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Ricky Williams cross free agency bridge, then burns it

Ricky Williams is a lot of things. He's a solid, old running back. He's not very well rooted. He's an articulate man. He's a classic me-guy. And he's a hypocrite.

He's also pretty much done with the Miami Dolphins and I believe the feeling is mutual. And so with his Miami career pretty much over, a bridge Williams knew he would cross eventually, the running back went about burning that bridge on Monday Joey Porter style.

In his weekly radio radio show on WQAM, Ricky criticized coach Tony Sparano, wide receiver Brandon Marshall and took a subtle swipe at QB Chad Henne. He said, among other things, he is a closet New York Jets fan.

The comments you'll hear that seem most damning is that Ricky criticized coach Tony Sparano, saying among other things that the coach had lost his locker room toward the end of the season and the attention span of the players throughout the year.

“Tony goes through a lot of effort to show us the things it takes to win football games,” Ricky said. “Not turning the ball over, converting third downs, scoring touchdowns in the red zone. He spends a lot of time saying, ‘If you do these things, you win.’ And sometimes I feel personally that he does a little bit too much. My personal opinion is if you have the right attitude that you guys are going to win, then all that other stuff takes care of itself."


Interesting that Ricky didn't mention that during the season at any point. He refused to speak with the local media unless they paid him, which local radio station WQAM did in giving him a show. And even during those paid weekly appearances, Ricky never before complained about the coach asking the team to convert on third downs and score TDs in the red zone.

It wasn't until Ricky was clear of the season and felt he had cover that he made his point about Sparano's approach. Interesting. Maybe it might have been more productive had he brought the issue up with one of the captains to take to the coach. Maybe, as the longest tenured Dolphin, he might have brought the issue up to Sparano himself in private.


“Coach [Nick] Saban had a saying, ‘We’re worried about mouse manure, when we have elephant [crap] all over the place,’” Williams added. “I want to really start focusing on what I want to accomplish and what it is I want to achieve, but not micromanaging this or that and focusing on the little things. It’s keeping my eye on the prize and putting myself in a supporting environment and going to work every day with a smile on my face.”

That quote in a nutshell is Ricky: I, I, I, my, myself, my.

I guess it could have been more accurate if Ricky had included a couple of "me" references.

Ricky is very self-aware. And that self awareness guided him to reach this conclusion last week as Miami was preparing for the season finale:

“I had," Williams said, "a little bit of a sense during the week of practice that we weren’t maybe as focused or preparing as well as we needed to.”

Did he tell anyone? Nope.

He surely didn't tell anyone that could have changed the course of the preparation, that's for sure.

Ricky, by the way, is not a big fan of some of his teammates that he shares a huddle with, we now discover. Marshall, Miami's leading receiver and perhaps the most vocal and open critic of what was happening during the season, is Ricky's prime target.

“Being around Brandon a lot – I like the guy, I think the world of him – but as a teammate, sometimes he makes it difficult to like him and support him,” Ricky said. “It’s not necessarily what he says, it’s when he says it and the way he says it. But for the most part the things that he says are things that everyone else wants to say, but no one has the courage, or the balls. And some of it is intelligence – they’re smart enough not to say those things, because they don’t want to burn bridges. But when you have $50 million, then you can get away with whatever you want.”

Let me get this straight, so Marshall is speaking truth. And Marshall is saying these things while there is still time to correct course. But that makes him difficult to support?

And the guys not saying anything are doing so because they're more intelligent than Marshall?

Oh, and by the way, having courage is a bad thing?

Ricky said the biggest difference between the Patriots and the Dolphins is, "they have a quarterback," and with that he threw Henne under the bus. Nothing wrong with that, but throughout the season on the very same show, Ricky often talked about how much he supported Henne and how much he was progressing.


Now the season is over and so it's OK to do an about-face and pile on the guy when he's down and everyone knows he's going to be replaced?

The best part of the interview to me was when Williams spoke in glowing terms about Jason Taylor and Zach Thomas and the New York Jets.

Taylor and Thomas both hated Ricky when he quit on the team in 2004, weeks before the season was to begin. Ricky, you'll recall, said he wanted a break from football to go discover himself. Then he changed that story when it was learned he had failed his, like, fourth drug test and was en route to a suspension anyway.

