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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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Unless they get CJ Spiller, there's no reason to draft a running back. Instead they should focus on defense and receivers.

Weed does wonders just aks ricky.

People you don't draft Spiller drafting a RB, you draft him to play a Reggie Bush/Percy Harvin type role.maximize his touches, get him on a LB or S, use him as a sweep guy in the Wildcat, to be a KR/PR. Not someone I think Miami takes, but if they drafted him it would not be to get 15 carries out of the I-Form or 2 TE sets. All that being said, I HIGHLY doubt we take him.

No way I give a 1st and 3rd for a premadana WR that is unhappy where ever he goes. I agree that they will try to get that for him but they will not receive that IMO. I would give a 2nd and a player or 2 maybe Ayodele and Camarillo for Marchall but no way to a 1st and 3rd.

Mike,

I like the majotity of the Dolphin Moves you put up.

I am onboard with FA Dansby
1st rd Graham
2nd rd I would tab Weatherspoon or Spikes
3rd rd McCluster or Cam Thomas
4rth rd Cam Thomas or Troupe or Graham TE
6th rd Barnes (Great call!)
6th BPA
7th BPA.

Not too shabby and help comes in many areas. With the extra LB's the special teams should rise up. With McCluster the field position would be better than Bess or Ginn and he can cause some mismatches in space.

Marshall can be such a head case and I feel that will counter his talent in the Trifecta's eyes.

cheers,

Rob please answer my ? From the last blog.

I like Graham as well but the fact remains he played with his hand in the dirt and is a risk at converting. He will not make an immediate impact. The debate between ILB or OLB will continute until April 22nd. I have not seen Sergio Kindle mentioned much as a viable first round pick and I don't know why. He played OLB in college and has a good upside. SO why is he not included with McClain and Graham??

Bootang, honestly I expect a LOT LESS Wildcat this year...Too many times we ran the Cat and put Chad Henne in third and long positions..and we broke Henne's rythem..I expect a much more traditional formation being used this year

I'm on it Bootang... sorry, forgot.

cocoajoe Suh is not a NT but there are alot of NTs coming out in the draft DWilliams, TCody, CThomas, Torrell Troup, Kade Weston, Ekom Udofia needs to gain some stamana gets tired to quick,Jay Ross, and Linval Joseph a big boy and can get late in the draft (probably a career backup but 1 never knows).

Bobbyd, I was more saying that is how whoever picks him should use him. Don't use him the way traditional RBs are used. As for the wildcat, the basic concept is evening the number on both sides. well keeping Henne lined up out wide does not dothat, a team just starts attacking down the line with the CB who is across from Henne. Keep the QB off the field, run POWER wildcat, and it's effective. Also, it should only be used down towards the red zone, or like 2nd and short. It is very effective, but only if used properly.

JB Your right about Graham he has never played the OLB spot but if any one can see if he has what it takes to play that spot it is Bill and Co, now if we take him he has what it takes in the eyes of the best 34OLB drafter in the world and that will be good enough for me.

Sean, a name that is a sleeper late is Vince Oghobaase out of Duke. A good NT project/line depth pick.

If we can run the wild cat the way we did against the jets then Im all for running it all yr. Intil Ronnie went down we were killing teams with that set so intil they stop run it into the ground.

JB, Kindle is a finesse type guy, he really doesn't like physical play and has a problem shedding blockers when they get physical..has a couple character issues that go along with him too, that is the knocks on him and why he isn't rated with the McClain's

I kinda feel bad for Graham, lmao, because I think his name ended up in an argument because of Rob in OC and his dislike of McClain. To each his own, but if that never occurs, I wonder how much Graham would end up being talked about negatively. I myself have both guys in my group of 5 players we could take at 12 that you would hear no complaints from me.

Bootang25 I will check it out and if you are right I will add him to the list Thanks.

Ricky had good numbers in 2009, but also too many costly fumbles in the stretch.

2010 will be his last year with us.

RB is an obvious need in this draft, with Brown and Cobbs coming from significant injuries.

A funny question. Can anyone think of a guy, who went from being one of fans favorite player on a team, to being one of the fans most hated, and back to most loved?? That is in reality what Ricky Williams did. Quote amazing to me. I never killed Ricky for retiring, but I was highly disappointed. But I feel I was in the minority there. And I thought about this for about 2 hours, and haven't come up with another guy, any sport.

