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Miami Dolphins run game must be all-in

Pretty soon -- like next week -- the NFL season will bleed into December and teams that can run the football effectively and consistently will have an added advantage as they head for the NFL season's finish line.

It is no coincidence that the NFL's top five teams in rushing yards per game -- the Giants, Atlanta, Washington, Baltimore and Tennessee -- have had good seasons so far. It is not a stretch to think they will continue to have good seasons because they seem built for offensive success running the ball even when the weather turns uninviting.

But this being a Dolphins blog, we're not going to study the Giants or Ravens or Titans now. We should consider the Dolphins running game.

Before this season began and we didn't know anything about the Dolphins (some of you might argue I still know nothing about the Dolphins) we all accepted the idea the offense should have a fairly effective running game. After all, the Dolphins have a former Heisman Trophy winner backing up a former No. 2 overall pick in the draft at the running back spot.

We all expected Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams to be the team's best players. We all expected some success running the ball, especially with first overall pick Jake Long plowing the way from his left tackle position. Time for that expectation to pay more dividends, don't you agree?

The Dolphins are not a terrible running team. But neither are they a stellar running team if you look at their raw production numbers.

They average 112 yards per game running the ball which is 15th in the NFL. They have gained 1,241 rushing yards which is 17th in the NFL.

So Miami's run-production is middle of the pack. But if the Dolphins are to make a legitimate push for the playoffs this winter, when winds get stiff and the strength behind Miami's passing game would tested in outdoor venues such as Kansas City and New Jersey, the Dolphins definitely could help themselves by running the football better.

And this week this week could be a wonderful springboard.

The Rams are among the NFL's worst run defenses. They allow almost 163 rushing yards per game which is ranked 30th in the NFL. They've yielded 20 rushing touchdowns this year which is 31st in the NFL. Six running backs have had 100-yard days against them. They are allowing their opponents a 4.9 yard per carry average which is also 30th in the NFL.

In other words if the Dolphins don't run successfully against St. Louis on Sunday, something is amiss. Coach Tony Sparano knows what awaits the Dolphins down the road in the cold climes against New York. So does he think it important Miami get its running shoes laced right starting immediately?

You bet.

“Yeah, it’s going to be really critical," he said. "There’s no question about it. We have goals to where we want to be and how we want to be playing going through the next four or five weeks here. We know that we’ve got a lucky draw here in the next couple weeks just in that you’re inside and indoors and of course, the next week we’d be home in that third week, then in the last two week, you don’t know what you’re going to get out there.

"I grew up in the northeast, so I know what we’re going to get down there in the last ballgame of the season. You’ve got to be able to run the ball. We need to be able to establish that. Ronnie, Ricky, these guys are going to be really important down the stretch for us. Now that being said, those are good people to be hanging your hat on down the stretch. What we do have to do, though, is we’ve got to create some consistency over the next couple weeks. You can’t just show up in Week 14 and not run the ball worth crap prior to that and think that it’s going to get done.”

Here's a thought that might interest you: I believe the Dolphins should run the ball more than they have been doing. That's right. More.

Miami's 4.2 yards per rush average is tied for 12th in the NFL which is a higher ranking than its actual yardage production numbers. Meanwhile, the Dolphins rank 20th in the NFL with 298 rushing attempts -- lower than their production numbers.

So it stands to reason if they run more often their production numbers will climb because when Miami does run, they average a pretty good chunk of yardage every carry.

The idea is for Miami to do something they do fairly successfully more often. Makes perfect sense because, well, December is around the corner.


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Mando, what do the #'s look like when broken down by rushes to the left vs. right. It seems to me, the Fins run alot more to the right side of the line than the left, which seems odd b/c the strength of the line is the left side.


I believe the fins run game took a HUGE hit as soon as DonalD Thomas Went down FOR THE REST OF THE YEAR, AFTER WEEK 1. I think he is the fins BEST OT, yep I said it, I think he is even better then Jake Long.

Hopefully he comes back healthy next year and this OL can grow together and be dominate 1 day!!


What Mando is NOT saying here because he is too kind is that Chad Pennington has a noodle arm and as soon as the weather gets bad, or even windy, there goes the Miami passing game.

So they BETTER run the ball or 8-8 here we come.

Si, It Gets Cold And Windy In Northen Jersey In Jan.

Our running game was affected because Donald Thomas was injured in the first game of the season? please!!
I think our main problem is Sparano ignores the running game at times, Ronnie only rushed 10 times vs NE!! not including some other games.
They need to pound the ball a little more! we have 2 running backs capable of making things happen!

Please!!!! hahahhah take that AK47 AND BLOW YOUR HEAD OFF!!!

They got involved in a SHOOTOUT vs N.E AK47 you dope!!!! Theres no time to run the ball WHEN YOUR DEFENCE CANT STOP ANYONE.