Taylor's disgust with Ricky was most obvious when he showed up at the annual team Halloween party in a Ricky costume, complete with dreadlocks. Well, this year, Ricky showed up to the Halloween party in a JT costume, including a giant JT shaven head.

Taylor had little taste for Ricky and Ricky knew it. And Ricky took his revenge in his typical passive aggressive style.

But now Ricky is a huge JT fan: "... When I got here, playing with guys like Jason and Zach, it was awesome. Just their professionalism, and the way they played the game, it was incredible.”

Ricky also thinks LaDainian Tomlinson is incredible. In fact he thinks what LT and the Jets are doing if pretty cool.

“I like watching the Jets play,” he said. “Because of LT. I’m an LT fan. And I like the fact that the Jets run the ball.”

Dolphins fans might have liked Ricky to run the ball against the Jets. He 62 yards on 17 carries in two games against New York this season -- a 3.6 yard per carry average.

Ricky is a free agent in 2011. I think he realizes that. Otherwise you would not have heard him say any of this stuff.


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This article only reinforces my strong beliefs that Sparanderthal is just not HC material. Not intelligent enough, not capable enough. I am telling you by Thanksgiving 2011 his fate will be sealed, he is not the guy that can move this team forward, he is clearly moving it backwards, like Ricky told us, the players say the right thing, but they have lost confidence in TS. Cotes recent article was right on the money, if maybe too kind.

Nice try Mando but you're out t lunch. I firmly remember JT being one of Ricky's firmest backers when he retired in 2004 for one.

Second, I have no problem with Ricky because he's right. Sparano is a moron. It takes for a sitaution to completely fall on it's face before he tries to correct something. happened with Special teams, Defense, and now offense. That shoes an extreme lack of intelligence. Everyone here was screaming for some help to the offense last year but what does this administration do? Draft a #1 pick to the deepest part of their team - DL.

And he never said once that he was a Jets fan - just likes how they play. ANd with 11 wins or whatever they have despite having a crappy QB - who can blame him. I wish we were talented and well coached enough to have 11 wins despite poor qb play. And you think maybe he wasn't so much declaring his love for the Jets as he was talking down this team's management of the OL compared to the way the Jets do it?

And lastl Ricky ran hard all this year and ran hard his whole career. I have no problem with Ricky as a whole. The only thing on offense worth watching since Marino left.

Armando why are you hating on Ricky. He didn't say anything damning about anyone. He didn't waiver in his support of Henne. He basically said that he is not Tom Brady. That is true. He would say that about his qb if he played for the Jets or Bills too. And Brandon Marshall does speak out of turn at times. They both want to win. Ricky likes Ronnie and wants the team to take care of him, that's all. He knows that coaching costs both him and Ronnie money the past few weeks and that micromanaging ruined a good rushing attack from 2009 to this past year's mess. I still support you Ricky (just don't join the Jets).

This confirms what I have observed during the season--BM is the real leader of the offense and maybe the team. While I'm certainly grateful for Ricky's efforts through the years--and nearly forgiven him for his stupid juvenile destruction of our team when we were mediocre (ah, the good ol' days)he's not a leader. BM has been trying to get guys fired up all year. He's been openly pissed at some of Henne's missed reads--he called him out about the pick Sunday. He's gone to the players, he's gone to the coaches. He wants the Dolphins to be good. Ricky wants his check.

Ricky will just go to NEW ENGLAND and join the greatest show on earth !!! and win a Super Bowl !!!

Good morning fellas,

Another day another dollar here.

I don't have a problem with anything Ricky said.

On Sparano - I can imagine it sounds like a a bunch of BS after a while. When you are not winning games obviously whatever the coach is selling isn't working. Also Sparano doesn't seem like an X and O's guy he just a constant motivator and detail oriented guy so Sparano became a broken record. Sparano should be dumped today!

On B. Marshall - Ricky honestly sounded a little jealous of the "$50 million". But it's not hard to believe he would be the type to rub people the wrong way. He is a diva receiver and problem child in Denver.

