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Ricky Williams rolling as LT declines

LaDainian Tomlinson was released by the San Diego Chargers a little while ago.

And that got me to thinking. Tomlinson, 30, will be looking for a new team in his 10th NFL season. His statistics the past two seasons suggest he is a diminished player, a running back whose explosion and speed have apparently left him.

I guess 2,880 career carries takes a toll.

And that suggests that it is carries, not years, that diminish a running back.

I present as exhibit A, Ricky Williams. He is two years older than Tomlinson. And yet in 2009, while Tomlinson slowed to a crawl, Williams had a renaissance year with 1,121 yards on 241 carries. That's a 4.7 average at age 32 compared to Tomlinson's 3.3 yard per carry average at age 30.

So how does Ricky do it? Is it the veggie diet? The yoga? Or is it simply fewer career carries?

Williams has only 2,164 career rushes, thanks in large part to having played only one game in 2006-2007 and having missed 2004 altogether.

Clearly, the older player in this comparison is not nearly as physically worn as the younger.

But my concern is not the last 2,164 carries by Williams but rather the next 300-500.

You see, if Williams has indeed benefitted from his limited use since 2003 and thus has maintained a rushing average of 4.4 yards per carry in his last 575 carries spanning four seasons, the question arises, "How much longer can he keep it up?"

Tomlinson began his decline at around 2,300 carries. In fact, after his 2,365th carry he had only eight games out of a possible 30 in which he averaged 4.0 yards per carry or more.

Williams is about one season from reaching his 2,300th carry -- assuming he continues sharing caries with Ronnie Brown. Would his declined begin then, at age 33?

No one knows. But it is a fair question to consider.

Also consider this: Williams is signed through 2010 but not beyond. He is on record stating this will be his final season. But we all know Williams is more than capable of changing his mind.

The question is would the Dolphins be wise to start planning for life after Ricky Williams now, knowing he's still running like he did in his prime? Or can this wait another year and maybe another 200 carries?

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JB, I feel Ayodele was the worst starter on D last year (including over Wilson) and Crowder is serviceable but just barely. I feel a lot of our defensive woes were directly related to the middle of our D being slow to react and ineffective.

You put a good cover ILB and a good run stuffing ILB in there and the TE problems are not nearly as bad and our run D is that much better. I think we have a few decent OLB like Wake coming up and OLB is strong in this draft meaning we can get some good ones in later rounds. ILB by contrast is not nearly as deep and even though some of the OLBs may be able to move inside I’d rather not take that chance and get one of the proven ILB.

I agree you could, but I feel Kindle is a bigger reach. I also believe Kindle has a better upside with his physcal attributes. With a good conditioning program, he could have the attributes of Demarcus Ware.

I'm having computer issues. It took me 10 minutes to get that post out. I will try to continue from home later guys.

Its this Blog ALWAYS, had the same issue, thats why the double post.

yeah this site is having a serious brain fart right now

I love Ricky Williams

carlito , i wonder how you know ? i will keep it a secret .

The Chinese nationals are attacking Mando’s Blog!

One thing that can't be measured in regards to player performance last year is scheme. With the arrival of Nolan, that could change. Mediocre players can become good if put in the right scheme.

I think ILB is a greater need myself. Ayodele is a career backup and it shows. Crowder is good at running his mouth and getting injured. Anyone believe the knee problems he's had the last 2 years are miraculously gonna disappear?

OLB- I believe we will keep JT and move Wake up. Thats better than last year right there. Wake was a sack and pressure machine every down he played. Did anyone actually believe Porter got better guarding the run? He didnt, it was all coachspeak. So Wake> 33 yr old Porter easy.

I wont mind if the team picks an OLB at all. I just think with the weak ILB pool and the strong OLB pool that we need the 12th to impact the most.

