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Cameron not expecting Williams to play for Dolphins

DAVIE, Fla. -- If Ricky Williams makes a comeback, it will
likely be with a new team.

Ricky Williams

Williams

Miami Dolphins coach Cam Cameron, speaking publicly about
Williams' latest drug relapse for the first time Friday, all but
slammed the door on a return by the troubled running back.

"I will not allow our fans to be let down by people that are
not on our roster -- not again,'' Cameron said. "It's my
responsibility not to let that happen. We have the greatest fans in
the game, and we've got men on our team that we're going to focus
on.''

I will not allow our fans to be let down by people that are
not on our roster -- not again. It's my
responsibility not to let that happen. We have the greatest fans in
the game, and we've got men on our team that we're going to focus
on.

Cam Cameron

Cameron, who became Miami's coach in January, made the comments to explain his previous reluctance to discuss Williams. An NFL
rushing champion for the Dolphins in 2002, Williams tested positive
for marijuana again last month, which will delay his return to the
league until at least September.

Williams, who turns 30 on Monday, has played only 12 games since
2003. His current suspension began in April 2006 after he violated the league's drug policy for the fourth time.

"The easiest predictor of future behavior is previous behavior,'' Cameron said. "Could I have made that statement 15 years ago? Absolutely not. I was trying to save every guy in the game.

"Ultimately it comes down to the team. You want to be as fair as you can be, but no individual comes above the team.''

When asked what his batting average is trying to "save'' troubled players, Cameron said, "Very low.''

Williams was suspended last year for violating the substance abuse policy and was eligible to be reinstated this month, but the league's medical advisers who oversee Williams' personal rehabilitation program recently notified commissioner Roger Goodell of the positive test, sources told ESPN's Chris Mortensen. The doctors also recommended that Williams not be allowed to apply for reinstatement until September, the sources said.

Subsequently, Williams released a statement through his agent, Leigh Steinberg, saying that following a psychological evaluation requested by the NFL, he and his psychiatrist realized he still had work to do before returning to the game.

"I am an honest, God-fearing man who is intensely dedicated to being the best person I can be on and off the football field," Williams said in that statement. "There is no need to smear my name or to defame my character for the sake of news. When the time is right, God willing, I will be back on the field scoring touchdowns for whatever team is fortunate enough to believe in me."

A source told Mortensen that "falling off the wagon" is a part of drug rehab, and noted that people like Williams who have been diagnosed with social anxiety disorder often "self-medicate" with substances like marijuana before they are about to have a high level of social interaction.

Following the Dolphins' offseason practice Friday, running back Ronnie Brown said he was surprised by Williams' latest positive drug test but didn't consider it a setback for the team.

"We were beyond that point," said Brown, the starter the past
two seasons. "None of us knows why he does what he does or the choices he makes."

One signal the Dolphins weren't counting on Williams came last month, when they selected running back Lorenzo Booker of Florida State in the third round of the draft. Booker has been assigned Williams' locker.

Last year Williams played in the Canadian Football League, then taught yoga in California. Steinberg recently quoted Williams as saying his interest in Eastern philosophy had overcome his desire for mind-altering substances.

Williams still owes the Dolphins $8.6 million for breaching his contract when he sat out the 2004 season.

Williams won the 1998 Heisman Trophy at Texas and the 2002 NFL rushing title with the Dolphins. Last season with the Toronto Argonauts of the CFL, he rushed for 526 yards in 109 carries but missed two months with a broken arm.

"It has been a rough ride,'' linebacker Zach Thomas said. "We have to quit looking for excuses and move on. Whoever is here, we've got to work with that and quit looking at all the drama that is usually off the field. There has been quite a bit over the last five years. ...

"Ricky is a good person. He might have a disorder or something. Hopefully he gets help. I'm a little selfish, because I would want him on the team. I know he would make our team better. But I'm moving on and worrying about what we've got."

ESPN NFL reporter Chris Mortensen and The Associated Press contributed to this report.