On the Jets - I get what he is trying to say. First and foremost should be he is saying the Jets had an offensive identity by "running the ball". He is allowed to be a fan of LT too.

On Henne - I would have thrown Henne under the bus too, he sucks and instills no confidence in his team. The only reason Ricky was gung ho during the season was because he was sticking by Henne when Miami was still mathematically in the playoff hunt. Why wouldn't he?


I agree that Rocky is a me, myself & I guy with his words and actions. But isn't that so typical of most people today - there is no teamspirit, unless it does one-selv a hell of a lot of (financial) good.
That is - unfortunately - how most people behave today. I don't like it, and I find it hard to accept, and I don't live my life that way.
The question is really: If Ricky is that way, and with the (lack of) succes and work he has given the Dolphins in 2010 and maybe even in 2009 - will he even be missed from a sporting viewpoint? Not by me.

Home, I'm saying the Dolphins didn't have to suck this bad for this long. Retaining Ricky was actually one of the better moves the organization made (like I said, they don't have a lot of talent of his level).

Compare Week 1 and 16 (offensively). Do you see anything different? Formations, play-calling, anything other than Thigpen coming in mid-game? That should tell anyone everything they need to know about this coaching staff.

And Sparano has the nerve to lay out his solutions to Ross NOW!!! What about Week 2, 3, 4? Where were the solutions at halftimes of horrible games? How many TDs did Miami score 1st possession out of halftime? That's when the coaches can offer the most help, where were they?

Micromanaged how to win games. How about a special teams unit that's not a joke? That's a pretty good start. Yet, 3 years in, ST still a joke.

All the supposed brain power of this coaching staff, yet, they were outcoached by Galey, Mangini, and Rex Ryan (almost twice).

What's to retain? What's the direction they plan to take the team (other than South, though you can't get anymore South than South Beach)?

Why would Ross spend one second even THINKING about what to do? Henning is still able to speak as the Dolphins OC for f*cks sake! That tells you something. Sparano is more worried about massaging Henning's reputation than the reputation of the team and it's players. The guy has GOT to go, TODAY!

You in the media get to speak your mindless dribble on a daily basis. But when a athlete, who actually plays the game, gives an honest assessment you crucify him.

Get off your high horse and take your Mando Panties off dude!!!!

Guys I am hearing Tony Sparano is safe. LMAO! This team is a joke. Im done

I guess asking him to re-sign for 1 year is out huh? Interesting he essentially said Sparano babies them. Keeps harping on the same things.

I've been saying for weeks now we need a coach who will take the diapers & training wheels off. Treat them like men, not like babies.

Sparano's locker room sounds like an adolescent household. I'm telling you do this do that blah blah blah....I can see him losing his players.


Who cares! It's just sour grapes from a guy who had a poor season and who's best days are behind him. If he doesn't want to play here any more then move on. He did very little for this team this year anyways. Granted maybe he wasn't used enough or properly but when he wasn't used he was most ineffective and fumbled and odd times. He could have come back in some sort of role next year but now I'm thinking we'd be better off we someone younger. See ya Ricky!.....thanks for the memories.


I must say it always sounds like you have a major chip on your shoulder towards Ricky. Also, I really don't understand your attitude with this article.

1. You knock Ricky for his attitude towards the press, yet the press, and YOU, ridiculed him for years, took cheap shots at him endlessly. Of course he would have an attitude with the press. Ricky drew tons of animosity for quitting several years back, when in fact he'd have been suspsended, ok, big deal, he toked some weed, but its fine for the rest of society to have 3 martinis at happy hour and then drive home in rush hour traffic. Besides, in the real world, its employment at will, people quit and companies layoff (or trade in the nfl) good people daily, there IS NO LOYALTY ANYWHERE.
2.. Why would he rip the team or the coach during the season and create issues, had he done that you'd have slammed him for being a cancer.
3. My take on his quotes is not anywhere nearly as abrasive as you are making them out to, I thought he was speaking honestly and somewhat diplomatic. I didn't find him ME ME ME at all. He described Brandon perfectly, the coach perfectly.
4. As I said, you have had a blatant bias against Ricky for years, but lets not forget Ricky probably put more heart and soul in this team than anyone else during his time here. Do you remember how Wanny ran the hell out of him, abused him really, and every coach in his 4 regimes here praised the way he practiced. Even JT himself said once he was a jet that Ricky was a great teammate and a model in the locker room.
5. LAST BUT NOT LEAST...you my friend are the biggest hypocrite here. On American holidays you praise our freedom of speech, yet you censor your own blog!!!! Wake up, dude....maybe its yourself that you are really upset with.

