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Linehan says Williams could be a backup to Jackson

ST. LOUIS -- Ricky Williams, who has applied for
reinstatement in the NFL after a one-year suspension for substance
abuse, could find a home with the St. Louis Rams.

Coach Scott Linehan, the offensive coordinator when Williams
played for the Miami Dolphins in 2005, said Thursday he'd consider
adding Williams to the roster as a backup. The Rams need depth
behind Steven Jackson.

"He's proven himself with me," Linehan said. "I know there
would be a certain amount of risk involved based on that, but I
would just because he deserves that based on what he was able to
do."

Williams, who will turn 30 in May, played in Canada last year
and is eligible for reinstatement after April 27. Earlier this
month Williams' agent, Leigh Steinberg, sent a letter asking that
he be allowed to return to the Dolphins.

If that request was granted, the Rams would have to work out a
trade with Miami.

Williams, a former Heisman Trophy winner at Texas, rushed for
1,853 and 1,372 yards in 2002 and '03 with the Dolphins before
retiring shortly before training camp in 2004. He returned in 2005
as the backup to rookie Ronnie Brown, rushing for 743 yards and a
4.4-yard average.

Linehan was impressed with Williams' remorse upon returning.

"He came back and stood in front of teammates who still wanted
a piece of him from the year before," Linehan said. "He basically
took all of the responsibility for what he did and he didn't make
any excuses. He said 'I'm sorry.'"

Linehan said he needed to know more about the details of
Williams' latest suspension, the fourth of his career, before going
further. Williams has gained 7,097 yards on 1,757 carries with 47
touchdowns during his career.

"I would have to look into it a little bit more," he said.
"But based on how he played and the kind of person he was to be
around, I would certainly consider it, and I'd fight for him."