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RBs on the mind, in meetings, in the later rounds

The Dolphins are conducting meetings with players at their facility next week, with several players already scheduled to fly in Monday for Tuesday visits.

Count Illinois running back Mikel Leshoure prominently among the players the Dolphins will be meeting with soon. The team is looking for replacements for either Ronnie Brown or Ricky Williams or both and Leshoure's performance last season -- 1,697 rushing yards and 17 TDs -- suggest he's as solid a possibility as anyone.

So what should the Dolphins look for when they search for a running back?

They need to find a guy who can square his shoulders and get up field quickly. They should find someone who can absorb hits with some sort of subtlety to where it seems as if defenders are always just missing. This is important because backs that take full-on hits all the time don't last very long or get hurt a lot. Quickness is a trait you want from a running back, one that is more important than speed, quite frankly.

You probably think I'm crazy for typing that last sentence, right? After all, look at Chris Johnson. The man is a lightning bolt and that speed is intoxicating. Yes, but Johnson is also quick. Speed on it own gives you a track man. NFL teams want football players.

Speed is not so valuable in the absence of instinct.

Consider that Ronnie Brown came out of Auburn and to Miami as the No. 2 overall selectionin 2005. He ran a 4.4 in the 40 at the Indianapolis Combine. But how many 70 yard touchdown runs has that led to with the Dolphins?

Meanwhile, a guy such as Emmitt Smith could barely crack 4.6 in the 40-yard dash. And yes, he ran behind a dominant offensive line. But when he got past the second level, I don't rightly recall him getting caught from behind by cornerbacks or safeties that could run much faster. He had quickness. He had instincts. It's important.

One player that I had not heard about until this week was brought to my attention by a great personnel man I sometimes converse with and always respect. Check out Maryland running back Da'Rel Scott.

He's 5-11 and 211 pounds. His stats at Maryland as a junior were good but not great. He gained 708 yards. He's projected to be a 5th or 6th round pick. But this personnel man really likes Scott. Says he had very nice quickness to go with his 4.4 speed.

And, of course, he gets square quickly.

Look, I don't claim to be a draft guru. Frankly anyone in the media that claims to be a draft guru without actually having NFL experience is something of a poser. But what I do is talk to people who are legitimate personnel people, who have been in draft rooms and have true expertise and experience.

Those guys actually picked players. And I, in turn, pick their brains and pass along to you as much information as they allow me to do. Scott is a guy that has been suggested to me as a value pick in the fifth or sixth round but perhaps someone takes him a bit sooner.

We'll see how it turns out.

As they say in Boston, follow me on twitta.

 

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I think some guys are getting a little hung up on Ingram being/not being an every down back. IMO, this guy could carry the ball for us 18-25 times a game, no problem. Is MJD an every donw back? Chris Johnson? These are smaller backs too. I don't think it really matters. For the most part, teams get it done with 2-3 backs. What's wrong with that? We've been doing it that way for the last few years. I''d rather this approach than what Wannstedt did with Williams and Lamar Smith. Just about killed them both.

For the Ingram haters, Ingram is a guy who can give us 18-25 carries a game, catches the ball well and blocks well. You guys may not like him but don't make things up.

Must be a bunch of closet queens on here. I mean, grown men obsessing about athletic young guys in tight pants day after day? Puhleeze!

Finding two RB's that are the equal of the 09 versions of Ronnie and Rickie will be tough. 2010 versions not as much.

But in 09 these guys were top shelf, and both could block and catch as well.

I'm an Ingram guy. But I want to research this Scott. It would be really cool to pick up a QB prospect with our 1st round, and still get a quality back. Historically, some of the best Dolphins picks have been in the later rounds. And many excellent backs around the league have come in the 3d round or later.

DC,

I read you say this morning something about you want a running back who doesn't gt caught from behind. I don't remember Emmit Smith, the guy Ingram is compared to the most in terms of size, speed and style, getting caught from behind too often. I don't imagine this will be a problem with Ingram.

