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Miami future cloudy for Brown, Williams

It is clear the Dolphins have no intention of signing either Ronnie Brown or Ricky Williams to contract extensions before the end of the season. That's interesting because both are scheduled to be free agents for 2011 (assuming there's a season) and neither are absolutely certain of being back with the team for varying reasons.

Both Williams and Brown have addressed the issue to some extent this week. Ronnie Brown was on my radio show, Armando and the Amigo this week, and his words clearly suggested he'd like to be in South Florida, but ...

"It's really out of my control," Brown said. "I want to be here, I love playing for the Dolphins, but that's kind of out of my hands."

The Dolphins and Brown are not currently negotiating a new deal, at least not with any sort of consistency. The Dolphins also haven't slipped Ricky Williams a post-it note with contract extension numbers -- something Bill Parcells did with Williams the last couple of times he offered Williams an extension.

(Obviously, Parcells is gone but I wonder if general manager Jeff Ireland picks up the practice from his mentor.)

Williams, enigmatic and unpredictable, speaks with the local media only rarely for reasons known only to himself. But he addressed his future, sort of, with the New York media on a conference call Wednesday.

"I have no idea," Williams said when asked if he sees himself in Miami next year. "I mean, I'll be a free agent after this year ... after this year it's kind of wait and see. You know if someone wants me and they can convince to do this one more year, I definitely would be open to the opportunity. But if not, I'm happy with what I've been able to accomplish in my career."

It seems to me one or the other, but not both Williams and Brown will return to the Dolphins next year.

Fact is it would be cheaper for the Dolphins to draft a running back and replace one of the two veterans, then depend on one of the two along with rookie during the coming season. Of course, Miami could blow both Brown and Williams out and go with a rookie and Lex Hilliard and someone else in the backfield.

Fact is Brown is likely to get some offers in free agency if he gets to that start of the open market because while he has not put up elite statistics with the Dolphins, he has been solid and could be better behind a better offensive line.

And maybe the Dolphins simply need to change things up a bit with their running back dynamic. I know the Dolphins like Williams and Brown together but neither of them is a break-away back. The Dolphins could definitely use a back that adds more speed to the backfield because the current duo isn't going to pop a 70-yard run to stun a defense very often.

That, by the way, is just my opinion. The Dolphins, plodding and even a bit slow on offense, seem to think Williams, for example, is quite fast, thank you.

"[He] still shows me that he’s got good top end and good burst and runs the ball hard, physical,” coach Tony Sparano said Wednesday.

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Oregon Dolphin fan,

I would swap Cobbs in a heartbeat for a legit edge speed threat with even average hands. Did you know Cobbs only ran a 4.68 40 at his rookie combine?

Wonder what his 40 time is now coming off of offseason reconstructive knee surgery?

A lot of talk about Ricky and Ronnie under performing this year. The best skill position players in the league can be rendered ineffectual without good O-line play.

Look, I'm not on Cobb's bandwagon here. Just pointing out how much Sparano loves him and that it is unlikely he will be shown the door under the Sparano watch.

Oregon, I don't think Miami has ANY RB's signed beyond this season. Maybe Sheets but not sure.

I thought Cobb signed a 3 year deal last year. I could be wrong.

I don't think Cobb is the answer.

THe FO missed an opportunity before this year`s draft when they should have traded Ronnie for a third rounder.....but I believe they wanted a second rounder? We need more speed, maybe we could swop Ronnie for CJ Spiller?

Dying Breed.. I'm from Montana give me a break..LOL

You could be right, Hilliard may amount to a 2 year special teamer, and be selling snowmobiles to tourists next winter. But he does have skills that could help this team, and why not let him play just so we can see if he will have ANY value in the future? What he does well is catch out the backfield, and block. He will never be a back that will be a threat to break it, but he doesn't need to be. I'm sayin he is a good option as a third down guy, that's it. And it would be economically foolish to resign Ronnie, or Ricky to do this. In fact I could make the argument that Lex is a better blocker then both of these guys, is equal as a pass catcher, and could averagr the same YPC as these guys have this year at a price that would allow us to explore different spots that are in need of upgrades too. This is just what I think, you disagree and that's ok. I just want Lex to get a chance. I've seen him play for years and know he is a good player.

