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Williams fit after long Sunday night

You could have excused Miami Dolphins running back Ricky Williams if he slept until 3 p.m. and came to work with a pronounced limp after he carried 42 times for 153 yards and a touchdown Sunday night against the Buffalo Bills.

But the first words out of his mouth Monday, as walked purposefully into the Dolphins’ locker room, were, “I feel fine.”

He said he was hardly sore and had slept only three hours after the game.

Then, he came into the Miami training facility and ran two miles on an underwater treadmill.

Asked if he felt any pain at all, he said (with apparent sincerity), “I don’t know what it’s supposed to feel like.”

Williams has 76 carries in the past two games, tying an NFL record held exclusively by Earl Campbell since 1981.

He also set a team record for carries in a game. The previous mark was 40, set by Lamar Smith in a playoff game against the Indianapolis Colts in 2000.

“Lamar couldn’t walk after that game,” fullback Rob Konrad said

“I’m still young, so I can handle it,” said Williams, 26.

The Dolphins are off today. Maybe Williams will run a marathon.

BY THE NUMBERS

Here’s a statistic that will put Williams’ effort in perspective:

The New York Jets have rushed for 143 yards on 114 carries in three games, all losses.

Jets coach Herman Edwards insisted that the Jets must run and not become discouraged.

“You can’t get discouraged when all of a sudden they blow you up.”

BY THE NUMBERS II

The Jets meet their former coach Bill Parcells at Giants Stadium today. Get this: There are 13 Jets starters who played for Parcells when he was coach of the Jets from 1997-1999.

VINNY ON THE ROPES?

Keep an eye on this: Edwards denied two published reports that said rookie sixth-round pick Brooks Bollinger will replace quarterback Vinny Testaverde if the Jets fall to 0-4 or 0-5.

NO FREE PASS

Jets owner Woody Johnson was asked if the Jets can be excused for its losing streak, with quarterback Chad Pennington out for the next 6 to 8 weeks with a broken hand.

“Are you kidding me?” Johnson said. “No excuses. We will win with whatever we have, whatever the team is. We can win. Absolutely. No question. If you look at the talent on this team it’s equal to or better than anything out there.”

Since 1970, five teams have recovered from 0-3 starts to make the playoffs.

NOT FOR THE SQUEAMISH

When Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Mark Brunell fell to the artificial turf in Indianapolis last week, he injured his elbow in a most grotesque manner.

The tip of the elbow came through the skin.

FAVRE CLIMBING

If quarterback Brett Favre can lead the Green Bay Packers to victory against Kordell Stewart and the Chicago Bears on Monday night, Favre will tie Joe Montana for fourth-most victories by a starting quarterback since 1960 (117).

Favre also is approaching Dan Fouts in career passing yardage (42,910 to 43,040). Fouts is in fifth place.

TRUTH COMES OUT

Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Chad Johnson wasn’t late arriving at the team hotel the night before the Steelers game last week. But he admitted that he opened his mouth and said the wrong thing, and that’s what got him benched for the first series.

“It’s my mouth that’s always gotten me in trouble,” Johnson said. “It was so small. But the point of (coach Marvin Lewis’) thing is being disciplined, letting me know he doesn’t care how small it is. It was like some kindergarten stuff, but he’s not having it. That’s being the general that he is. He’s not playing games, man.”

SETTING PRIORITIES

Seattle Seahawks running back Shaun Alexander missed the first quarter of the victory against the St. Louis Rams last week because his wife, Valerie, gave birth to a daughter, Heaven, 23 minutes before kickoff.

Seattle Seahawks running back Shaun Alexander missed the first quarter of the victory against the St. Louis Rams last week because his wife, Valerie, gave birth to a daughter, Heaven, 23 minutes before kickoff.

There had been some concern that Alexander would miss the whole game, but the delivery came quickly and without complication.

“I’m not a guy to get nervous about things,” Alexander said. “Coach (Mike) Holmgren said that ‘We’ll win the game when you get here,’ and that was the attitude everyone had. It made everything go smooth.”

His wife began having contractions about 5. a.m., but Alexander went to the stadium. By 10 a.m., he knew the baby didn’t want to miss kickoff.

Fullback Heath Evans drove Alexander to the hospital, where the doctor who had delivered quarterback Matt Hasselbeck’s two children was ready to assist Valerie.

Alexander knew he had the right man, saying, “The doctor played at Nebraska and understands the importance of getting to a football game.”

Alexander said he pulled his daughter into the world himself and cut the umbilical cord.

“It was my first catch of the day,” he said.

After the birth, Alexander followed a police escort to Seahawks Stadium.

“To me, he should be at the hospital,” Holmgren said. “Now, did I want the little rascal to come quickly so he can get back• Yes I did.”

A GOOD SIGN

The Denver Broncos are just the fourth team since 1970 to start the season with three consecutive victories by 20 points or more. Two of the other three teams to do so — the 1980 Philadelphia Eagles and 1996 Green Bay Packers — reached the Super Bowl. The team that failed was the 2001 Packers.

QUOTABLE

Bengals wide receiver Chad Johnson was asked if the Cleveland Browns defensive backs will be able to stop him today. “Of course not,” Johnson said. “They’d need God out there to stop me.”


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