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Brown about to get on a roll as he did in '07?

It is uncanny how this season is starting to mirror last season for Ronnie Brown.

Last year Brown entered the season with questions hovering about him. Was he overweight? Did he want it? Could he be the dominant player he's supposed to be based on being the No. 2 overall selection of the 2005 draft?

This year Brown entered the season with questions hovering about him. Was his knee healthy? Why couldn't he beat out Ricky Williams? Could he be the dominant player he's supposed to be based on being the No. 2 overall selection in the 2005 draft?

Brown started slow the first two games last year, averaging about 3 yards per carry in limited work. Brown started slow the first two games this year, averaging about 3 yards per carry in limited work.

Brown busted out in the third game of the 2007 season. Brown busted out in the third game of the 2008 season.

And Brown used that third game to go on a string of four consecutive games in which he passed the 100-yard rushing mark and was clearly Miami's most consistent offensive weapon. The hope is Brown can use Sunday's stomping of New England to roll out a string of good outings in which he can lead the Dolphins to some success.

Does Brown think that can happen?

"I hope so," he said. "Coming into the season I felt pretty good physically and each week I continue to feel better like I’ve been saying over the past few weeks.  It’s nothing different, just having a bit more success on the offensive side of the ball and that’s not based on my performance solely. We did a great job on offense and we did a lot of things coming into this week as far as practice-wise.”

If Brown can use Sunday's game as a launching pad for good things, the Dolphins offense promises to be more consistent than it was the first two games of the year. But it won't be easy. With San Diego, Baltimore, and Buffalo on the schedule three of the next four games, Brown will face traditionally good run defenses.

The Ravens have the No. 5 run defense this year. San Diego is No. 18 and Buffalo is No. 12. Houston, meanwhile, is No. 27.

We'll see where it goes. But if this year is indeed something of a mirror image of last year for the Dolphins running back, the next few weeks bode well.

Discuss...

[Update: Brown is one of three players nominated for the FedEx Ground NFL Player of the week honors. Fans can vote for him at NFL.com. Get clicking.]

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Brown as well as Ricky will need the o-line to play just as well as they did this sunday. The first two games they could not keep anybody out of the backfield. Sunday they played really well. The two RB's have basically implied that the first two games were the o-line's fault. Just like most teams we will go as far as our line can take us.

Ronnie has the potential to be better this year. I believe we are a better team with a better O-line. I love the one-two punch of him and Ricky. They mentioned hammering with Ricky and running away with Ronnie. We'll see in a few weeks how real this team is when we face San Diego.

I think the fact that they were able to throw the ball opened up some running lanes against the Pats. I think it's important to continue the success Pennington and the WR had Sunday against SD to have any chance of winning that one.

For a running back to come back from a knee injury and be that effective so soon is remarkable. Normally it takes 2 years for a RB to be completely healed and confidant again. I hope he can continue like this for the rest of the season.

Run Ricky Run. Run Ronnie Run. Da do run, run. Da do run run.

Ok the offense was great, but why are we not giving credit to our defense?? On John Madden when you hold the Pats under 21pts at home you get hella bonus points!! Our passing defense was ranked dead last going into this one and they did an excellent job against WW, and RM. they should get just as much credit as RB.

Obviously, last year RB's knee hadn't been surgically repaired and the OL had a little more experience working together as unit. Other than those 2 things --Many OTHER things are in RB's favor vs. last year:

1. Except for 5 minutes in 16 games, Ricky wasn't available last year as a true compliment to be on the field at the same time -- which is a nightmare for defenses.

2. This OL has more TALENT this year (and Ike played really well @ LG yesterday BTW)...they just need more time together. Satele has hit a wall in terms of improvement, IMO. My guess he graded out the worst yesterday. Fasano is on his way to the Pro-Bowl if he keeps it up and stays healthy (smart player, catches everything, great blocker -- zone and one on one).

3. Despite the melodramatic reactions of some after the 1st 2 games, the coaching is CONSIDERABLY better in terms of off-season, game day preparation and motivation and maybe in terms of play-calling...need more evidence on the latter. Obviously, using the 'Wildcat' was a very brave and smart move. 'The OL coaching is clearly better. [OT Note: I think the DEF. players buy into Pasqualoni's system as well -- getting Hill in for Crocker was a big help. Starting Crocker at ALL was a mistake.]

4. QB play is WAY better. Pennington is the the best overall QB this team has had easily since Fiedler in his best year and he's probably the best since Marino. Trent Green while a smart guy and good leader made rookie mistakes last year.

Correction to above: Ike played really well @ RG. Justin Smiley played Faneca like @ LG yesterday.

