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Cadillac Williams bringing servant approach to coaching Raiders running backs room

Carnell "Cadillac" Williams is without a doubt one of the more prominent former players on the Raiders 2024 coaching staff.

A two-time All-SEC running back from Auburn, he was drafted by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers with the fifth overall pick in the 2005 NFL Draft. He was awarded AP NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year after rushing for six touchdowns and nearly 1,200 yards that season. He spent seven seasons in the league between the Buccaneers and St. Louis Rams, starting 58 games in his career.

"2005, we played against Cadillac when he was a rookie," said Antonio Pierce, the former New York Giants linebacker turned Raiders head coach. "Played him several times throughout his career. Interesting, when I was the head coach at [Long Beach] Poly, we did an NFLPA game together. We were on the same staff."

Like Pierce, Williams worked his way into coaching following his playing career, returning to his alma mater to be its running backs coach in 2019.

Another correlation that Williams has with the Raiders head coach is the pressure of being elevated from an assistant coach to interim head coach midseason. Williams went 2-2 at the helm of the Auburn Tigers in 2022 and remained on the staff for another season as the team's associate head coach.

Even in the short stint he lead the Tigers program, the experience gained was invaluable.

"Being in that that role made me realize the impact that you can have on men, that you could have on people," Williams said. "Whenever you are aligned and you're serving people and you're doing it for each other, you're being selfless. Guys will buy in, guys will follow and magic will happen. I think that's the biggest thing that I learned from me playing that role is to just care for people."

As Pierce was looking to fill the running backs coach role, he didn't think Williams was an available option. He assumed he was staying put at Auburn until he heard waves within his circle that Williams was exploring his options. Without hesitation, Pierce reached out.

"We spoke on the phone, and this was a no brainer for me," the head coach said. "He is a hard worker, he's a grinder, he's a gritty guy."

The feelings are mutual for Williams.

"One of the biggest strengths about him is he brings people together, he holds people accountable, he's approachable," Williams said of Pierce. "I just feel like as a coach, you're able to get the best out your players whenever you are approachable and you're understanding, but you're holding them to a standard, the Raider way. The way that we do things, guys will grow and develop."

Williams inherits a running back room under construction. With the departure of Josh Jacobs, the duo of Zamir White and Alexander Mattison are expected to become focal points of the ground game. The Silver and Black also have two viable pass catchers out the backfield in Ameer Abdullah and rookie Dylan Laube from New Hampshire.

The message across the running backs room: check your ego at the door and put in the work.

"Honestly, those guys just being intentional – I'm talking about from it starts in the meeting room, the classroom where they come in there with a purpose," Williams said. "They hold each other accountable. ... Just doing ordinary things and ordinary ways will take care of big plays.

"I always like to tell those guys that the good Lord has done his part and has blessed you all with the talent, now it's about you being detailed, being intentional with what you do and man, those guys are first class. Those guys show up each and every day and they are getting better."

Take a look at the best photos from the Las Vegas Raiders 2024 Media Day.

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