I like that mock draft from Sean that would be the perfect draft if it would happen

My only problem with Brandon Graham is he has played DE and we need him at 34OLB, there is a big jump from one to the other. Is he a Veron Golston or is he a Demarcus Ware. I know Bill and Co will see if he is one or the other.

Yaya, the fact that Jason Taylor requires shoulder surgery hasn't changed ur mind about resigning him???

I agree Ayodele had a terrible year with missed tackles and receivers basically running away from him. JT and Wake are weakside line backers and I don't see JT sticking around if he is asked to play strongside again. I just feel the priority should be set on getting a OLB on the strongside.

Rob, I posted a good question for you jn the other blog, didn't see the new one up. I would Like your opinion on it, and I wasn't knocking you, just wondering what your thought process was behind a comment.

That is why you draft C.J. Spiller in the first round and build the defense in the following. Allow Spiller to return punts, play the Wildcat, and take several carries. I'm telling you...

However I really do like Graham from Michigan. I like him a lot.

Sean, it's a legitimate question that people like to gloss over...there is a HUGE difference between someone who states he would be interested in playing in the 3-4 and actually doing it...

Rickey Williams will revert to the #2 RB behind brown and start the season as he did last year and if brown stays healthy Rickey will get between 600 and 800 yards this season

As far as the what LB position is most important in this years draft I would say the ILB is their greatest need they need one that is fast enough to cover TEs they got burned by them all year last season Taylor and Wake can handle the outside if they bring Taylor back if not then I would still go ILB in the first round and see whats left in the second or later Crowder was doing ok against the run last year until Ferguson went down then we lost the ability to stop the run so NT is also very important to this team

The reason I have Graham at #12 and not McClain is because I have McClain at #5 to KC. Kindle is a good player but he will be in the late 1st early 2nd IMO but I have seen him as high as #12. I will not be unhappy if we pick Kindle, McClain or Graham. I would love it if McClain is there but I have a bad feeling he will not so I have moved on but we will see when the draft comes around.

Bobbyd12,

I would be lying if I didnt think it was an issue. If it is BP will find it and poof, hes gone. I still think Wake and a low 2nd round OLB would be fine if it came to that. They at least would be playmakers...anyone wanna call Crowder and Ayodele that?

If McClain is off the board I think Dan Williams will be the pick. But McClain being available at 12 is not out of the question, alot of it depends on what the Broncos do...

Mark my words JT will not be playing the strongside in 2010. He is not built for it and frankly at his age his body can't handle it.

Personally I can't wait till draft day so all the CJ Spiller and Dez Bryant talk ends and neither are in a Dolphins uniform

LOL............Agree Bobby

Carlito, u and me are on the same page bro, No McClain = Dan Williams at 12

Guys,when does the Combine start?

As much as I dslike Saban, he is a defensive genius. Average players can shine when playing in a scheme like that, I would be hesitant on Mclain.

If all the stars and planets would become aligned on draft day, would it be possible for us to trade down and get both Kindle and Willams.

carlito,

This is why just grabbing line stats can be unreliable. You can view these firsthand and know that the ESPN stats are just wrong...and this is just 2 games.

These vids I found quickly of Graham creating and/or coming up with turnovers...

VS Wisconsin:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WYkgFvVyZ7w&feature=related

Look at :44 second and 3:02 of the 3:35 total.

VS Eastern Michigan:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TOj6LUPvRlo

Look at 3:27 and 5:08 for game stats of the 5:18 total.

Thanks for you finding the vids of McClain for me to see.

Cheers,

Sean, I don't see how KC passes up Russel Okung at 5...I know KC has defensive problems too but their QB is gonna get killed if they don't do something about that offensive line

Sean,

Thats very interesting. I never thought of McClain going that low honestly but I could see it. I think the draft pundits have an O-lineman, Berry, or even Haden for KC. O-line may not happen cause they came together pretty good the last few games. Just havent looked at KC too much honestly.

LOL , agree bobbyd12.

