Washington Redskins quarterback Doug Williams' request not to play at Tampa Bay Saturday night drew criticism from Buccaneers linebacker Scot Brantley and an angry retort yesterday from Williams.

Brantley, who played at Tampa Bay with Williams for three seasons, told the St. Petersburg Times Williams was "still acting childish, I guess."

Brantley said, "I don't know why he wouldn't want to play. If you're given an opportunity to play, you should play. You can't ever put the past behind you. We've had to try to put a couple of bad years behind us."

"Scot Brantley's a {jerk}," Williams said after practice at Redskin Park. "He's a . . . redneck. He's got that redneck mentality. I'll tell him that Saturday night myself. That's not the first time he's made a statement like that."

Williams said he has "no friends" left on the Tampa Bay roster, with the exception of running back James Wilder.

But wide receiver Gerald Carter, who played sparingly on Tampa Bay's 1981 and 1982 teams with Williams, told the Times he understood why Williams did not want to play and why some Tampa Bay players were critical of his decision.

"Some people understand why he left, and some people think he sold out," Carter said. "I thought he did what was best for Doug Williams."

Williams, 32, said he appreciated Carter's comments. "That's Gerald. That's the kind of guy he is."

Williams, concerned about the way he will be treated by the media and fans in Tampa, asked Coach Joe Gibbs not to play him against his old team. Gibbs, who said this is the first time in his career a player has requested not to play in a game, said he won't play Williams unless it is absolutely necessary.

Williams played for the Buccaneers from 1978 to 1982, leading the team to the playoffs three times and to the NFC championship game in 1979. But he was never accepted by some fans because he is black, he has said, and even now is a controversial figure in Tampa. In 1983, Williams left the Buccaneers for the U.S. Football League after a bitter contract dispute.

Rookie offensive tackle Ed Simmons' injured left knee is still swollen. Gibbs said there still is "a chance" Simmons could play Saturday . . . Running backs George Rogers and Kelvin Bryant took their regular place in the offensive drills and are expected to play.