I was initially not very impressed with Ingram either. At a casual glance he doesn't look as good as he really is. After a closer look though, the guy really is a beast, he is tough, and he is not slow. Think about if his 40 time was a mere tenth of a second faster, he'd be a top ten pick for sure. Now ask yourself, if you race someone in the 40 and they beat you by a mere 1/10 of a second who is really faster than who? You run that race 5 times and either one may do a 1/10 of a second better or worse every time. One tenth of one second! Mark Ingram is not slow, thats a misnomer.

Those who say Ingram is nothing but 3 yds and a cloud of dust have simply not done their homework. Take a look at all the RB's drafted in the 1st round over the last 3 years and you will see the 15 spot is an extremely fair price for Ingram.

To all the Henne haters on here:

Yesterday Marino said on Henne, "He has what it takes to be a starter. He had an off year last year. I'm pulling for the kid." He also said giving up on Henne would be a mistake.

As other have told me on here, I'm much more willing to listen to a Hall of Fame QB, someone who actually played the game, than some of you clowns, who don't know SQUAT about football.

Craig M. I do not hate Ingram, he is a fine player. However on the surface and from what I have seen, he will not be "elite"

For less money, (when CBA is resolved) we could have Ronnie and Michael Bush I would think. I know ronnie had some issue with durability, but he did make it through last year just fine.

Like I said, I think Ingram is a good back, not sure about great especially in the NFL. So the risk reward meaning $$/output is risky, vs trading back getting a far less expensive guy with a similar upside.

It is not a perfect strategy but in this case and this draft at RB it has a lot of merit.

Craig, I was going to post that about Marino/Henne also, thanks for beating me to it.

Poizen,

I'm not advocating taking Ingram at 15. I would prefer we trade back and take Ryan Williams or Leshoure in the second. I don't know if that's going to be possible.

I'd have concerns with waiting until the CBA is agreed to wait to start adding backs. I think we have to come out of the draft with one of the top three backs.

Craig M.....most of us amatuers on here believe Channing Crowder "has what it takes to be a starter".....and when the season starts..."i'm pulling for him" {to}......

Thats not exactly a glowing endorsement.....

Its more of an acknowledgement....kind of like a footnote.....

Craig M @ 11:09....Is this an April Fools joke?

Poizen.....I think you have what it takes to post here......(since you do it already)

Endorsement...or statement.....

kris,

So why would he say anything? Dan's not afraid to express his opinion. If he didn't think the kid had it then he would say it.

This is no different than all the guy who were jumping on board what Jake Long said about Mallett in College. It's the same deal...

Statement, and why was that directed at me?

Kris, I don't think you would ever endorse me. :)

Craig M, you have to take what Marino says lightly. He probably is pulling for him to do better, at the same time being the public figure that he is in Miami, he is just not likely to come out an rip Henne either, its called being diplomatic.

I'm all for giving Henne another shot. I don't think you flush a way a second round pick so fast. At the same time, I wouldn't give Henne more than another half a season to end the doubt of whether he can be the long term starter for this team. He has to be convincing and consistent in his first 8 games.

What is also missing in Craig's cut and paste is that Marino said. IT WOULD BE A BIG MISTAKE TO GIVE UP ON HENNE ALREADY. or something doen that line, so is that a better endorsement?

...So it wasn't an April Fools joke. Hmmm. I'm happy for Henne that he has Marinos vote of confidence. All of these endorsments mean nothing in the end. It is up to these players to prove what their coleauges see in them.

0x80,

I'm not sure I do put much stock in what Marino says. I don't think he's done much since he retired. I don't rate him any more than a talking head. But I also don't think Dan would mince words. He's crticized this organization before, especially after our 1-15 season. To me, I put as much stock in this as Jake Long coming out and vouching for Mallett.

Poizen,

I did in fact throw that into my post too.

0x80, You hit the nail on the head. If he fails this year, he is done in MIA. Partially because coaching would probably stay and they can't coach to this kids talents. Or he just sucks, which I feel VERY confident that is NOT the case. A third scenerio is we clean house and a new coaching staff would want their own guy for their offense.

I think what Craig is saying and I have attempted to do is to lighten the mood on Henne.