Yep KC spent all that money on Cassel, they would be stupid not to invest a high draft pick in protecting him

I'am always you're correct about mando liking graham only because he feels OLB is a bigger need, That's the ONLY REASON. Mando , hada blog up mclain a while back and was raving about him, there's alot a false statements flying around here,

Good NJ ur here, opinion on Grankowski, TE out of Arizona...what round does he get drafted??? How serious medical condition??? Is he worth taking a chance on in later rounds???

Sean and bobbys12 , you guys are absolutly correct in mentioning that some like to glossy over that fact that graham has never played the 3-4 olb position before and it's a huge jump doing so . Heck that's not a big deal but a guy who make play but doesn't knock a player out of his cleets and helmet is a bigger deal. Unbelievable !!

Therocker39 I agree the middle of our D was bad all yr and Ayodele got smoked every game by the TEs and GWilson could not tackle them when it was needed. The problem is there are only 2 ILBs that can start right away (mainly because of size most of the ILBs are way under sized) that are coming out in the draft (McClain and Spikes). McClain will not be there at #12 IMO and Spikes is a late 1st early 2nd as of right now so what to do what to do. I would try to bag Dansby in FA or trade down and get Spikes late in the 1st as well as getting a 3rd pick to boot.

Another problem is NT, we must find a young NT in this draft to develop. DWilliams is the best but Cody is very good as well if he can stay around 350lbs. DWilliams at this point is a mid to late 1st rd and Cody can go from a late 1st to a late 2nd depending on how he shows up at the combine. Can we get both ILB and NT with our 1st 2 pick or will we have to try to address 1 later in the draft where the players become less talented.

nj is talking to himself again in bobbyd12 .

Hi monkey (Paul) new name tonite???

Spikes???? 2 former Gators manning the heart of our defense? That would hurt. As for Cody, he will have weight issues.

Bobbyd12 , if grankowski didn't have back surgery and miss 2009 , this guy would've been a 1st round pick . He's a do it all -all around te. he can be a steal in round 3.

bobbys12 you are right if Okung is there they have to take him but I do not have him on the board at #5. This all comes down to the QBs in this draft, I do not like any of them in the top 10 and that is why My mock is the way it is. If Wash or STL takes a QB and there are some that say they will then the draft board will open up the way you see it and I will be happy as hell but I do not see either taking a QB and that is bad for us because you will see the draft fall the way I see it now.

Sean, Cody is a HUGE reach, this guy could get millions and be buying himself a Krispy Kreme franchise real quick...There is to many other NT that would fit our needs and we won't be taking a chance with someone who seems to lack willpower

With the exception of some of you believing we will be drafting Bryant or Spiller( Not gonna happen), most believe defense will be getting the first round pick. With Mike Nolan and his blitz happy scheme, what will be the priority OLB, ILB, or Safety?
I personally believe OLB, that can hold the edge.

NJ the great thing about Graham is Bill and Co can tell weather he is a 34OLB or just a DE. He can spot a 34OLB in his sleep and is the best at finding them if we draft Graham it will be because they see him as a OLB in a 34 system. The question is is his value worth a #12 I do not know intil after the combine.

NJ, thks I actually thought he would go even lower then that because of the back surgery..

NJ PHIN,

I am NOT one to gloss over anything...

This just in... like every player in the draft they ALL have holes in their game. This INCLUDES GRAHAM and McClain.

I'm not trying to say that he came from a 3-4 OLB position in college. He was a down Defensive End and primarliy his role was to sack the QB and shut down the run to his side. There is projection going on to get to OLB and be another Lammarr Woodley type player.

I would correct any would be Graham fans that would try to gloss over that fact as well. You are 100% correct in noting a transitioning player.

Playing the same position in college doesn't gaurantee a smooth transition to the pros (i.e. Turner, White, Gholston and a litany of others).

Hell yeah I have to account for the transition. That is super scary for me as I am one of the one's that will get my nut's caught in the McClain blog vice if I am wrong. I am using ALL that I know and ALL that I see in making my choice just as you are.