Bootang,

Yes it was a standing offer of who who bench press more. Short arms and all. I have been around a gym and my offer still stands.

Bottomline is Graham will be stronger! This plays a role when the real NFL guys try to grab and hold or block out Graham or McClain.

I have to battle/defend the transition to OLB and short arms knock with Graham.

McClain folks have to battle/defend potential technique issues and getting off blocks questions.

The fact that you think that no longer armed person has ever out benched a shorter armed person would indicate to me your gym time has been limited. No slight intended. It is harder to bench with longer arms but if your are stronger than someone else you simply are.

How about the 40 times? Do you think that McClain's long striding legs, being the taller athlete, will coast him to a much better time than Graham?

Cheers,

Listen, I love McClain and would be thrilled to see him at 12 BUT like NJ I have always said that if we could trade down and pick up an extra pick that would be even better...If McClain is there and the Giants come calling and exchange our 12 with their 15 and give us an extra pick, I'll be dancing at the Draft party!!!

Sean , most of the players you named were DT's who might have what it takes to play NT. They're all projects. V Ogohbasse is 6'6 305 pounds and to tall and doesn't have the base and strenghth to play the NT in my opinion He's better off as a DE in the 3-4 ot DT in the 4-3.

bobby12,

You would get Dan Willaims @ 15 if that were to happen?

Cheers,

bobbyd12 Kindle will be a passrushing machine at the next level, a strong moter with speed that kills. I see him as a Larry English type player who can start at the next level. Remember as a rook he can learn all the ends and out of the NFL.

I think they are fine this year at running back, Armando. I'm not sure it's the strength it's been in the past because everyone is year older but I still think we're OK for another year. I would think you can make running back at priority next year. I don't think Ricky will be abck after 2010 and Brown likely has another year after that in him if he's lucky. If there's someone of value there in the 4th or 5th round this year I might consider a running back. Other than that, I think we will be fine for another year.

The shorts arms will negate any strength advantage that graham MIGHT have because OL with their long arms will be getting to graham faster than graham can get to them. Mclain 's technique is just fine thank you

Rob I didn't say that a longer arm guy couldn't bench more, or anything like that. I just said it would make sense a shorter armed guy could push heavier weight than a longer armed guy. I have really long arms lol so I at times wish I had shorter arms when bench pressing. Anyway, why would you compare an OLB and an ILB combine measurables against each other? I know there is some reasoning there, but to me it's apples and oranges. There is much more pressure on Graham, due to his desire to show he can play either 4-3 DE or 3-4 OLB. He has to show ability standing up. McClain can't go much higher than he's slated to right now, realistically as high as 5. A terrible combine, he still won't reach 25. Now Graham on the other hand, he could go as high as maybe 11, a team like Jax IMO, but a terrible combine, and he could fall out of the first round altogether. Way too much depth at hybrid DE/OLB than there is at ILB. All that being said, I think Graham has a great combine, and does not reach pick 20.

NJ, agreed with Oghobaase. What do you think of Alex Carrington from Ark St, I think he could be a good pick in the 4th round for DE depth.

NJ That may be the case but most have Suh as a 43 tackle or a 34 end. I do not put him with the rest of the NTs because of that . He is a beast and if he is there at #12 HA HA then Im all for taking him . As for V Oguhbasse I do not know to much about the man as of right now.

Sean , what are you talking about ?? i never mentioned suh . i was talkig about the other dt's you mentioned that are projects at NT right now,

That's kewl nameless posts, ;)

I am throwing it out there that the hand fighting tactics that Graham has and will use will defeat said long armed OT's.

Did you ever get my post describing exactly where and when Graham went right by stud long armed OT Baluga? I had screwed up and misquoted the Senior Bowl (for which I apologized in a post). It was during a game footage tape on Graham. If you care to see it I will look it up and repost it.

Your belief in McClain's tackling prowess has been notably printed numerous times by you. Should the Fin's chose him, I sure hope your right.

Cheers NJ, er, uh Cheers poster, =)

Torrell Troup out of Cent Florida might be a late pick for us if we have not addressed the NT spot up to that point yet.

bootang , i love carrington and would definitly be a good pickup at DE in the 3-4 for miami. merling needs to start showing something and miami needs to look at that position i case he doesn't pan out. i heard miami likes him too.