Learn the game before you get on a blog!!!

Ak 47 You See When You Dont Agree With Senior Finfan He Calls You Names And Garbage Like That.because Most Short Penis People Have A Habit Of Doing Crap Like That.

Soorry AK 47, i think i offended your b----!!!

You See Ak47 He Must Be At Stage 3 For Sex Change,feel Bad For This Poor Guy/soon To Be Girl,he/shes Deeply Troubled.

Dam there alot of GAY SEX going on in these blogs.

Ak47 Thanks for the support!! I'll make it happend vrs the RAMS

I Think What Ak47 Was Trying 2 Say Was If Mia. Was Able To Run The Ball The Pats Wouldnt Have Had A 22 Minute To 8 Min Time Of Possion And The Defence Wouldnt Have Been Dead Tired In The 2nd Half And Possibly Wouldnt Have Been In A Shoot Out.

Thats 22minutes To 8 In The First Half.

The Dolphins have 3 favorable field conditions of the 5 remaining games..
Rams in the Edward Jones Dome
The Bills game is in the Rogers Center in Toronro, a DOME game and of course
their final game at home
The other two games at KC and NYJ are the only games they play in possible bad weather conditions... KC will be mild and in both cases, both teams also have to play in the conditions too. Weather will not be a factor down the stretch

ronnie and ricky are well rested, they have not been running as if every touch critically mattered, throw in the fact we've been passing the ball more often then not, and parcell's and co. have proven themselves again by having fresh legs at running back when it matters most! my question is this, Is it just me or does ricky need a new pair of spikes? he often looses his traction and falls, especially on sweeps, maybe wearing smaller spikes allows the feet to slip to prevent knee injury, but give the man some traction and he will be unstoppable! Also the cold weather is coming! being a pennsylvania resident i know that layered clothing is important, pre-game warm up in light clothing is critical(to get body temperature up) then layer up! remove used layers at half or down time and dawn dry layer to prevent chills. stay warm and comfortable and that's half the battle! ask ricky, a 200+ yard game at buffalo, in the snow, 1850 yard season, the man knows how to prepare! GREAT SEASON GUYS! that patriots vs. dolphins game was the turning point! should have won that one, know body layed down! proud to be a fin fan!!!

Mild In Dec In Kc, I Think Ull Be Looking At The High Teens Low 20s Not Fish Weather . Brrrrr Bring Those Long Johns Mando Or Ull Freeze Those Cojones Off.

Mild In Dec In Kc, I Think Ull Be Looking At The High Teens Low 20s Not Fish Weather . Brrrrr Bring Those Long Johns Mando Or Ull Freeze Those Cojones Off.

Mild In Dec In Kc, I Think Ull Be Looking At The High Teens Low 20s Not Fish Weather . Brrrrr Bring Those Long Johns Mando Or Ull Freeze Those Bullets Off.

After Sunday Afternoon Ur Olfins Will Be Back To Where There Use 2, In The Bottom Of The Afc East Hahahaha...JETS,JETS,JETS


jets suck as usual. A life long loser.

I love how a Jets Fan is always reading in the Dolphins blog, thats how pathetic their team is.

So is there more than one retard on this site who cap1talizes every single freakin word, or is it just one moron posting with a bunch of different names? Seriously, I've never seen that particular form of grammatical stupidity before, but a bunch of posts have showed up with it on this blog since early in the season.

Oh and btw the Jets and thier fans are weak punks. Go Dolphins!

Si, I Know Speak Ur Language Well But I Do Know How To Read The Sport Page And I Know That The Jets R In 1st Place In The Afc East. R They Not?

It takes a lot of courage to run the ball. Both the back and the line have to be in synch. If they aren't there is hesitation and that causes the play to break down. It is still the first year that some of these guys have played together. So that timing will come.

Do what ever is neccesary to win.

Mando -- Will the roof be closed when we play the Bills in Toronto?

finfan,ever heard of the time consuming drives that keeps the other teams dangerous weapons i.e. welker ,moss,gaffney,watson,morris ,faulk and the list goes on off the field.sure we matched td's tit for tat but in the end they had to much fire power for us to keep up with.ak47 has valid points.it doesn't make him a pro or someone who doesn't know the game.so, what are your credentials.what makes your point better.it was apparent we had too play catchup but most teams win games for 2 reasons.#1 the turn over battle.we won that one.but,we lost the most valuable one. the battle for ball control.most teams who have the ball longer win the games.period . end of discussion.

No way roof will be open.

Mike h,couldnt have said it better.but dont be mad at finfan i beleive he's in the process of a sex change,so his\her estrogen level was high.Keep up the good blogging.

Bills fans have put together a petition to make the Rogers Centre or Center or whatever open the roof. A statement from a Rogers Centre/Center says the roof will be closed because the facility hasn't the drainage to have it open in the winter.