There are just way to many posts on here stating, that Henne sucks, and he is a int machine, can't hit the broad side of a barn... ect...

That crap is just that, complete crap. It does get annoying to read those comments about our QB when anyone can see he HAS talent.

Enough talent? No one knows, but the way he was coached and the way the o-line played last year did not give him a fair chance to be evaluated for his skills.

Not sure if that clears up my opinion, and I did not mean to be talking for Craig, he may not agree with me at all.

Poizen...I would endorse you in a heat beat...

Poizen is WHITH OUT A DOUBT one of the best posters on Armando's blog...he he is directly responsible for this blog being as succesful....and his keen INSIGHT and off-the beaten path perspective are on of the main reason's this blog has longevity wgere others don't.....

I woudn't trade POIZEN for another poster on here.....I don't know WHY ON EARTH Armando and the REST of thr MIAM HERALD STAFF has OPENLY stated they want to BRING IN another POSTER to compete with POIZEN.....

That would be an endorsement

Some of you guys almost seem perturbed that Marino disagrees with you on Henne.

Hate to break it to you, but believe it or not you are NOT football experts based on watching it on TV and parroting your "talking points" from ESPN.

LOL... That would be an endorsement, why do I feel I have been set up for all topoop on me now. :(

Sorry Craig, I missed it. my bad. I think that statement from Marino speaks volumes of his opinion.

He easily could have left that out, if he DID NOT think Henne was all that good.

Anyway, thanks for posting it here.

Ivan...no one has disagreed with Marino....we just interpertet what he said diffently...and the fact that its even open to interpertation...only strengthens the debate of those who say its not an endorsement....but rather a statement...bland, dry, and middle of the road....it fits our QB perfectly at this stage in his career

Poizen,

You echo my comments. Couldn't have said it better myself.

Guys want to REACH for Mallett at 15 and think that will solve everything. There's a reason teams like Tennessee, Washington and Minnesota will very likely pass on Mallett. All of those teams need a QB, but he's not a first round talent. But you can't tell these guys....they all know better than the 'experts'.

"To give up on Henne would be a mistake. The kid's a starter'.

Which part of that isn't an endorsement? Do we speak the same language? What would you like him to say that would an endorsement?

craig....

if you think that is an endorsement.....then NO....we don't speak the same language......

BTW...your changing the "QUOTES"...from your ORGINAL POST....

1st post by Craig M....

To all the Henne haters on here:
-------------------------------------------------------
Yesterday Marino said on Henne, "He has what it takes to be a starter. He had an off year last year. I'm pulling for the kid." He also said giving up on Henne would be a mistake.
-------------------------------------------------------

2nd post:
"To give up on Henne would be a mistake. The kid's a starter'.
-------------------------------------------------------

You have taken editirial liberties with the quotes....you got to keep the quotes straight so people can make honest and forth right comments.....

any one who doesn't understand marino'S COMMENT IS TRYING TO BELIEVE HENNE WILL NOT HAVE A GREAT YEAR IN 2011 .HENNE WILL LEAD AND TAKE US TO THE PLAYOFFS .

"It would be a mistake to get rid of kris and bring somebody else in to do his job".

Would that be an endorsement?

trade down draft mikel leshoure which armando fail is quick as hell and break for big games

sign sproles as ive been saying since the season ended and solidfy the rb's and special teams rule change or not

or draft dj williams have work in at halback full back and use him like dallas clark coming out of the backfield

how you like them apples?

**correction**
trade down draft mikel leshoure which armando failed to mention is quick as hell and can break for big gains

STAY ON TOPIC GUYS YESTERDAY WAS QB'S TODAY ITS RB'S LOL

ALoco,

The problem is that kris and others have it in for Henne and have a h*rd on for Mallett. It's all BS!! We'll be sitting in the EXACT same situation we're in right now three years from now if we go down that road. Mark my words...

These guys have their minds made up and don't want to hear what others have to say.

VAN and finheaven...

YOU WERE RIGHT I ASKED WHO DID MARYLAND PLAY.

VAN

YOU WERE SO NICE THAT I DID MY HOMEWORK.