The chips will fall as they may... I'm at peace with that bud.

I am EXTREMELY elated that you, bobbyd, carlito and and the McClain'ers have not called me names for my backing Graham today. It's really is appreciated fellas.

I hate too much of a pissing contest when none of us really know how either of our favorite new college turned Fin monsters will turn out.

Cheers! Damn...tad longer than I wanted.

bobbys12 I understand and agree but you can agree that the man never got moved in college and is a run stuffing wall in the middle. He has to watch his weight but if he is on the board at #43 write it down we will pick him with our 2nd rd pick (if we did not pick DWilliams with our 1st).

run ricky run. I LOVE ME SOME RICKY, GREATEST DOLPHIN BACK since the trio from the 70's.

I think Lex could help us out alot, I could dig that

LMFAO bobbytd12 and krispy creme.. grankowski could go lower that the 3rd but he could be a steal wherever he goes.

I want McClain more than any other player in the draft. He is a 3 down player with a hell of a moter, big and fast for his size and would be perfect for us and that is why I do not see him there at #12. He is a great player and I for 1 hope he stinks it up at the combine because he is a football player and I hope the #s say something else. If he slides to us I will be happy as hell but it will take a bad combine for us to get him.

Ricky is a Genetic Freak...

He's simply put together better than most other NFL players (He's closer to Herschel Walker than Ladainian Tomlinson.)
While genetics don't guarantee more productive years, they make it easier for him to stay in the kind of shape needed to perform at a high level.

The even better news is that...
The Dolphins now have a fairly decent Offensive line.
(IN FACT -- at this moment they're probably all in the WEIGHT ROOM getting Bigger, Stronger, and More Powerful...as we type.)

So there's a chance for Ronnie and Ricky to BOTH gain over 1000 Yards in next season if they can both stay healthy.

Most of the offense is solid.
The Focus needs to be on continuing to build a
BIG INTIMIDATING DEFENSE.
.
.

DOLPHIN MOVES

Sign DANSBY,ILB from Arizona
1st round ... GRAHAM, OLB Michigan
2nd round ... trade for MARSHALL, WR
3rd round ... Dexter, RB from Miss (similar to Reggie Bush)
4th round ... Rolle, S from UCF

GIVE LOTS OF STEROIDS TO FERGUSON TO KEEP HIM GOING AT NT FOR ONE MORE YEAR

6. BARNES, WR (Bowling Green); KAFKA, QB Northwestern; J.GRAHAM, TE The U

7th round ..... BPA regardless of position

I keep hearing about all these NTs available. Sorry but I don't see it. If you rule out Suh (gone before 12) and Cody (ate his way out of millions)) who's left? Williams and 4-3 project guys.

I love Ricky. He is still a stud running at the #2 position. I would not want to rely on him as a #1 for a whole season though.
Keep on running #34.

I don't think graham wiil be a bust or anthing in fact i like graham alot. I liked graham even before the senior bowl practice and think he will be s good football player. My questioning of him is the transition to a new position he's never played before and the gamble selecting him at 12 that he will be successful in that transition. I can live with trading down and getting him while getting a extra pick/picks. i've always said that.

Spiller is a gifted back that can take it to the house at any moment, that is why he could go in the top 10. I got him between 10 to 20 and no lower. Alot would have to happen for us to pick him. McClain, Bryant, and the best OLB in the eyes of Bill and Co would have to be off the boards possible but not likly. We have Ronnie and Ricky as well as Lex as backup and Cobbs as the STeams and change of pace kind of back so the need for RB is not as high on our needs list but I am a value over need type of guy so the highest value should be our pick at #12 and if that is Spiller so be it.

Mike, uh HELLO, nice scenario but pls explain how do you make Graham ur first round pick?? Ur boy Marshall would require both our first AND third round pick...pls come back when ur choice of drugs finally wears off

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