryan said after practice.  “We had that last year with Boobie Dixon. He went out for one day, passed the conditioning test, and blew every muscle and that type of stuff.  It was unrealistic weight.  We told him we’re going to get that weight off him and we’ll see how he does.”

Ryan added he’s confident Williams will work hard to return, but the running back knows while he’s not taking reps, it’s a chance for another running back to emerge and jump up the depth chart.

Mike Gillislee performed well near the end of last season, rushing for nearly 300 yards in the final five games of the year.  He also scored three touchdowns. 

The Bills drafted Williams’ former Florida State teammate James Wilder Jr. and Arkansas back Jonathan Williams.

“They’re confident in the way they play, I’m confident in the way I play,” he said.  “All I can do is encourage and be the best teammate I can be and when it’s time for me to play, it’s time for me to play.”

While his return to the field for training camp or preseason remains uncertain, Ryan wasn’t committed to handing the back-up job back to Williams when he does return.

“I think the guy that was in there ahead of Lou Gehrig probably never expected him to play the way he did, right?  So you never know. Opportunity comes,” Ryan added.

Williams knows that too, and isn’t going to let his next opportunity slip away.

“I can control me and all I can control right now is being in shape and when I get ready to touch that football field again, when I get the ball, just do what I do best and that’s put the ball in the endzone.”