Flagstaff, Ariz. -- It seems as though with every carry Ryan Williams gets, the closer and closer he looks to being the player the Cardinals were so excited about this time one year ago.
Williams, who missed all of last season after rupturing the patellar tendon in his right knee, has found a way to impress nearly every chance he's gotten this offseason.
The latest step was Saturday, as Williams broke off a pair of the longest plays of the day, one of which was a 44- yard scamper that was easily the highlight of the day for the offense.
"That's what I'm supposed to do," Williams said after the team's annual Red and White scrimmage. "But you've got to give kudos to everybody that blocked."
Williams may want to give the credit to the guys up front, but the strong moves, sharp cuts and vision have all been on display in Flagstaff, and have to have coaches, players and fans excited about what kind of season the 22-year-old could have in 2012.
Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt, though, remains a bit cautious.
"It's a process with him," he said. "I know we're going to have some days where he's a little bit sore, but it was great to see him out here [Saturday], it was nice to see him take that long run, it was nice to see him have to go inside and hit it up in there and make some cuts.
"Whenever a guy works as hard as Ryan has, you have a special place in your heart that you want to see him do well. I selfishly want him to do well because he's a good football player -- at least, that's what we think based on what we saw -- but it's great for him to get out here and do this."
Unofficially Williams picked up 61 yards on eight carries, with 44 of them coming the one run.
And while the running back admitted he's not quite his old self yet, being hit some Saturday and slipping around on the moist grass without incident makes him believe he'll get there soon enough.
"I wouldn't necessarily say I'm back, but I've still got the whole month of August left and I'm getting close to it," he said.