Colts Give Running Back a Tryout

RB Shaud Williams (Rick Stewart/Getty)

ColtPower.com has learned that the Colts took a look at former Bills running back Shaud Williams, a likely signal that they realize that they need more depth behind second-year running back Joseph Addai.

ColtPower has learned from an NFL source that the Colts held a tryout on Friday for Shaud Williams, a fourth year running back out of Alabama.  He was most recently with the Buffalo Bills.

Williams started his college career at Texas Tech, but transferred to Alabama in 2001.  He didn't become a full-time starter until 2003 (his junior year) when he rushed for 1,300 yards and the Crimson Tide went 10-3.  Williams wasn't drafted in the 2004 NFL Draft and was subsequently signed by the Bills.

The highlight of his three-year stint with Buffalo (2004-2006) was that he was pressed into service in his rookie year when both Travis Henry and Willis McGahee went down with injuries.  He started two games that season, but later ended his career with the Bills on a down note -- registering only 5 carries for 14 yards in the 2007 preseason.  All told, he has carried the ball 89 times for 330 yards (3.7 yard average) and caught 20 passes for 137 yards in his NFL career.


Shaud Williams
Tom Pidgeon/Getty Images

While that's a far cry from a Hall-of-Fame resume, it's also 83 more carries, two more starts, 20 more receptions, and 435 more yards than the other two running backs on the Colts roster not named Joseph Addai -- Luke Lawton and Kenton Keith -- have combined.

As a result of this lack of depth and promise behind Addai -- the next best option after Lawton and Keith is practice squad running back DeCori Birmingham out of Arkansas -- Indianapolis took a look at Williams on Friday.

The diminutive 5-foot-7, 193-pound running back is not as powerful or explosive as the Maurice Jones-Drew and is not as shifty or as skilled in the passing/returning game as Darren Sproles or Garrett Wolfe (three other young stars that also stand at just over 5-and-a-half-feet tall).  However, he's more experienced and is a more accomplished pass blocker than any reserve currently on Indianapolis' roster.

While Williams has more starting experience than the rest of Addai's backups, it remains to be seen if he would be able to shoulder the load for an extended period of time.  He has the pass-blocking ability, receiving ability and slashing running style that the Colts prefer in a running back.  But he just may be too fragile to risk extended exposure to a violent game like NFL football although his injury history says otherwise up to this point.

He could certainly help. And he's definitely more skilled and experienced than what Indianapolis currently has on their roster.  But there are better players out there.

To learn more about Shaud, check out his website. ColtPower Insiders should watch for our full scouting report on Williams this week.

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