Let us clear some things up early this A.M. as we await the opening to the Dolphins 2011 training camp practice -- with the first workout scheduled for 11 a.m.
Reggie Bush is NOT Miami's featured back.
He has not been promised 25 carries a game. He doesn't want 25 carries a game. He isn't going to get 25 carries a game for 16 games.
I spoke with a source close to Bush on Thursday evening. The source asked my opinion: "Do you think the Dolphins can give Reggie 10-15 touches a game? That's what he's hoping for."
The question shows, in part, no demand for more work was made. And no promise of more work was given.
Simply, the plan is to make 6-1 and 228-pound rookie Daniel Thomas the workhorse. If he averages 18 carries a game that should be perfect. That would leave maybe an average of 10 carries a game for Bush.
You have about 288 carries for Thomas and maybe 160 for Bush. That's a whopping 448 rushes for the season going to those two.
Where do you guys see a need to add Ricky Williams or Ronnie Brown unless the Dolphins are not passing in 2011 and running the wishbone?
Last year, it should be noted, Brown led the team with 200 carries. Williams followed with 159 carries. The next highest rusher was Tyler Thigpen with 13 rushes. See what I mean?
No need for another alpha-type running back. Oh sure, the Dolphins will indeed carry backup running backs. But I doubt either Ricky or Ronnie want to sit at the end of the bench filling that role. Plus, that player must be a special teams contributor, which neither Ricky nor Ronnie are.
So this is a simple math formula: Reggie + Daniel Thomas = neither Ricky nor Ronnie.
By the way, I've been doing this for a while so I know the reaction (crapstorm) about to ensue in the comments section: "But Mando, Daniel Thomas is unproven ... But Mando, what if someone gets injured ... But Mando, ....)
Guys, the Dolphins love Thomas. They trade into the second round to take him because they believe in him and knew if they didn't get into the round, he'd be gone. He has prototype size and good quicks. He hasn't taken on NFL snap, but will get plenty of work in the preseason and that will ready him (the Dolphins hope) for the regular season. It does not matter that he is unproven. Arian Foster was unproven before the season opener last year and all he did was lead the league in rushing. I'm not saying Thomas will lead the league but everyone in the NFL that explodes onto the scene is an overnight success about a decade in the making. Also, who was Peyton Hillis before last season? Oh, someone few folks heard of. And offensive coordinator Brian Daboll worked him pretty well.
[BLOG NOTE; First practice is this morning so kindly come back here and I will be blogging the doings live from start to finish! It all starts at 11 a.m.]