Adrian Peterson could not run behind this O-line. I see everyone saying...draft a QB, draft a couple of RB's. It won't matter if you do not have a capable O-line!!!

Oregon Dolphin fan,

Everyone blaming the oline is something I dont understand. Every oline in the league at times has its problem. I guarantee if you check every nfl team blog in America at one time or another they've had something negative to say about thier oline.

Guys, there isnt a single perfect oline in the entire nfl. It's pointless to blame our overall offensive woes on the oline when there are numerous problems that contribute to our offensive troubles and overall struggles.

There was only one game this entire season that the oline could single handedly be blamed for the loss. The Bears game, and we all know any team in the entire nfl would have grossly struggled under the exact similar conditions.

The Dolphin running game has been schizophrenic at best.

Henning runs when he ought to throw and throws when he ought to run.

Besides the O-line has not really run blocked very well the entire year.

I love how so many posters are calling for the Dolphins to spend a high draft pick on a RB when there seems be so many other more pressing needs.

Another mistake by Ireland/Parcells was not trading Ronnie Brown at midseason a year ago when he had peak value. They could have gotten a 3rd-4th round pick for him. Instead they'll get nothing same as with Matt Roth. This is poor management folks. After Ronnie was injured (again) he had no value. Even if they had waited until seasons end his value would have been dimished.

DB,

I can agree to disagree.

I have seen a team that opens holes occasionally against bad teams and rarely against good teams.

The same goes for pass protection.

I focus on the line play because that is where teams are made. You control the line of scrimmage you control the game.

You can disagree with that all you like.

I feel very pretty today. I think I'll go for a walk in the park and whistle a merry tune.

The Dolphins should trade down again to aquire a second round pick. Then draft offense and speed at the RB/TE/WR positions and offensive line. Forget drafting a QB for now (except in the later rounds 4-7). Give Chad Henne one more year under a new OC and possibly even a new HC. If this doesn't work out then sign Kyle Orton after the 2011 season if he hasn't signed an extension in Denver by then.

Oregon and Rusty,

We all know the line isn't what is should be but why not? These guys have had THREE years to get it right and it's STILL not what it should be. We'e drafted OL, signed free agents, brought guys in and out of here like crazy and it's STILL not good enough. So what do you propose? We spend every pick we have on the OL in some hope that we get it right? No, that wouldn't work, right? We've ignored the draft for three years now, probably rightly so. We've got one guy who's 35 and another guy who is soon to be 30. How much longer do you want to play these guys? Is there ANYTHING that these guys have done this year that makes you comfortable that they'll bounce back next year. Cause when everyone is saying 'It's all Henne's fault!!!', you need to look at what kind oof running game he's been supported by. So, quite honestly I don't care how you fix it, just fix the damn running game!

Dying- Here's the last I'll say about Lex so we can move on. There is no reason that he shouldn't get some carries just so we can see. It's not going to hurt anything to evaluate him. I'm not saying he is any of these guys. But imagine if Arrian Foster, Peyton Hillis, Ryan Grant, Green Ellis, The Oompa Loompa, Any of the Saints running backs not named Bush, Ryan Torrain. Were on our team. I'm sure fans of teams these guys play for all thought none of these backs would see the field either. All were late round picks, or unsigned free agents that were stuck on practice squads, or low on the depth charts. The difference is these guys all got a chance. They where longshots

Greatest problem about building a great oline is its extremmely difficult to find guys that pass and run block at upper echelon level. Case in point, last season we had road grader who pass blocked like it was the first day on the job.

This season everyone wanted to see what we really have in Henne so Sparano tried to construct a better unit of pass blocker while losing as least as possible in effective run blocking. You can't have the best of both worlds unless drafting #1 overall 5 straight years and selecting the absolute best college lineman each year at those oline positions.

