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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?

Follow me on twitter so that I can feel like what I say in cyberspace actually matters when we all know it does not. 

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Armando,
plain and simple Ricky Williams is a well conditioned Stallion, while LT is a sprinting pony... look at Barry Sanders Career. On top till his speed wasn't elite... no need to elaborate further...

I say we trade brown and 3rd round for that receiver from the chargers cause they need a rb
now that lt isgone

You're forgetting one thing here. We have Cobbs who is no slouch. If both he and Ronny are healthy that's works out just fine. Cobbs is a solid 3rd down back and Lex can spell Ronny

I asked this question a couple of days ago. It was ignored. bobbyd12 said we have all the runningbacks we need. As he seems to be a major spokesperson for the team, I considered his word as the "GOSPEL" truth. Truth is, the Dolphins need a new running back. Nothing to do with LT being cut though. Ronnie is injury prone, we've all seen this before. Ricky WAS a great running back. Key word is WAS! Cobbs and Hilliard are a good supporting cast. Who is going to be the running back of the future? They will draft another running back in this draft, trust me.

There obviously is exact one reason why Ricky Williams owns these ypc: He created big plays, if he doesn't fumble. Let alone those 20+ yd rushes, his net average ypc finds itself in the 3-3.5 section, too. LT, as part of a single back offense, wasn't able to make that lot of big plays.

Dolphins should focus on the RB/RW double feature for the next two years, then go for Mark Ingram in the 2012 draft to get younger talent at the RB position.

Ricky says he's retiring after this years so the amount of carries won't matter.
Just another deadline that Armando had to meet, so he wrote a column with no meaning. Although I do love reading about Ricky. He is my favorite Dolphin since Marino, (mot to mention the best player we've had since Dan)

Ricky says he is retiring after this next season, but I still believe he could have another 2 good years with splitting carries AND still be productive in doing so. Either way I do like his chances of being successful this coming season at worst. Also, I don't want to jinx the guy, but he does not seem to get hurt. I do not know if it his diet or exercies or what, but I like the way the guy plays!!

keep ricky one more year and draft a young guy next year in the first 3 rounds.

Running back is not a priority in this draft. The position can wait at least another year. Assuming that Ronnie Brown and Patrick Cobbs come back healthy and we sign Brown to a long-term deal after next season, it could wait longer than a year. Our priorities, in no particular order, are: nose tackle, inside and outside linebackers, safety, wide receiver, tight end, and offensive guard. Running back simply is not a priority right now. It's not a Must Have. It's not a Need. It's a Want, and it can wait.

We have 0 playmakers on offense including Ronnie when healthy. We have some decent ball control players but no game breakers. If someone like Spiller is available you have to consider taking him. it doesnt matter whether the big plays come from running back or receiver but you have to have a big play offensive weapon. All you have to do is look at a guy like Chris Johnson to see what a difference a gamebreaker can make to a team. Finding good inside and outside linebackers can be done later in the draft.

As a lifelong Dolfan and season-ticket holder the past 26 years, I am as frustrated as anyone by our persistent mediocrity. Among my fears is that Parcells will leave before we get this thing truly turned around. I also wonder if Sparano really is the guy to take us home. I'd be interested in people's thoughts.

Mando,
For those that are aware of the positive effects of Yoga and a vegetarian diet , those things have more to do with Ricky's extended youth than the amount of carries. And I'm sure he would tell you the same thing , although I doubt he would be willing to talk about it with you.

And of course that doesn't sit very well with the beer and hot dog crowd , it's just fact!

MARC, (I haven't been much of a Ricky Williams fan anyway) ARE YOU AN IDIOT!!!!!!! He as been all we had since Dan Marino. Without him we would be going from boaring football to just plain, well, nothing football. To all the Williams haters out there, go root for another team because it is bad enough we had idiots running the team for a long time, we don't need nucklehead fans on top of that as well.

I always enjoyed Ricky for the longest time. He is a beast. And still is good

Talking about RFA (restricted free agency), let me throw 3 names out here and get your opinions :
1) Merriman, Shawne OLB
2) Dvoracek, Dusty NT (I know he is coming off an ACL injury, that why he could be cheap)
3) Scheffler, Tony (Fasano is a restricted Free Agent)
Before any of you go crazy saying that i do not know the rules of RFA, I am NOT saying to get all 3, i am asking in your opinion, if the Dolphins would opt to go to the RFA market would any of these 3 fit in well at a reasonable cost (3rd rounder or later qualifying offers).

yes use youtube for this info!!!!!!!!!!

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