Obviously, last year RB's knee hadn't been surgically repaired and the OL had a little more experience working together as unit. Other than those 2 things --Many OTHER things are in RB's favor vs. last year:

1. Except for 5 minutes in 16 games, Ricky wasn't available last year as a true compliment to be on the field at the same time -- which is a nightmare for defenses.

2. This OL has more TALENT this year (and Ike played really well @ LG yesterday BTW)...they just need more time together. Satele has hit a wall in terms of improvement, IMO. My guess he graded out the worst yesterday. Fasano is on his way to the Pro-Bowl if he keeps it up and stays healthy (smart player, catches everything, great blocker -- zone and one on one).

3. Despite the melodramatic reactions of some after the 1st 2 games, the coaching is CONSIDERABLY better in terms of off-season, game day preparation and motivation and maybe in terms of play-calling...need more evidence on the latter. Obviously, using the 'Wildcat' was a very brave and smart move. 'The OL coaching is clearly better. [OT Note: I think the DEF. players buy into Pasqualoni's system as well -- getting Hill in for Crocker was a big help. Starting Crocker at ALL was a mistake.]

4. QB play is WAY better. Pennington is the the best overall QB this team has had easily since Fiedler in his best year and he's probably the best since Marino. Trent Green while a smart guy and good leader made rookie mistakes last year.

Late breaking news from my kitchen,Rams coach Scott Linehan benched Marc Bulger on Tuesday and has given the starting job to Trent Green.

Bulger is only 19 games into a six-year, $65.1 million contract signed in the summer of 2007.
Hooo daddy dat boys got got some bling - send him ova to my kitchen for some hearty Campbell's Chunky Soup. Mrs. McNabb knows best. Just ask my boy Donovan.

Yes, he can. if only:

1. We do not fall behind in the first half and we are compelled to through.

2. If we can throw teams out of 8 and 9 man fronts.

If we can, Ronnie can. If we can't, not at chance it will happen.

Mrs. McNabb I'm hungry too! Can I come over and have some soup and tease Linehan at the dinner table? Maybe you should invite Matt Millen too! I think he may need two bowls!

I would say that last year, Ronnie was looking at a lot of 8 man fronts. He just ran through them like a wrecking ball. The other thing he's got going for him is his youth. He's going to heal and recover quicker from surgery than older backs, so we might see him back to his old self sooner than later.

all that's missing from Ronnies game is his patient vision to turn those tough yards into big gains. He hasn't attacked the gaps yet. All it took was the new england game to unknowingly push his knee to the limit making it now aware to him that he can trust it. I believe that after a week off, Ronnie will explode through the smallest seems, putting up huge numbers because his mind WAS the only thing preventing his re-emerging explosiveness! Don't forget, last year(2007), before his injury, Ronnie was just getting started, leading the league, game after game he became more and more exciting to watch! quick, Powerfull, elusive! He was just scratching the surface as he was becoming unstopable! Time after time, i can remember first and ten becoming second and two, third and four was nothing to be alarmed about. yes, Ronnies here and it's about to get a lot better really fast!
p.s. a Tom Brady thought, though it's exciting to think the afc east is wide open once again, i would not like to see the likes of Chad Henne to suffer the same type of season ending injury(especially after a decade of waiting). If the league is so committed to protecting this position, why not make the value of the penalty reflect the value of this position!(like a huge penalty, were talking 50 yards). Not only would this say "the league will not tolerate diliberate hits to it's most defenseless and valuable position", but it almost certainly would protect these players and the money and time invested in them. And at the very least it may make a game or too very entertaing! GO FINS!!!!

San Diego proved last night that their D is not all that good, so Ronnie and the rest of the O will/should have success. But can the Dolphins D stop LT and Rivers? I doubt it, unless the secondary really steps it up and they "throw the kitchen sink" at Rivers from all directions.

SD seems to be an up and down team. If they have a down week and the Fins play well again they have a shot. Since I am a Fin fan, here is my prediction: 41-37 Fins. A high scoring affair, which is the only way the Fins will win IMO, they will not be able to stop SD, only out score them.

Let's not get too excited here. Without the "Wildcat" formation the Phins don't break 100 yards rushing versus Pats. How can things be so bad one week and so good the next??? It's the NFL thats why.

These Cow-phins in charge of the team finally realized they don't have Romo, Barber and Jones. They got Pennington, Brown and Williams. They finally figured out how best to use them. It's kinda weird seeing that Nebraska-like offense, but anything that'll put points on the board. While I'm still not sold, it was just 1 game, Tom Brady don't play defense, that was still the SAME New England defense, and it was pretty damn cool to see them get ran over.