So this season we have much better pass protectors but had to do it at the expense of sacrificing a little less effective run blocking. You cant get the best of both worlds and also throw in the fact Dan Henning is a horrible play caller, user of offensive personel, with poorly designed plays to boot.

bring in danny woodhead!

Oregon, Cobbs signed a 3 year deal in 2008..Camarilio as well.

We should fix the oline FIRST in FA. With so many holes on this team we can start just about ANYWHERE except D-line. Fixing the O-line will boost the run game & help the passing game. Rb's can be had in FA or in mid rounds. 1st rounder should be used for an elite QB if it falls or for elite speed at TE or WR. If not, best bet is trade down, get our #2 back and start drafting best available.

More than anything this team needs speed. We are big and slow. Watching NE's offense is a pipe dream because aside from Bess(welker like quickness), I don't see many guys on this roster capable of running that system.

Joe,

I don't want to extend this conversation about Nolan any further than we already have. I'm not contradicting myself with Fox and Fisher at all. What I said to you is, what SUCCESS did Mike Nolan have as a Head Coach in the NFL that makes you think he will be THE GUY to take us to the promised land? You've still never answered that. Did he have any winning seasons in SF? Did he take them to the playoffs? How come his name hasn't been bandied about as a candidate to be a Head Coach anywhere the last few seasons?

Fox and Fisher are about to lose their jobs and I guarantee you that both of these guys get interviews other places, as soon as coaches can be interviewed. They were both in their current jobs for long periods of time, they both took their teams to the playoffs and they both lost in a Super Bowl. How does any of that compare with the two or three seasons that Nolan coached in SF?

Pats were horrid running the ball last season. They were also horrid running the ball this season until inserting the diminuitive speedy and shifty Woodhead into the lineup.

For the past Pats running game woes be blamed squarely on the oline or ineffective rbs?

I blame a small part on our oline, part on bad play calling and the dumbass every other series rb swap, no speed or quickness in the backfield and we all know at times Brown can be downright ineffective when dancing like a school girl ballerina.

Im also shocked no one here's even thought of to mention Ricky's early season extreme fumblitis issues. There's tons of blame to be plaed everywhere in just the run game alone.

DB,

Explain to me why NE's OL has been together for 5-6 years, doesn't have all the shuffling pieces we always seem to have and they seem to have a great passing game and a decent running game? Hell they even missed their left tackle for a good chunk of time this season too. It's naslo no coincidence that they're also the winningest team in the last decade too

DB, good points in your post at 3:47pm. I agree with a lot of what you said.

Joe Schmoe- The list of free agent o-lineman to be is a long one, this is the first spot we have to explore. If we don't sign one, or two in free agency, it will certainly mean that we will do this via the draft. I would much rather see experienced players rather then raw rookies on the line next year. Signing free agents allows us to explore finding skill player via the draft. Running back is perhaps the easiest position for rookies to contribute immediatley. I am against drafting a qb in the first round, unless that quarterbacks last name is Luck.

To everyone saying fix the oline, be careful what you wish for.

Yeah you can go out and get a better run blocker but can he also pass block at the same high level? Same case goes vice versa with going out and getting a better pass blocker.

Do you guys realize there are only maybe a small handful of oline that can do both on a very high level? Guess what, they are all play under astronomically huge contracts under thier current teams and are definite untouchables.

Would we trade Jake Long or allow him to leave Miami without first offering him the city of Miami and throwing in the kitchen sink? So guess what, your dreams of 5 oline guys who are perfect pass and run performers are just that. Only in your dreams.

Where's the Skipper and Scrubby?

Wow, serious football fans. Blogging here at Dolphins in Depth. SWEET!

I just want to add a couple of things.

Hilliard is a keeper. He's a special teams demon, he blocks better than any back we have, save Polite. He catches out of the backfield, great hands. Probably the most important thing, he has the best pair of eyes out of all our backs. He can make things happen with his vision and reads blocks like nobody on the roster. Knows when to hit the hole and when to let the play develop. He has a lot of the talents you just can't teach.