THE ACC

12 TEAMS

7 UNDER .500

3 WITH ONLY 1 WIN

SOUNDS REAL TOUGH OVER THERE

SO I ASK AGAIN WHO DID THEY PLAY?

THIS TIME LOL.

IDIOT

Craig M.....you under-stated my HUGE HARD ON for Mallett.....

and thanks for the (almost) endorsement....you (almost) made my day.....

you're about the only guy who wouldn't see that as endorsement, kris. Stop drinking the hate-aid. Chad Henne is NOT the reason we've been 7-9 the last two years, despite what you and others want to say. Your boy Mallett couldn't carry his jock.

0x80/CraigM,

Drafting a RB (like Ingram) in the first-round, with no 2nd-rd pick is not a "hands-down" wise decision. And that's why you see people (in the organization, fans) questioning the pick and debating it so much. And that should give us all pause. We need our pick to be as close to a sure-thing as possible, and this just wouldn't be. It's even debatable how much Ingram would help the team. For one, his injury OFF THE BAT should make you 2nd-guess yourselves (because we can't start this year with injured rookies, a la Odrick, Edds, Donald Thomas a few years back, etc.).

Let's face it, you guys are just as stubborn on your initial positive reaction to this pick as I have been on my initial negative reaction to it. There's really nothing left to be said about it (since you guys believe what you do and I believe what I do). I won't be sold on Ingram until sometime during the year after I see what he does for any team he's on (even if we end up taking the kid). Knowing what I know about past drafts, I will be second-guessing every pick that's made this year (because I was the one rah-rah'ing when we took Ted Ginn, and Pat White, and John Beck, thinking someone in the FO had to know better than me, and ended up they didn't know diddly). And that's how it is. I'm holding my ground. If I was GM, I'd take someone else in the first-round (or trade back). If Ingram is around in any other round, I'd probably take him, but again it's hard for me to believe he'll be the best RB in this draft class based on this year's and future performance). I got that feeling with Adrian Peterson, I got that feeling back when Ricky Williams was drafted. I'm sorry, but I don't have those feelings with Ingram. My gut tells me he'll be a regular back in this league, nothing special, nothing worth writing home about.

One caveat to my last post, because I know Craig will respond, "Ok DC, I agree the 1st pick needs to be a sure thing, then why would you want to take a QB, which wouldn't be a sure thing?"

Good question, and my answer is because that's the one position you have more latitude with. The QB is the most important position on the field, and the up-side of picking wisely FAR outweighs the up-side of any other position, so I think picking a QB doesn't always have to be "close to a sure thing" to be wise. So that's why I'd take a QB (if the GM thought there was one that might be a future franchise QB).

Regardless of if that was a strong endorsement of Henne or not, or if kris and others want Mallett or not, it's water under the bridge. First off, Henne is the only QB on the team right now. If we don't draft one, he'll be the only one on the team until the lockout ends. Most likely (I'm 99% sure), he'll be the starting QB Week 1 (whenever that is) if there's football this year. Even if we got Mallett, there's probably a microscopic chance he'd be ready to start Week 1. And even if by some stroke of chance he was, would you WANT him to start? What's the success rate of a rookie starting his very first game in the NFL? I haven't done the research, but just off the top of my head, I'd say not good. QB are much more successful (IMO) if they have a chance to watch and learn for awhile before starting. So, either way (if we draft a QB or not), we need a starter this year. And, right now (and probably in all likelihood) that person will be Chad Henne.

So, H*LL YEAH I want Henne to succeed. H*LL YEAH I want him to be night and day from last year. I want him to be the best QB in the league. That will fix a lot of problems on this team. Do I think he'll be the best QB in the league? No. Do I think he CAN be better? Absolutely.

HENNE HAS WHAT IT TAKES BUT I DONT THINK HE IS CHAMPIONSHIP MATERIAL AND JUST CUZ AN EX DOLPHIN SAYS THAT DOESNT MEAN MUCH HE IS JUST TRYING TO ENCOURAGE THE KID WHICH HE OBVIOUSLY KNOW IS GOING TO HEAR ABOUT IT MARINO IS GOIN TO TALK BAD ABOUT THE KID

ASK STEVE YOUNG THE SAME QUESTIONS AND SEE WHAT HE SAYS???