I remember watching a fuzzy headed QB Don Shula drafted and being awed by his lightening quick release and his rocket arm but couldn’t help wondering how he would fit into the Miami three yards and a cloud of dust offense. What I forgot about was how great a coach Don Shula was. Most coaches today are what I like to call system coaches. They build a rigid system and bring in players who match that system. A player may be great, but if he doesn’t match the system he looks for all intents and purposes like a bum. Now a great coach will take the talent on his roster and find ways to get the most out of it as Shula did by changing his whole approach because of the great talent he had in Dan Marino.

What exactly did Tony Sparano do with the Wildcat? He found a way to get his most talented players on the field and put them in a position to successful. This is the sign of a great coach. Bill Walsh was no genius. He had some great players like Jerry Rice who practically invented the term Yards After Catch (YAC). He saw a way to get the ball into the hands of his most talented weapons and so the West Coast Offense was born.

My hat goes off to Tony Sparano for his courage and his foresight. By finding a way to get his best players on the field he displayed some of the characteristics that define great coaches. We may never see the Wildcat again but you can damn well guarantee every team we play will be game planning for it. For all we know we could be seeing the next evolution in pro football... So to all of those folks who wish to downplay the significance of that game plan and the execution of it I say buzz off.

When the players on a team dump Gatorade on a first year coach who just worked them harder than they had been worked since two-a-days it shows something we have not seen here in a long time. It’s called character, respect and most of all chemistry.

So Armando, can Ronnie be successful again, you’re damn right he can because we now have a coach who will put him in a position to be successful. Will the Dolphins be great this year, I doubt it, but they will be competitive from here on out. Given a year or two they are going to be back because Sparano knows how to use the talent he has instead of forcing a system that doesn’t match the talent.

Uh, Turd? only about 97 yards rushing came out of the Wildfin set. the rest of our yards came out of "normal" sets. We ran for over 200 yards, btw. by my math, that is over 100 without the Wildfin set. TBH IMO we could have won without the formation. I know we scored four times from it, but three of those four times were in the red zone. We had to get into the red zone SOMEHOW. Do I think we will win more than the 6-9 wins I predicted before the beginning of the season? NO. Do I see the Wildfin as a viable change of pace? Hellzyeah! Do I see it becoming the next big evolution in offensive schemes? No. The only way a team builds around the formation is with a QB like Slash, or Vick. I can see Tebow running it, but we have Henne. If a team tries it, it won't be us. I can see us using the formation for as much as a third of our snaps, or not at all. The mere existence of the formation will give D coordinators fits.

As for the D? Lets not get too high on the secondary. Half way through the game, Moss quit. Straight up. He stopped trying, and caring. I saw Jaybar avoiding a hit, first by not turning around for a short pass when he was supposed to, then by ducking out of the way when he saw the ball was there. Welker worked consistently, but he is an underneath threat, that can get serious YAC when given space. With the other receivers mailing it in, he didn't get that much space. We will have a harder test of the D against the Chargers.

Jake Long: Rookie of the Year

I believe this team found their identity. They need to throw in order to set up the run. Once the establish the air game down the middle of the field the run game will open up.

The other team's quarterback must go down and he must go down hard!

Patrick, you should get free season tickets for that one. Make it happen Mando.

That is exactly how I feel. This is a players coach and a winning coach. You can't win if the d is on the feild for 70% of the game.

As far as the success in running when they weren't in the wild cat, I think that the Pats were totally off balance. They didn't know what was coming because Bellicheat was told that it would be something else.

This is just the beginning of good things to come for the R & R show. I don't think we will be seeing anymore of the " Wildcat" formation this season though. Teams will be now looking for it now on game films but it was a good game scheme incorporated by Henning knowing that it was against a disciplined but aging defense once in gets past their defensive line, their linebackers can be & did get exploited. Ronnie is coming along sooner than expected & Ricky is going to hit his stride as time goes on. People better not take the Fins for granted this year because when you sleep on the fish, you sleep with the fish!!!!

1 AND 1 THING ONLY CAN HOLD HIM BACK

INJURIES INJURIES INJURIES.
AND THATS IT

1 THING AND 1 THING ONLY CAN HOLD HIM BACK!

INLURIES INJURIES INJURIES.

Armando touched on it in his Sunday post. Then I veiwed it in all the S. Florida on line web newspapers. (I'm from Orlando)The smiles, Parcells gave permission for players to smile and enjoy the game (just joking). I've been Dolfan,SteFin since Shula came down with the colts horseshoe. There was something about that win that's special. The vegas boys are going to make the chargers favorites. You think they are going to feel like favorites, now they can put points up avg 37 a game. Don't you feel like we'll compete against them, and keep the ball out of there hands. Go Fins

For once a blog where nobody is arguing with one another. Hey I like the tandem of Carrey along side Jake Long out of the wildcat. Now do you understand why we didnt draft Mcfadden. If we start seeing Ginn we might be on to something. This team is one good draft away from being a contender. The coaching staff is making the team believe in thier system. Yes if healthy Ronnie will run for a thousand yards. Ricky will keep him from wearing out.