Being supportive of the staring QB during the season is part of the job, for Pete's sake. Ricky's not a hypocrite for failing to state on a weekly basis that Henne isn't good enough. That's our job. For whatever good it does.

Question? Why did Ricky not want to approach the coach(s) about his concerns? Was he afraid or concerned about kickback from them? Why did the others not approach them as well? Were they afraid too? Has Sparano created a atmosphere of paranoia? No open door policy? Is Sparanos reason for support of the team and coaches an excuse for keeping faults from being exposed? Was Ricky glad that he could finally vent knowing he would not be back? Looking at the way the players quit on the coach, is this an indicator that Sparano is a 'Don Cortione' type of personality? Ya know, god-father type? My way or the highway?

I fault the coaches for the woes. You can get rid of players. Much tougher to get rid of coaches, unless they quit on them. Wait.. That happened didn't it. The players quit on the coaches. They have spoken. Now who is listening? Mando, are you? Look at the big picture here. The players are screaming, the only way they can, for a new coach!

Im listening to John Clayton on Mike and Mike here and he is saying that Harbaugh not a candidate in Miami because it looks like Sparano is staying put.

Sucks for you locals that all the home games will be blacked out.

The man who can't read has returned to bless us all with superior knowledge and information.

sparano wasted no time in cutting erik walden for a special teams whiff. sparano deserves the same fate. by the way erik had 11 tackles and 2 sacks for the packers on sunday. the regime cant judge talent!

Greg z, all their failures matter not, Continuity is KEY.

Andy, you and I don't have to worry, but think of those sorry saps that have to decide if they're going to renew their season tickets, lol.

Would YOU renew, if they keep Sparano, without seeing PROOF that he's done ANYTHING to change the course of the team? I sure as hell wouldn't. I'd rather give that money to my local mosque to send to Pakistan than give it to the sorry Dolphins organization.

Get ready for another recession Mr. Ross if you keep this coaching staff in place another year. Looks like my annual purchase of team gear will be on a 1-year hiatus. I'll make due with my Zach Thomas fading jersey thanks!


Mid season next year, Sparano is gone. When Ross sees another .500% season on the horizon, the inevitable will happen. I just wish they'd do it now & get headed a new direction instead of waiting another year. By the time a new coach gets in Dansby & Wake will be 30 & peaked. Shame! Just like Zach & JT.

Why exactly should Ricky have mentioned this during the season again?

DC Dolfan,

I don't know what to think. Sparano has done absolutely nothing. He got lucky with the Wild Cat and an easy schedule in year 1 by year 2 Miami was mediocre and by year 3 Miami is getting beat by bottom feeders at home.

This just sucks man. It really does.

Mando you continue to get more childish! Ricky will not say anything during the season because its not his place to disrupt things. He's not coming back so let him speak the truth. He didn't say anything that isn't true. Mando you are such a baby and cry and whine when someone says something you don't like. Get over it!

Hey Joey!!! Take a hike brother!! Done talking to ya....go fall in the Jersey River or something. You were asked a SIMPLE question and obviously you couldn't answer it. Go get some help for some angry management help or something....you're a nutbar!!

We can co-exist on this blog but I'm finished talking to you....I don't know what your problem is but I don't care...

the secrecy of the regime speaks volumes. thats what all tyrannys are based on. you tow the company line or you'll suffer the consequences. marshall and ricky spoke for the others who are afraid. the dolphins were never our team. they belonged to 3 people;parcells/ireland and sparano! it was theirs to do as they wished without explanation or reason;the fans be damned! media too.

Dear Mr. Ricky Williams:

You made a lot of good points and much of what you said is true.

On your criticism of Brandon Marshall, you are wrong. It is evident that Marshall genuinely wants this team to succeed, and his frustration isn't related to his personal stats/performance, like much of your frustration is.