Here's the problem as I see it. The right side of our line is horrible at run blocking. It is why they overload that side when we are in the wildcat and it is why we can't run well to the right out of our base formation. They are constantly having to pull Smiley on run plays and it leaves our backside weak allowing the backside linebacker to pursue the running backs more aggressively. Thomas being hurt killed our running momentum going into the regular season. They're going to have to find a decent back up in free agency next season in case Thomas is injury prone. And I'm not so sure that it's worth it to keep Carey as anything but a back up at right tackle. I mean this is a contract season for him and he's been sub par up to now so what does that tell you about his future? I know he's a great guy and a great member of the community and that's well and fine. We don't need "nice guys" on the o-line we need mean s.o.b's who knock the hell out of the defensive line. Maybe you keep Carey as a back up guard and find a standout rt in free agency? I can't imagine what kind of deal Careys agent is going to expect after this ho-hum season but knowing what jackasses agents are he will probably want the moon.

Also I never understood what all of this "oh no it's cold and the team from Miami has never dealt with that before" BS comes from. Half of the guys on the team are from cold weather states. They grew up in it and some even played in college in the cold weather. Trust me that it is much harder to play in 95 degree heat with high humidity than it is to play in the cold. You feel the cold in warm ups and as soon as you start playing it's gone. You're sweating with all of your pads and helmet on and don't even feel the weather. Unless you're a QB or kicker. And then that effects both teams. Not to mention they're playing in New Jersey in December not the north pole. It's 40 to 50 degrees at that time of year! Oh NO,,,,brrrrrrrrrrrr,,45 degrees is just too cold for a 250lb man to deal with. Puhlease! NYScott

AK47 , Sparano doesn't call the offensive plays Dan Henning the offensive coordinator does. Dan has way more experience than Tony so I think coach doesn't want to mess with his play calling mid game because it's like a chess match. He doesn't have the confidence yet to change the offensive game plan mid game when he has someone like Henning calling the shots. I think we will see that change a bit every year as Tony learns the ropes. Go get em Tony Sparano, you the man!!! NYScott

I have Ronnie Brown in a fantasy football league and don't unerstand why the Dolphins aren't running more either. Chad P is good for about 30 yards and is pinpoint accurate when he's on, but c'mon, Ronnie Brown and Ricky Wiliams should be running like Earnest Byner and Kevin Mack did in Cleveland years ago and Chris Johnson and LenDale White are with the Titans under Fisher. If Sparano, Henning and Tuna are "saving" them, it's time to throw some shark chum in the water and let those two Dolphins go....especially against the Rams!

living in my own private joke world. my joke world is on fiiiiiirrrrrrrreee!!!!! fiiiiiiirre!!!!! fiiiiiiirrrre!

I can't remember who it was, but I Think Channing Crowder hit Wes Welker so hard that the pats had to call time out! what a hit!!

Finsfan Donald Thomas is an OG not an OT. Learn your team.

Finsfan Donald Thomas is an OG not an OT. Learn your team.

You hear a lot of lip service for all NFL teams we've got to run more. Another agenda for sucessful teams has been revealed lately Pass to set up the Run. Baltamore and New England jump out at you, especially after the Patriots exposed the Dolphins last week. We're great on first downs lousy on 3rd downs. I'd like to see more zone run blocking and mis-direction run blocking. I'm not knocking the wildcat, but you only get so many offensive plays and some other element of your offensive run game doesn't get used. I trust Dan Henning, and believe he's actually got an outline for each of the 5 games remaining. Our run game is dangerous enough to make the play action for Pennington successful. Watch Pennington check off when they creep 7-8 in the Box. Other teams respect our run game, when we in a running formation (ala playaction) it's set up our passing game. Our passing game isn't chopped liver like last year. Yes the pre-season expectations were higher than the run stats to date however our Offense in a whole has been a good surprise. Our middle inning run game when we need to go down hill between the tackles seems to produce too many 3 and outs and have let some bad teams back in the game. The Ram game is a paradox in that they are gutted by the running game and are good at stopping the passing game, exactly how we haven't ran the offense lately. To me this feels like a close game because of last weeks emotional drain, and the better than average pass defense of the Rams.

my take is that the base run play calling is bad.
they run the same plays run after run.

take the ne. game .
ne. had a monster in the middle and they kept running ronnie up the middlefor little gain.
well satele couldn't handle wilfork,but we continued to run in his directon.
the longest run was ricky to the outside .
it seems to me that instead of running to the outside,they shoot that quick pass to a receiver on the outside,which is a good play,but dangerous.pennington has had an int.for a td doing that.

another thing i noticed about the run game is,when ronnie was burning up the nfl last year,he was running through that first contact.
this year both ronnie & ricky haven't broke the first contact as much this year.
I don't think it so much the runners fault as much as the o line.

first contact is hopefully 2 or 3 yards pass the l of s. ,and if you break that first contact,you make 5 to 10 yards.
our o line hasn't given our runners that 2 or3 yard push.
our rush ave. is 4 y. per carry, that indicates the runners are getting some yards on their own,but our o line needs to push the other team off the l of s.

