think for one minute that Nick Saban and his offensive coaches haven’t conjured
up visions of one Ricky Williams as they prepare for this week’s lockdown with
the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Ronnie Brown down with a broken hand for who knows how long, can you blame them
not that Sammy Morris and Travis Minor are chopped liver…both men have proven
they can tote the rock some…but M&M isn’t R&R.
the Dolphins, this is where the bill comes due for the year long suspension
Williams got for his fourth violation of the league’s drug policy. This is
where the luxury of having a considerable talent like Williams on your roster pays
last season? It was Ricky down the stretch when Brown was down, making plays
and making a difference in a surprising 9-7 finish.
it wasn’t all Ricky but they wouldn’t have been 9-7 without him.
Williams, there was no chance of a drop off in offensive production or special teams production. Now, the promotion
of Morris to offensive starter means a lesser talent (likely practice player
Patrick Cobbs) must be moved up to cover the hole.
is no small matter when you realize that Morris is one of the best special
teamers the Dolphins have.
year, to the Dolphins’ lament, they won’t have the luxury of Ricky to the
surprisingly, some have criticized Saban for not acquiring a proven talent to
back Brown up in the event of this circumstance, knowing all along that they would
be without Ricky’s services for the season.
it’s easier said than done.
off, no proven back would have signed with the Dolphins knowing that Brown was
the starter and that Williams would
be getting his job back in 2007.
the Dolphins would have been foolish to extend a multi-year contract offer to
such a candidate, which is what it would have taken to acquire someone better
than either Morris or Minor. Even worse, the Dolphins would have likely had to overpay
(read: guaranteed money) to try and overcome the concerns on job security
vis-à-vis the above paragraph.
the Dolphins may not have been able to re-sign Morris without giving him a
broader opportunity on offense. Every team needs guys like Sammy Morris, harder
to find than one might imagine.
I know. Football is a here and now matter, which suggests that Saban’s approach
might have been too long term. It sure is fair to wonder whether Morris can
indeed step up adequately in Brown’s absence. Then again, it isn’t in Saban’s
nature to give a guy a chance if he doesn’t believe he has it in him to get the
is by farMiami’s best offensive player. The gap
between him and Morris is wider than at any other position on offense. And
while it was encouraging to see Sammy look like Mercury in racking up 91 yards
on 12 carries versus the woeful Detroit Lions, for him such outbursts have been
the exception rather than the norm.
is one thing to rely on Morris for a game or two. It is quite another to rely
on him in a situation where you must win every remaining game to have a
realistic shot at the playoffs.
cut the bull right here and now. Brown’s injury is not a one week deal. It is
perhaps a three to four week deal, with a questionable chance of returning at
all in 2006, even in a soft cast.
a player of Brown’s caliber for any stretch of time is a blow to the team’s
chances to win out.
is very little a running back can do without using his hands, from taking a
handoff and securing the ball, to fending off tackles and blocking.
you trust a running back with a broken second metacarpal bone (that’s the bone at
the base of the index finger) to carry and
properly secure the football?
wouldn’t. Neither would opposing defenses.
what can the Dolphins do besides count on Morris to get the job done?
they might decide to pass the ball more. With Joey Harrington showing more and
more comfort and production, the Dolphins could look to utilize short passes to
Morris and Minor in an effort to get them running in space. Minor is especially
good in those situations.
would, in turn, compensate and dare the Dolphins to beat them running the ball.
M&M get the job done?
in mind that this is not the first time we’ve seen the M&M show. Remember
2004? That edition of M&M was altogether unimpressive, though there were
many other factors, including a bad offensive line, which contributed to that
Dolphins believe that Morris and Minor are in position to do better this time.
M&M delivers, the “what ifs” regarding Ricky will go away.
not, it will be the Dolphins’ playoff chances that will go away.