NJ I also read on a few sites we have had some talks with DET regarding Cliff Avril, and there is thought maybe Merling might be involved in the deal. Would you be for that trade? I personally would, I liked Avril coming out.

NJ I answered you and cocoajoe at the same time and forgot to put his name with yours. he said Suh was a NT and I was adressing him about that and the VOgohgasse talk was for U.

Yeah, Sean I know Suh is 4-3 DT. But he's one of those guys you would have to take if he fell in your lap. But those others outside of Williams are projects, including Cody because of his weight.

One of the BIGGEST misconceptions people have is let's just sign 1 S, ILB, OLB, NT and we are set. What if that player gets hurt. We need depth at every position, as well as competition. It would not hurt my feelings to have 2 ILBs, 2 NTs and an OLB with our first 5 picks. Or any combination.

sean , got ya !!

Graham was awsome in the senior bowl no one could guard him in that game, stuffing the run and killing the QB all day. Long arms short arms I do not care he brings it every play and I will be pissed if Belacheat ends up drafting him because of the lenth of his arms.

Bootang,

If a player is strong or weak...he is just that, no matter where he plays. No apples to oranges... just a simple test to see who can bench press 225 as many reps as possible. Still only another small piece of info to be taken in as Jared Allen the standout Minn DE laughs about doing only a measly 13-15 reps at his combine...he turned out just fine.

I agree with your post as I know I am in the minority of folks thinking Graham will be a better all around football player than McClain when it is all said and done.

You are dead on in that Graham will fall faster and farther with a bad workout than McClain will.

Every day we inch closer to the draft...the plot thickens.

Cheers,

Sean and Kindle may very well end up being the guy u say but JB asked why he is not rated as high and I pointed out what people are saying about his weaknesses...I would be a little skeptical of a guy that trys to avoid physical contact in college being a "monster" in the pros when physical contact goes up a whole nother level

Rob, who are your 5 top guys you would not mind hearing there name called with the 12 pick? I'm interested in hearing everyones choices. Are we all naming the same guys. And please don't respond with mews more time/wait til after the combine. I'm asking now. That is for all.Also would like to hear NJs top 5

Bootang , i haven't heard that merling trade Rumor at all. I thing it's just that , a rumor. What i do know is the dolphins have merling on a weight loss and conditioning program to get merling back to his 276 pound drafted weight down from his current 296 pound weight. The reason for this is in mike nolan's system he likes the DE on the weakside to be lighter. He had holliday playing there last year and had ray mcdonald playing there when he was with the 49ers. Both were at about 275 pounds

Sean,

I would HATE to see BG a Patriot! That would not be good for Henne at all. Jake is really good but even he struggles at times with guys that have an array of moves coupled with some power. (Atl game vs Abraham)

cheers,

bobbyd12 I see you point and it is a good one. Most rooks are a ? coming out of college I was just giving you his strengths to go with his weaknesses. I have him as a late 1st early 2nd but he could climb if he has a good combine.

Rob I agree but Long had a bad game it was the 1st game of the season so I will be a Homer and say he was still getting his legs under him. Graham will be a great player as long as he stays healthy and I hope if he does not end up with us he goes to another division and not the east.

Bootang,

I will rank and rerank my top guys leading all the way up to the draft. I think it is just that "making the tough talent call" that makes this whole process fun.

I have top 5 @ 12 realistically :

Graham
Spiller
Dez
Williams
Morgan

* The caveat is that some of these may not be there @12.

If Berry falls for some unGodly reason I break my neck getting to the podium with the card.

Likewise if someone like Okung, Davis or Suh or a hot QB falls I would try like heck to trade back as there should be a willing partner to come up and give us extra choices.

I am big on finding the best football player and choosing him vs just choosing for need. Many people don't like that draft strat.

Cheers,

5 players at #12 - that could realistically be there - so no Eric Berry despite Bucky Brooks saying he will fall (if that guy was a scout then I should be a VP of Football Operations)

1. Rolando McClain
2. Brandon Graham
3. Earl Thomas
4. Dan Williams
5. Dez Bryant

My top 5 goes like this. Rolando McClain. Dan Williams. Earl Thomas. Brandon Graham. Sean Weatherspoon. I'll get killed for spoon, but I just love everything about him. People will say way too high, and probably so, but you just don't get on the phone, call the team at 20, and say hey let's swap spots.