I'm not saying he should be the starter next year, but he's the perfect change of pace guy, that can come in and truck defenders before they have a chance to catch their breath. Ricky and Ronnie are fading and I think Hilliard can outplay either of them right now.

The other thing is someone saying you can't blame Hennings for R&R's slide this year. I do basically agree with that. Except there's one thing that I think can laid squarely at his feet.

Ronnie and Ricky both seem to be streak players and have complimented each other quite well in previous years. In the past, we sort of just went with whoever had the hot hand and let the other spell relief.

This year Tony and Hennings changed that up and divided up their carries. At some point Hennings and Sporano should have taken notice and tried SOMETING different. If nothing more than going back to how they were previously used when they were more successful.

I don't think you can totally indict Tony and Dan because the offensive line play has to take a lot of the blame. Still, at some point, especially after 12 games of sub par performances, you have to try something different.

That's where good coaching should play a major role. It's not.

Compliments on the good posts today. Seems like everyone's on FIRE!

I agree that having a good O-line is hard to do.
I believe that you draft for O-line and keep drafting O-line until you have good talent across the board.

For example I was hoping the team would draft O-line with the 1st pick last year.

I believe you build a team inside out.

What we need is a franchise potential rb like Mark Ingram. Then we need a legit edge threat to compliment him with. Then we need a OC who wont jerk around with the rb's with the evry othe series bs.

Then if we have problems with the run game. Locate which olineman consistently is having the most issues and replace his ass.

But you cant start blowing everything up when you cant be 100% certain what the most pressing problem is. Thats for 100% sure.

Craig, why are you demanding to know from me what has Nolan done to show he's worthy of being a coach? What I think is irrelevant. I've also said repeatedly, I will not pigeon hold a coach because of 1 bad stop in his career. I think he's fiery, he's an x's & o's guy, smart, respected coach. He has a pedigree & he isn't from Parcells tree. Have I answered you yet?

If you think about it logically, Fox & Fisher have also had more than a couple of losing seasons, right? They've just had more time to achieve moderate success. Nolan has had 1 chance to succeed(3 years). I wanna give him another chance, you don't. I'm not saying I'm sure he's the guy, but he is BETTER than who's in charge now.

In the end, what matters is Superbowls. The guys you mentioned, also have 0, just like Nolan. Forget Gruden, he's done nothing except assemble old teams with 2 year windows of success. NOT what we need at ALL. And Fisher won't get fired. Superbowl appearances matter not. There are no prizes for 2nd place.

Nolan was given a chance on a BAD team with bad structure. He took it, that's his mistake. In the eyes of someone with your viewpoint he becomes a less viable candidate because he didn't have instant success. I think of Bellicheck.

why would the patriots want ronnie brown when they have a great thing going with ben jarvus green-ellis and woodhead?

DB,
you can say it is impossible to have a good O-line across the board all you want.

If you look at the succesfull teams. The teams that play at a really high level, they all have very good O-linemen.

The Pats, the cowboys in their day, the 49'ers in their day all had top notch lines.

If you want to be good then you start there.

The Dolphins are not there, yet everyone wants to add skill position players.

I agree with Rex, the Dolphins have good skill position players, well except a speed WR and a top tier TE, but certainly good enough to be a lot more productive than the offense has been.


The Phins need to hit a home run in next years draft and pick up a player like Ray Rice. Ronnie Brown has been a solid back but he's never been good enough to take this team to the next level. In last years Superbowl, Pierre Thomas (a 7th round pick) took a screen pass and made 2 or three people miss on his way to a 20+ yard touchdown. Given that same play, Ronnie Brown could make one guy miss (at best) and he's tackled for a 4 yard gain. Give Chad Henne better tools to work with.