May I please have some Gouda cheese?

CORRECTION MARINO ISNT GOING TO BASH THE KID

I hope we are able to get both Scott and Leshore. that would be perfect in a trade down senerio. we could get Mallet at end of round 1, Leshore or Hankerson in round 2, address TE or OL in round 3 and D. Scott in round 3 or 4.

SURE,

WHAT DO YOU KNOW ABOUT CHAMPIONSHIP MATERIAL ?

DAN MARINO KNOWS AND YOU JUST A GUY WHO'S PASSING BY A BLOG .

ingram is beginning to fall off the dolphins radar. miami's coaching staff typically likes the bigger backs and are more likely to be looking at another 230 lb. back in daniel thomas. he has a similar running style to ronnie brown. apparantly, ingram's size is something that doesn't seem to fit in the scheme of things in miami's running game.
after working ingram out this week miami has apparently "turned the page" and is now taking a look at the other options that are available at running back including ryan williams, mikel leshoure and daniel thomas. the feeling everyone is getting is that miami feels they can get quality running backs in other rounds and do not wish to use such a high draft pick on a back like ingram. it seems as though they it would be better for them to acquire a 2nd round pick by trading down and trying to get mulitple backs in later rounds.

THE POINT IM MAKING IS THAT IF YOU ASKED STEVEYOUNG OR MONTANA EVEN FAVRE HIMSELF THE SAME QUESTION THEY WOULD TELL YOU THE REAL DEAL AND THEY GOT MORE RINGS THEN MARINO

YOU CAN BASE YOUR PPOINT ON A BIASED MARINO STATEMENT

OF COURSE MARINO IS GOIN TO SAY NOTHING BUT NICE THINGS ABOUT HENNE

YOU **CANT** BASE YOUR PPOINT ON A BIASED MARINO STATEMENT

DC,

Admittedly upfront who really KNOWS how any of these players will work out. We all have our opinions, fine. Personally I think many are underrating Ingram.

One thing though, those here who constantly harp on Ingrams injuries are overstating the issue. His one single injury is healed and done with long ago. Merely arthroscopic surgery, he missed 2 games, period. People say he had a hip injury, do the dang research, he bruised his hip when a helmet hit him there, nothing more than a bruise.

Let's compare to Adrian Peterson who hurt his ankle and BROKE HIS COLLARBONE in college. Now that is an injry! At the time (google around and you'll see) many were warning against taking Peterson too in the first round due to his injury history. Also they were concerned he was too tall for his weight.

The other thing frequently overlooked by the regular bloggers, my argument for Ingram once again is if we are picking at 15, because while possible, I don't see a good enough trade down scenario likely to come. I'm totally against trading down for a 3rd. Would I consider one of the top 10 if they fell to 15? Absolutely. Would I reach for Pouncey at 15? No way. I don't believe any of the qb's still around at 15 will be any better than Henne, and with the cba mess and very likely a coaching change after 2011, I don't see the logic in drafting a QB in this draft.

Thats my stance plain and simple.

I don't think Marino is biased. Marino bashed Culpepper on inside the NFL hen he was to be our starter, and he also stated displeasure for the Pat white experiment while it was heppening.

Marino also publicly disagreed with the benching of Henne if you remeber back.

I think he was sincere. If you care. Jaws and young both have said good things about Henne, and what he has to offer. The big knock is his Robotic progression. Which is usually the case with a over coached, over cautious QB. Hopefully he gets some freedom this year to call some plays and his own audibles. that way we can see if he is good or not.

MARINO IS A CHAMPION AND HE KNOWS WHEN HE SEES ONE IN HENNE .

