- The Washington Times - Saturday, December 1, 2001

OWINGS MILLS, Md. Say the name Moe Williams and most people think of three-time New York Jets Pro Bowl middle linebacker Mo Lewis.
There actually is a Moe Williams. He's a veteran of six seasons of special teams duty and now the Baltimore Ravens' primary running threat.
Opportunity seldom knocks very often, and Williams knows tomorrow's game against the reeling Indianapolis Colts very well could be his last chance to show the world he can be a viable NFL running back.
"I'm not that egotistical I've been in the league for six years doing what I've been doing, and that's playing special teams," Williams said. "A lot of people can't make that distinction, and they are no longer in the NFL. It's just about being smart and taking care of business."
Williams, who will make just his second career start, is coming off a season-high 31 yards on nine carries last week against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Williams, 27, was forced into action this week after Jason Brookins broke his foot late in the fourth quarter of Sunday's 24-21 come-from-behind victory over the Jaguars, and starter Terry Allen is out at least another two weeks with a broken right hand.
The Ravens signed Williams on Sept. 4 as a free-agent insurance policy for Allen, probably because Williams had played three seasons (1996-98) with Minnesota when Ravens coach Brian Billick was the Vikings' offensive coordinator.
"With Brian, what you see is what you get," Williams said. "One reason why I chose to come here [is that] Brian doesn't try to sugarcoat anything, he gives it to you straight, and I respected that."
According to Williams, Billick told him Allen was the No. 1 guy, Brookins was a player the team was high on, and that if Williams signed with the Ravens, he would be used in emergency situations. For the season, Williams has 52 yards on 19 carries, with a longest run of 12 yards.
Despite his limited chances, Williams has gained the support of key Ravens veterans. The sixth-year man out of Kentucky has shown a hard-running style and is an excellent receiver out of the backfield. That's good news to maligned quarterback Elvis Grbac. Grbac, who has thrown five interceptions in his last two games, now has a safety valve popping out of the backfield. Williams has 10 receptions for 133 yards this season.
"It's a change of what we've had with Jason being such a big guy [6-foot, 235 pounds] now Moe comes in here and he's got some speed and some ability to catch out of the backfield," Grbac said. "He's a guy coming out of the backfield that we can use. He's got great hands, he's got great vision, the thing is that he goes north-south when he catches the ball and that's good to see out of a back."
The Vikings drafted Williams in the third round (75th overall) in 1996. On the first play of his first start against the Chicago Bears on Dec. 6, 1998, Williams caught a screen pass from Randall Cunningham and turned it into a 64-yard gain. However, Williams hurt his foot on the play and has not started since.
With the Ravens' bye week coming up next Sunday and Allen expected to return against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Dec. 16, this may be the only chance to the 6-1, 210-pound Williams gets to shine.
"This is my opportunity this is the reason why I practice every day and the reason why I try to keep my head on for a situation like this," Williams said.
Notes
The Ravens signed defensive end Marques Douglas off the New Orleans Saints' practice squad. Douglas, a Howard graduate, spent 1999 on the Ravens' practice squad. To make room for Douglas, the Ravens placed defensive end Michael McCrary (knee) on injured reserve. …
The NFL has given the Ravens permission to sell tickets to possible playoff games at PSINet Stadium. The NFL sets prices for all postseason games, and Ravens playoff tickets will be increased by $25 or $35, depending on location. … Before Sunday's game, the Ravens will salute tight end Shannon Sharpe for breaking NFL career records for tight ends in receptions and yards.

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