Hey Ry I agree with you im not sold yet but if we beat Denver and Buffalo we have a pulse. Denver is the best playing team in the AFC right now offensively thanks to Eddie Royal. Why we didnt go after him i dont know

To Patrick:

What a great post regarding Shula and Sparano's similar quality of making a system match the talent. That's what made Shoe's so good- a)The wrecking ball teams of the early 70's, b)Wood-strock of the late 70's/early 80's, and c) The Marino Blitzkrieg of the 80's/90's.

Maybe it will take a man as strong as Parcells (and I'm no Parcells fan, but I respect what he has done) to erase the stink of the Johnson era and all the misery it has gotten us.

I remember all the media walking around after JJ was hired and them standing in awe as he tore down Shula's legacy and stated that "Good is the enemy of Great".

What I wouldn't give for a little good these last few god-forsaken years.

Corona, we didn't go after Royal because of the formula the trifecta wanted to use in drafting this year. Inside out. How many smallish, quick wr's do we need, anyway?lol.

Hey- Chris Chambers is coming to town??

Who covered him best in practice last year?

We cut him.


Lol, just kidding, I don't know.

Ronnie got the scores, but Ricky was just as impressive. As the O line starts to gell and the passing game gets on track, the running lanes will open up.

One of the things that was different this weekend was the absence of little mistakes which have seemed to slip in at inopportune moments over the past years: The holding call, the delay call, the PI call, always at the worst possible time. We played with confidence and it got contagious on both sides of the ball.

If everyone executes at their position, there is no reason that the Dolphins cant make the playoffs.

All, Think through the first two games the defenses were keying in on Ricky. Seemed like everytime he got the ball five defenders were jumping him with brass knuckles and baseball bats. Saw a bunch of fakes to Ricky in this game both with play-action and off that wildcat formation. In fact think they got 3 scores off of fakes to Ricky. Coaching staff did a great job of scheming for this. If Ricky and Ronnie stay healthy its going to be fun watching those two run rough-shod over everybody.

klndry & Matt in NC, thanks for the kind words... Season tickets would be great, except the drive from Tampa would be a bitch! I had the same thoughts as many posters that the Wildcat was a flash in the pan, but thinking more about it makes me believe there a couple reasons for this type of offense to arise.

1) 3 – 4 defenses... Since the rise of the west coast type offense we have seen a rise in the number of teams running the 3 – 4 which is a direct response to the WCO. The WCO employs more receivers and to combat that you need to have more linebackers and secondary with less down linemen. The 3 – 4 also allows for different attack angles with LBs being able to rush or drop back into coverage. All of these are responses to the pass happy offenses. Most people view the spread as a passing offense but it is really a running offense that can pass.

2) More and more we see the spread offense in the college game. The spread is a variation of the wildcat. The reason this is important is because the QBs coming up in college are not running pro sets, they are running the spread. A guy like Tim Tebow might never be great the pro set, but in the spread? The pro game may be forced to change toward the spread if teams want to take advantage of the awesome talents coming out of college at the QB position.

I doubt we would draft a guy like Tebow with Henne in the fold so as someone pointed out, we probably won’t be the team that takes the spread to the NFL level, but I can see it coming.

klndry & Matt in NC, thanks for the kind words... Season tickets would be great, except the drive from Tampa would be painful! I had the same thoughts as many posters that the Wildcat was a flash in the pan, but thinking more about it makes me believe there a couple reasons for this type of offense to arise.

1) 3 – 4 defenses... Since the rise of the west coast type offense we have seen a rise in the number of teams running the 3 – 4 which is a direct response to the WCO. The WCO employs more receivers and to combat that you need to have more linebackers and secondary with less down linemen. The 3 – 4 also allows for different attack angles with LBs being able to rush or drop back into coverage. All of these are responses to the pass happy offenses. Most people view the spread as a passing offense but it is really a running offense that can pass.

2) More and more we see the spread offense in the college game. The spread is a variation of the wildcat. The reason this is important is because the QBs coming up in college are not running pro sets, they are running the spread. A guy like Tim Tebow might never be great the pro set, but in the spread? The pro game may be forced to change toward the spread if teams want to take advantage of the awesome talents coming out of college at the QB position.

I doubt we would draft a guy like Tebow with Henne in the fold so as someone pointed out, we probably won’t be the team that takes the spread to the NFL level, but I can see it coming.

Excellent posts Patrick. You said it all.

Nobody who knows football ever questioned Brown and his abilities. I love it, one week your bashing him saying he wasn't worth his lofty draft status, the next week you are kissing his butt. Armando, you are an idiot.

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