DC, i have to agree with your post on ingram. everyone seems to be so stuck on this guy that they can't see two feet in front of themselves. miami needs a lot of help on offense. that's a given. but when talking of ingram they are also talking about taking him at the #15 position. if we trade down into the 20's and get a 2nd rd pick and he is still there i wouldn't be so much against it but to take him at #15 and not have another pick until the 3rd rd is not the wisest thing to do. if we are stuck with the #15 pick in the draft i think you need to look at every player who is available with first round projection status and try and project them out over the next two years. i think you have to try and look at them and say, "how much will this guy contribute to our team over the next two years and, two years from now, when we look at how they did our we going to be able to say the player was worth the #15 pick."
that being said, the only player i can see that projects out two years down the road that well and should be available to us at the #15 is aldon smith. offensive woes or not, stuck at #15 we need to take the player that will have the biggest impact on the team. smith is the only guy who we can say that about. can we say it about any of the OL, WR's, RB's or QB's who will be available at that spot? no. therefore, if we are stuck at #15 we need to go with smith.

0x80. good post. I am not wanting Ingram @ 15. But I like your thoughts.

Your point about not trading down is valid. If we can not do it... What is the best option? I agreee you draft ingram. The unfortunate part to taht is I think Lashoure and Matthews could be as good or may be better pro and could have been gotten cheaper later in the draft. But that IS null and void if we can not trade down.

My true thought is that there will be plenty of teams wanting our pick to where we can move down. It always happens. But still a good point.

I guess the biggest point of all is that Ingram would be no better than James (JJ) Johnson on the phins with the o-line performance we had last year.

not too many RBs are worth taking in the 1st round. Only Barry and emmit have work out well, that I can think of. Better to find your work horse in the later rounds.

That position is so punishing that there's not alot of long term value, IMO.

If Jeff finds a worthy QB in the 1st round we should use our pick there, IMO.

GO DOLPHINS!!!

0x80/DC/Poizen,

Always good to talk football with you guys. DC, you make a lot of sense in some of your above comments. The one part I take issue with, is when you say 'absolutely' Henne will get better and yet you still want to take QB at 15. That doesn't make a lot of sense to me. To me, you're saying you think Henne has something else to offer and that the problems the last two years aren't all Henne's fault. I would agree with you on that. But then, instead of trying to SOLVE the problems, you want to draft ANOTHER QB and ignore the problems. That DOESN'T make sense to me. So Henne struggles again in 2011, the kid sit on the bench and then what? We get rid of Henne (a three year starter) and bring in the kid to play, with no experience? That strategy makes no sense to me! You still haven't solved the running game (I don't believe you're going to solve it now from the 3rd round on and FA) and you now have a bunch of vets that are losing patience and faith in the FO (if they haven't already). This year becomes a wasted year, when everyone KNEW the offence had to get better. The message now becomes to any young QB's, 'you have THREE years to get your act together or your out'. Not exactly a patient, nurturing atmosphere for a young QB to grow up in.

I know most wont do thier homework, but go back to Ingram's 2009 Heisman year highlights. Then carefully notice how great his burst is within the 1st 10yds of the oline.

Then you see how well his great 10yd shuttle performance equates to real football ability.

You will also notice that anytime he burst thru the line completely clean and untouched thru the 1st 10yds, he was never caught from behind. Whenever this happened his "initial burst" created enough distance between he and pursuing defenders they could not make up the distance quickly enough to prevent Ingram from scoring.

However, if he doesnt clear the oline completely untouched the 1st 10yds, though he still picked up adequate yardage, he rarely scored. My point is, when he clears the 1st 10yds completely untouched he most usually took it all the way to house.

DC,

I know what you DON'T want at 15. But go on record what you DO want at 15. Don't hedge. I don't want to hear maybe a lineman or maybe Jones. You're on the clock. What QB are you now taking at 15?

Just to clarify my position guys. I want the tradedown option. I know 0x80 and myself differ on this one and I think DB is with him on this one. I want Williams or Leshoure in the second round and I don't really care who we take late first. It could even be QB, although I would prefer something else. I'll two good players over one, any day of the week. We don't have the depth of the Pats or others and until we do I'll take quality AND quantity and I don't by this stuff that we're getting lesser players by dropping down.

The problem becomes what do we do if we're stuck at 15. That's the dilemna. My gut says take Ingram because it's our biggest need but I still have a month to make up my mind on this.

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