Williams attends first workout with Toronto Argonauts


MISSISSAUGA, Ontario (AP) – Ricky Williams is hard at work in the CFL.

Clad in shoulder pads, shorts and a blue practice jersey with his new No. 27, the suspended Miami Dolphins running back appeared to be in great shape Monday during his first practice with the Toronto Argonauts.

Williams was suspended by the NFL for the entire 2006 season following a fourth positive drug test. But the Dolphins gave him permission to play this year in the CFL, and he signed with Toronto on Sunday.

“I made it. I survived, so I guess I’m OK,” Williams said. “From my perspective, it’s the same practice that I’ve had since I was a kid. It’s football practice.

“As far as talent … the talent here is comparable to the NFL, it’s just consistency. From what I saw out there, these guys can run, these guys can hit, these guys know what they’re doing. Football is football. There are a couple of differences in the game but for the most part it’s just terminology.”

The 5-foot-10, 220-pound Williams rushed for 743 yards (4.4 yards per carry) in 12 games for Miami last year after missing the first four games following his third positive drug test. Williams, who turned 29 recently, has surpassed 1,000 rushing yards four times in the NFL, including a league-high 1,852 yards in 2002 with Miami.

“He looked good,” Argos quarterback Damon Allen said. “Today was his first day and he was able to pick up a lot of things. I found you didn’t have to tell him stuff, which shows he’s football smart.”

Williams showed good hands Monday, catching all five swing passes thrown his way.

“It’s a part of my game that I haven’t been able to do a lot in the NFL,” Williams said. “But I’m excited. I think it will make me a better all-around player, definitely.”

Allen agrees.

“Ricky can catch the football,” Allen said. “He has the ability to move his body and adapt and catch the ball. I think it will give another dimension to his game because everyone thinks he’s just a running back.”

AP-ES-05-29-06 1753EDT