I would say the first thing we need before worrying about any players is addressing the OC spot. There is no need in talking players until we know that person is going to be. Then after that, hopefully this coordinator will establish some sort of identity for our offense, and we can sign, and draft players accordinlgy. There is no sense in signing the prototype Parcells lineman if our coordinator is a zone read, west coast guy. And visa versa.
Also there is 1 player on the line who's job is safe for next year, and that is Long. The rest of the unit will be revamped, or in fights for their spots. This is a tall order.

Oregon Dolphin fan,

Unless drafting olinemen top to mid 1st rd all you would be doing is circle jerking yourself. Linemen fall in the draft based on what they cant do not what they can do. The further they fall the less they do well based on what scouts see in thier college play.

Like I said earlier, to suggest 10 lineman at thier respective positions run and pass block at extremely high levels maybe exaggerating a bit. Usually they do either one or the other at an extremely high level not bot.

You need look no further than our 2009 oline. Absolutely great run blocker but absolute swiss cheese as pass protectors. The 2010 oline I grade slightly above average run blockers and borderline upper echelon pass protectors.

@ Eddy,

Belicheat loves Ronnie and might just nab him is the Dolphins pass.

Who are some of the FA Runnimg backs in 2011??

Joe,

Isn't Nolan's story the same as Sparano's? He was given a chance by taking over a bad team? So based on what are you saying that 'Nolan is better than who's in charge now'? See i think you are getting confused with being a good co-ordinator and being a good head coach. They don't always go hand in hand.

And this stuff about you're not a good head coach unless you have a Super Bowl....gimme a break!! How many coaches in the NFL, coaching right now, have won a Super Bowl as a head coach? Quick!! I count 4.....Bellicheat, Tomlin, Coughlin and Peyton. Did I miss anyone? So basically what you are saying is none of the other guys are any good?

It's a lost argument man......

bobbyd - http://www.footballsfuture.com/2011/fa/rb.html

Man, back to the same old Bullshyt as last year. You dont sign or draft a player just causw the Pats or Jets might sign em.Base ur decisions on whats best for and the needs of ur team.

Thks Joe, i chk it ot

Oregon Dolphin fan,

Most fin fans never consistently watch any other nfl team outside of only when they play against Miami. Most of what our fans grade other nfl teams on is how they look or performed against us.

Even the best teams in the nfl has fans in thier blogs b!tching about something that still isnt perfect. Every team no matter how great has some issues. I remember before blogs and the internet existed I ran into a lot of Dolphin fans that had something negative to b!tch about even though we went 17-0 and won the SB.

That's conclussive evidence we as an imperfect group can find imperfections in even perfection. LOL..............

Joe Schmoe,

Nolan might be the next great coach, he might not.

Myself, at this point, I'm inclined to want to keep him right where he's at. Making him a head coach is an intriguing idea, but I wouldn't want to take anything away from our defense.

Defense wins championships. Basically our defense has kept us in almost every game this season. In just one season he's rescued a marginally average, at best, defense. He got us in the top 5 in his first season and that makes me drool thinking about how good they'll be in year two.

If this D gets just a little better, I think I could replace Henne and take us too a Super Bowl.

DB,
your last comment is a bit confusing and borderline insulting with your circle jerking comment. Insulting me because I do not agree with you in uncool.

If you want to breach civility I'll go there though i prefer not to.

I believe the Dolphins ought to use early round picks on O-linemen. They are that important.

If what you are saying is that they are hard to find then I agree with you.

Because they are hard to find is why drafting them in early rounds is important.

Bobbyd12,

One thing for sure Pats fans are never worried when Belichek lets a player go. He either gets great trade value, compensory pick, or when he outright cuts them stick a fork in them because they are done. So unlike us. LOL......

Oregon,

I'll agree with your last comment at 4:1ppm. Only problem is I'm not sure you can draft OL in the first and second rounds every year, hence the supposed efforts to add through free agency and the lack of success in signing guys like Smiley and Groves. But yes, I believe you have more success in building your OL through the draft and early.

mike nolan would be an excellent head coach;he's from a football family,turned our d around completely,is articulate and highly thought of by nfl insiders. real quality guy! sparano is just a position coach;the pressure is getting to him.