BM got paid and got his stats this year (1,000 yards). He gets frustrated because the team isn't winning, and he said the things he said to motivate the team and to bring awareness to the issues that he feels are holding him and the team back. Nothing wrong with that.

There is something wrong with you NOT doing it though. If you want to be a veteran in the league and the longest-tenured player on the team, and refuse to be a leader, fine. But don't complain about the culture after you refuse to stand up and change it. The positive, winning atmospohere you wanted has to be instilled and re-inforced not only by the coaches but by the veteran leadership on the team- a role you refused.

So, in short- thanks for the good times. Enjoy New England, where you will get even fewer carries than you did in Miami. F*ck off.

All it takes for sparano to start 2-0 again and the crowds will start to fill in the stadium. Next year we'll be 8-8 again. But I like the draft picks these guys have made so another year of drafting between parcells, sparano, and Ireland won't be the worst thing. The problem here is coaching not talent aquisition. Whoever takes over in 2012 will have some talent to work with.

It's not like he said anything that the media and fans haven't been saying all along. Not sure why idiots like KLV760 and OmarKelly are all up in arms about it. He clearly should have gotten more carries this year, and Sparano clearly is one of the big reason the dolphins aren't in the playoffs right now. Plus Marshall IS a baby, Henne IS terrible, and Ricky probably was gone even if he wanted to come back.

People should just move on here. Ricky was one of the best players on the team for the past decade, and when he did play he played hard. We'll miss his production.

If I was sparano I would re-sign ricky. He said he wants to look in the mirror and change the way he's doing things. Well Tony here is your chance.

CraigY, LMAO If you think I didn't answer you, you need strong prescription glasses. You are the laughing stock of this board. You're an ignorant know it all who actually knows Jack squat.

Keep thinking I didn't answer you. It's all over page 13 on the other thread. EVERYONE can see you were answered EXCEPT you. Stevie Wonder could see it. You honestly sit here & tell people this FO should have a chance to rebuild this offense. AS IF THEY HAVEn'T TRIED TO EVERY YEAR.

You're the most ignorant person on this board. Keep up the good work & thanks for playing Chump.

Never have there been more telling words written:
How the F (!!!) is Henning still the OC 2 friggin days after this disasterous season!?!?!!! HOW TonY!!! That should have been the first order of business @ 4:30 pm on Sunday after the Patriots tail whuppin!! And that is why Tony should be gone. That inaction alone speaks volumes about what a dumb shT, clueless man we have as a HC. That and his intelligent and thought provoking (cough, cough) pressers. Oh and also the fact that he's an Oline coach and the Oline was the worst part of the team!!! OK, now I'm getting angry! Ross, WAKEUP!!!!!!


Good post at 9:32am. I think Ricky things he's bigger than the game when in reality he's a 34 year old replaceable part. I think it's reallt small of him to be dumping on Sparano and Company AFTER the season is over on his own radio show but not talk to the media all year. He's a strange dude, always has been a strange dude and I think he sees the end of his playing career fast approaching.

aloco. check out mallet. he reminds me of phillip rivers. armando. stop bytching.lol

I think its pretty obvious from your reader feedback that you were waaay off base with this post. You came off looking like an immature high school ex-girlfriend.

I have no problem with what Ricky said. What good would it have done to mouth off to the press about his feelings during the season? As others pointed out, you would have then jumped at the opportunity to call him a "cancer" in the clubhouse.

If you had ever played a sport you would know that confidence is king, especially with a young QB. Ripping him, the team or the coach during the season does more bad than good.

I think his comments prove that Sparano lost the lockerroom.

Also, how telling is it that they stopped running Ronnie when he was 30-something yards away from his incentive payout? I am a life long Dolphins fan, but have to admit it is a classy move by the Patriots and Belicheck to approve the payout regardless. The move just seems like a microcosm of the problems inherent within the organization for years.

Did Ricky break up with you or something?

I hope John Clayton is wrong on his feeling that Sparano is staying put but I have a feeling he is right on.

