When running back Ricky Williams announced his retirement Tuesday, it came just eight days after he had told the Baltimore Ravens' official website that he was ready to play again next season. In an interview on 560 WQAM in Miami, Williams said former coach Bill Parcells had a lot to do with his sudden reversal.
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Williams said that when he told Parcells recently, via text message "how excited I was about football and about the way the season ended, and how much I was looking forward to coming back," Parcells' answer "kind of shook me a little bit.
"He said, 'Don't chase this thing too long. You can contribute in other ways.' "
Williams said the response made him think about his motivations for continuing to play.
"Is it because I love it and I can't see myself doing anything else?" he said. "Is it because it's what everyone else expects me to be doing, or what? And so I made a list of the people or the reasons that I was playing the game, and my name wasn't on that list."
Asked if Parcells was the key to helping him determine that he wanted to retire, Williams said, "Yes, I think that's fair to say, yes.
"And I said it was shocking, because, you know, when I sent that text to him, I expected him to say, like, 'Go for it.' And then I was like, okay, wait a minute, I've got to think about this. And I feel good about it."
Parcells was in the Dolphins' front office from 2007 to 2010, and his relationship with Williams played an important role in the running back's time in Miami. In 2008, Parcells and Williams negotiated a contract verbally and without the help of an agent.
Williams was aked if "there's any chance" he'll come back.
"The easy answer is, 'I've moved on.' But one thing I've learned about myself is, who the hell knows, right?" Williams said before confirming that he's submitted his retirement papers.