Oregon Dolphin fan,

Why are you so overly sensitive? I only said if our team constantly drafted olinemen just for the sake of drafting, if not using mid to upper level #1 picks. That would be our team circle jerking itself.

Wow.....maybe you should reread the post instead of accusing me of deliberately trying to offend you. Everyone here who reads my post knows I try very hard not to do that to anyone here. It isnt my style buddy.

DB,

There were a lot of people, fans and media, who thought Belicheat was nuts for moving Moss. He was obviously right in that regard but a lot of people thought he was throwing away the season. Same thing with moving Richard Seymour to the Raiders for a first. Looks like he was right again. I think what you're saying and I'll agree, he's righ more often than he's wrong....hence, the success.

Craig, I wasn't trying to argue with you. I'm stating my opinion, you don't have to like it. I like Nolan & am not claiming to be right.

What I can tell you is that I think Gruden is a dud, Fisher isn't getting fired & John Fox is a Sparano type. Conservative & boring & uneventful.

Also, don't twist my words. I didn't say only good coaches win Superbowls. I said all that matters is superbowl wins. The coaches you named aside from Gruden have as many as Nolan, 0.

You based part of your reasoning for wanting Fisher & Fox ahead of Nolan is because they've been to the game before so surely I can state the fact that them having 0 titles makes them equals to me.


Think what you like of Belicheat and the Pats, but the man knows talent.

It turns out I agree with him about Ronnie. I think he is a versatile RB who is extremely misused under Sparano/Henning.

Ronnie like Henne has been hamstrung by an underachieving O-line and an incompetent OC.

I say resign him and improve the HC/OC position

DB,

I think you've been making excellent points on the majority of offensive lineman being better at one or the other.

I think a prime example of this for Miami Dolphin fans is the offensive line we had for Marino with Webb and Simms. Excellent pass blockers across the board. Run blocking not so much.

PS: I think Cognito will be at least serviceable at both provided we can get a real Center playing next to him. I'd keep Long and Cognito, take a good long look at John Jerry and can the rest. Some think Carey can play on the inside, but I think he's on the downside of his career.

Greg,

Another guy on the Nolan for Head Coach bandwagon!! Based on what? His family coached? How did that work out for Wade Phillips or David Shula? Come on!!

I can see it now....Nolan gets hired and 2-3 years from now you guys are complaining about him as Head Coach. It's classic stuff!! The guy's a great co-ordinator and automatically he'd be a great coach....no wonder this franchise is in such a mess!!

I'm out guys.....fight amongst yourselves....

DB,

If throwing circle jerking yourself comments around is your idea of trying not to be insulting perhaps you ought to renew your efforts.

Craig, stop acting as if you're sure he is NOT a good head coach. Your arrogance & superior intellect is becoming tiresome. We are stating opinions, you are trying to pass opinions as fact. Let's keep it real.

Agree with OR...Ronnie and the entire offense is being mis-managed by an incompetent coaching staff.
I don't believe Ross will fire "The Sparano's"
...but Henning will retire and the door is open for a new OC.
That may be the missing link to a more productive offense?
...that and a long term solution at the Center position...can we please find a solid Center!!

sparano was let go by 3 nfl teams in 3 years. parcells rescued him in dallas;then made him the head coach here in miami. sparano just doesnt measure up with the coaches in this league;looks lost once the game starts and halftime adjustments are non-existent. he's on the verge of the players shutting it down early again. bottom line is that he doesnt put the players in a position to win games.

Odin,

Keep Long and Incognito, then keep looking.

Carey is on the downside and the team is still looking for that really good Center.

Hopefully Jerry will be a long term answer.

Got to keep building up that line and not settle for mediocrity.

Great skill position players can be made ineffective by a mediocre O-line.

Gregz...we all agree with you but does Ross see it the same way?

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