Armando. Your lead in had me focused. Especially when reading about our early expectations of our running attack but the stats showing a different story. Placing us in the middle of the pack. Couple that with the fact that a decent amount of our yards are not gained from a true formation and it makes me wonder how good we really are at just straight up the gut, smash mouth football. What made me lose interest in your write up was when you mentioned the Rams as being a good springboard. Running hogwild against the Rams proves zilch and in my opinion doesn't springboard into repeating it againt a more powerful defensive wall. At the end of the day it's about power vs power...not carry over! ...Come on now.

NYScott, Mark Columbo RT Dallas Cowboys will be a free agent after the season. I think the Dolphins have not given Carey a new contract because they intend to target Columbo in free agency. If they think Columbo is better it makes sense to spend the big dollars on the player they prefer... Carey is a good tackle but Columbo has better feet and he is one of Sparano's boys. Dalls spent big money this season to make a SB run and that will limit them in FA next season unless they let someone go. I expect to see Columbo in a Dolphin uniform next season.

...meanwhile, at some undisclosed location, the blog police finally has the cuban mennace in captivity after receiving a tip from "Our Hero" the Dolphin mascot. While uncovering the ski mask worn by this dastardly villain they discover that the cuban mennace is none other than...can it be...? Yes, it's... it's... Armando Salguero!! Later...after folding under pressure, Armando finally breaks down in tears and confesses to attempting to rile up the fans with a publicity stunt. A crime which carries a maximum penalty of a one seat, upper deck, Jets season ticket (attendance required). While wearing a Dolphins cap and a JETS SUCK t-shirt. Hooray! Our Dolfan blogesphere is saved!!...Stay tuned for our next adventures of Supermasacot!!

I don't think they have been very successful running the ball at all this year without the wildcat. I've been disappointed. They have not been able to run for many first downs. They have had some long runs here and there and have done well closing out some wins. But I expected their running game to be more of a force. The kind of weapon that you can just force your will on your opponent and break them mentally. That's Parcell's football and that's how you win late in the year. Imagine how much better the play-action passing would be if they were able to get 4 yards EVERY carry. They need to get bigger and stronger at center (Sorry Samson) and right guard. I'll be excited to see the new additions they add in '09.

Oh yea, can anyone tell me (I live in Ohio) how these games have been "sellouts" and the stadium only looks maybe 3/4th full? I can see everyone is more into the game but I can't figure out why there are still so many empy seats.

I have an answer to your question, Turd. It's because Armando sucks.

Oyah Aqua Ono,you Be A Funny Bouto,but Mando Is Not The Menace,but I Understand That He Is A 3rd Cousin Of The Menace ,so Keep The Blog Policia Going ,u Will Never Catch The Menace..viva La Rasta

The Menace Wishes To Get E Mail Adress To R.goodall,$7500 To Porter No Bueno. I Guess The Commish Has Never Read The Constatuion Bout Freedom Of Speach..the Menace Moved Once Because Of Problemrs Like This.

Conrad, if you don't like Armando why are you here you drooling retard?

By the way, did Mike say it will be mild in KC in December? Compared to what Siberia?

Its Moyee Bueno That The Dolphins Bloggers R Now Fighting Amongst Themselves,the Menaces Job Is Almost Complete....almost..viva La Rasta,viva Mando,viva Urstados Unitos,viva Cubano.viva Jets


I get your point about some of the fins players coming from cold location. But look at the raw numbers the last 6 to 8 years. The fins have been terrible in December and in cold weather games.

Breaking news flash: This just in! When captured... the Cuban mennace was not actually wearing a ski mask but a "lucha libre" mask! "Veeery tricky." Although the blog police hasn't made a public announcement about the capture yet, I still believe my sources who say his true identity is that of our very own ...Mando!


It sure seems that way sometimes, thats for sure!!!!

He may write for the fins, BUT DEEP IN HIS HEART HES A HATED JET!!

Patrick, good call I guess we'll see. I haven't watched enough Cowboys games to know how this guy looks. I really would like to see them upgrade at the RT position. Carey is serviceable but doesn't jump out at you. Do you know of any other RT free agents that will be on the market?

finsfan, as that's very true about their record in cold weather I'm hoping that this team has a new found toughness when it comes to the little things like that. With Sparano and Parcells both being from the north east I would think/hope they have some tricks up their sleeves in how to prepare their players to block it out mentally. And like I said, when you think about it 45 degrees isn't that cold.

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