I was going to make it an annual thing to fly down to Miami and make at least 1 game a year but if Sparano is there, no way. The guy is a freaking idiot. He is a mumbling, bumbling moron with all his plus and minus talk and chunk yardage. There isn't a coach in the NFL who talks as stupid as he does.


It's funny, just last week Clayton was saying he thinks Sparano is gone. Something has obviously changed.

LOL AndyNJ; so true. The guy is a friggin idiot. Sadly, it looks like he's our idiot for at leatt half of next year.

This really makes me upset...Is the guy that has become my absolute favorite over the past decade a lie? because if what this article says is true, then he is all smoke and mirrors, and just like the rest of the NFL: looking for a paycheck. If Ricky is who he claims to say he is, the guy who I believed he was since his come back, then he would stand by the team that gave him a second chance. If not, then it is a sad, sad day in my life

this story just came on NFL.com

"Dolphins exploring Jim Harbaugh as coaching option"

if true that's a great sign GO ROSS sign him!!!

If Ricky gets anymore than 8 carries a game, unless it was a blowout game or a couple other RBs were injured on his new team, Home would be amazed

That being said
Believe enjoyed Ricky`s intestinal fortitude in speaking his mind, and after all what does he have to lose

The Dolphins Suck

and by the way my hair is now longer than Tom Bradys
Home was the trend setter starting back bout 5 yrs ago when tired of the Buzz cut look for the previous 8 years

Glad Tom finally followed Home`s fashion trend lol

Andy, I wasn't gonna go down there twice next season. I think I'll change my plans LOL

I hope we get harbaugh. It looks like the phins are exploring. They will keep Ireland and Nonlan if that happens.


I can't see it happening. I think he ends up in SF or Michigan by tomorrow.


A warm soup bellied nice grandpa kinda guy is Tony Sparano

A winning fiercely competitive NFL coaching genius
Sparano will never be

It is
What it is

Take it
or leave it

The observant


It's funny, just last week Clayton was saying he thinks Sparano is gone. Something has obviously changed.

Posted by: Craig M | January 04, 2011 at 09:45 AM


Mr. M:

John Clayton- who, incidentally, is the ugliest man on TV- is paid to make 'educated' guesses/predictions about what is going to happen. I put 'educated' in quotes because his level of acutal knowledge and insider info is debatable. He, and others likfe him, 'report' things that thing are going to happen, and rarely if ever report real, hard news (they certainly dont use sources- other than a crystal ball).

When they are wrong, they often float stories like the one about how Tony was going to be fired, but then Parcells convinced Stephen Ross to keep him.

These guys are the meteorologists of the sports world.

Story on NFL.com repeating that Ross quietly looking into Harbaugh, because he could work with Nolan and Ireland. You guys may get your wish, after all.

It's amazing to me how you guys have this blind loyalty to a guy who has quit on this team time and again...he's a POS, and always gfs s bee...wouldn't be suprised if he's the reason Brown has been less positive this season...good riddance.


I remember Shula saying that his greatest mistake on his first year as head Coach was, "I assumed too much"(of professional football players). Thereafter, he was on top of them.


John Clayton has a "Face for Radio"

have a HAARPy day :(


Better question ALoco--how do we get Cutler? lol.

Guess I was wrong. If Sparano lost the team he must go. Below is an excerpt from NFL Insider this morning talking about Harbaugh's options:

"One of those teams might be the Miami Dolphins. Jason La Canfora of the NFL Network tweeted Tuesday morning to not rule the Dolphins out, as Harbaugh would play "attractive football," and could work well with GM Jeff Ireland and defensive coordinator Mike Nolan."

I want a new coach, but not sure Harbaugh is the guy I'd want. I guess anything is better than Morono. Harbaugh will definitely insist on getting his own QB. Not sure we have the capacity with picks & or trad-able talent to move up.

tapeworm how is it you know Brandon or anyone else on the team better than Ricky, who plays, practices with the team day in and day out. You only know what the feeble miami sports writers feed you and nothing more. Right now I'd take Ricky's word over just about anyone elses. He has no motivation to distort the facts. Armando feels jilted that Ricky won't talk to him, mainly because Armando ridiculed him endlessly for years. Ricky is a man, Armando is a mouse.

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