Tue Apr 21 04:07am EDT
To more than a few people out there, Dolphins running back Ronnie Brown was a legitimate MVP candidate last year. I never saw it that way, but the argument went something like, "He rushed for nearly a thousand yards, the 'wildcat' formation worked because of him, he breathed life into the Miami offense, and they wouldn't have had their resurgence without him."
Reasonable enough. But if the rumors reported by the National Football Post's Mike Lombardi are true, the Dolphins themselves didn't see it that way, and they see Brown as an expendable chap. From NFP:
For the right price, I hear (and I emphasize hear) the Dolphins might be interested in discussing a trade involving starting running back Ronnie Brown [...] when you look over the tape and Brown’s production, even though he almost had a 1,000-yard season, he only had three games over 100 yards. His longest run (62 yards) came from the wildcat formation against the Patriots, and his next long run was 30 yards. In nine of his 16 games he had fewer than 50 yards rushing, hardly a classic full-time back.
... Ronnie Brown is not perfect for the Dan Henning offense. Brown is more of a big nickel back who needs space and seams to make him most effective. The wildcat benefits him because, by the nature of the spread, there are seams, and he can use his speed to make plays. He’s not a yards-after-contact kind of back and he’s not the type who is better on his 18th carry than his first, a trait that all great backs must have — the ability to wear down a defense.
It is thought-provoking. You think about Bill Parcells and his history, and it does suggest that he'd prefer more of a ball-control, wear-you-down type of running back. Brown, for all the things he is, doesn't exactly fit that mold. So maybe there's something to these rumors.
But if the Fish do trade away Brown, are they also trading away their ability to run the wildcat? Is that something they'd be willing to give up? If Brown were to go, might that put Miami in the draft market for a fellow like Pat White?
It's all just more draft intrigue to stuff into your pipe and smoke before Saturday.
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