Sean,

Yeah, it was weird seeing Long so out of sorts in that 1st game. He rallied well throughout most of the year. Many feel that R Clady is a better OT than Long but it's still mightly early yet to project long term.

They both look pretty solid and I doubt you could go wrong with either player.

Do you forsee more or less Wilcat this upcoming year?

Cheers,

Bootang25, it's hard to be realistic because you can pick guys you know won't be there but want...1. Rolando McClain 2. Dan Williams 3. Jason Paul-Pierre 4. Brandon Graham 5. Sergio Kindle. I wouldn't be upset to hear those names but I will be a little suprised if 1 or 2 are not there or there and not picked

Earl Thomas is a guy who I just can't get enough of. He may well be the guy I am banging my drum for come draft day. I think he would perfectly compliment Y Bell, and I would LOVE to have a secondary with Davis, Smith, and Thomas. AND, given the depth at NT and hybrid DE/OLB, I think it also makes a degree of sense.

Bootang I know you were not talking to me but you did say every one so heres mine
1. McClain biggest need and I think he will be a beast at the next level.
2. Eric Berry he is the best safty coming out and would upgrade that spot big time for us.
3.Brandon Graham If he is the 34OLB that I think he can be, like I said Bill knows how to draft 34OLBs.
4. Dez Bryant not a big fan but is a hell of a WR and can help our passing game for yrs to come.
5. Dan Williams might be a reach and I hate that but NT is a big need and he is the best coming out.

There are better players coming out but I know they will not be there at #12 so I did not put them in my list. I tried to be real about things (Eric Berry probably will not be there but if he is there will be a big debate on weather we should take him). I have Eric Berry rated higher than McClain on my board.

Sean I wanted everyones. I just was trying to see how many names came up in everyones posts. I saw Bryant omitted from few, which was interesting. Not surprising, but interesting. I saw Pierre Paul. I saw E Thomas on a few.

Sean,

You said you have Berry rated higher on your board than McClain but your draft board shows Berry #2?

Which way is it for you?

cheers,

I think Berry could be gone in top 3 and by top 5 imho.

cheers,

Bobbyd, I see you like the OLB route. Would you consider taking say, B Graham at 12, and then a Jerry Hughes at 44? More me throwing names out there, so let me reword it. Would you consider going OLB 1 and 2?

OLB is a positon that has depth in this draft and that might play a part in who we pick. ILB is not a position that has the same depth so if we might pick a ILB instead of a OLB because we can get a good OLB in the 2nd rd. I do not see a ILB worth a 2nd rd pick after McClain and Spikes and they will not be there at #43 but there will be good OLBs there at #43 something to think about .

I believe McClain is very similar to Dansby. Same height and near the same weight. They also play very similar in that they are both sideline to sideline pursuit guys. Brings up the issue of Karlos Dansby. I am of the opinion that Miami should do the full court press to get Dansby. As a player, he would change the Dynamic in Miami more then any other Free Agent that is out there. Gives an opportunity to either double down at LB by grabbing a Graham or McClain at #12... Or, grab Dez Bryant or a CJ Spiller at #12 if either is still on the boards. Then load up on 2 OLB's in subsequent rounds. Along with a DE or DT/NT... I know its a hard egg to break... But Karlos Dansby would be the center piece to a brilliant and very young Defense. I also still think Miami makes a play for either Boldin or Antonio Bryant even if they grab a Dez Bryant at #12. It is typical for this Management staff to Double down. Lastly, I know Gibril Wilson took serious heat for missing many plays last season. I would ask, How much of that was because our Line Backers were either taking wrong angles at runners (Crowder) Running like they had a parachute on their back (Ayodele) Getting Stone Walled by Rookies and ignoring running plays (Porter) or trying to wheel his wheel chair to the play (Taylor)... I am not Defending Wilson, but can his failure be partly blamed on a Pathetic Line backing corps. Who did not offer run support causing him to play up. He still should have been all about HIS JOB and getting it done. But maybe he saw something we did not and tried to stop it when others would not. Wilson did have great run support stats this year....Just a thought... nothing more...

I got Berry behind McClain because I know he will probably not be there and I to am trying to be real bud. I did put him in the mix because I would love for him to be there.

Derek, funny you say that. I just commenced about 2 solid weeks of everything I could find on McClain, and I think he is Karlos Dansby. A little more polished than Dansby was, and 3-4 ready. It made me reevaluate a little bit. Do I take Dansby at 12? Idk.

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