Welcome to Friday. Cue TGIF music. Or just play the video below.
Want to take this opportunity to clear up a couple of mistakes, misconceptions and misdeeds:
In my column on Ronnie Brown today, I allowed No. 23 to tell you where he believes he rates among the NFL's top running backs. Brown said he considers himself in the same conversation with Adrian Peterson and others. That's his opinion and I'm cool with it.
I hope to see more from Brown this season. He needs to turn routine runs into jaw-droppers on occasion. We want to see a couple of 4-yard runs turn into 16-yarders where Brown bounces off one tackler, runs over another, and gets to the second level. We also need to see more 50- and 60-yard runs. One per season isn't elite.
Three or four of those is elite.
Of course, the Dolphins need to do their part. They need to give Brown enough opportunities to make big plays. Between 12-15 rushes per game isn't enough. He needs 20-23 rushes per game to make it work.
I would tell you there was an editing mistake in my column and I want to clear it up. When I filed it I wrote that, "Brown wasn't even the best running back on his own team one year ago."
It was inexplicably changed to, "Brown wasn't even the best running back on his own team last season."
The change is significant. In May 2008, Brown was still recovering from his knee surgery, he was unsure in his running and uncertain about his prospects. Ricky Williams, meanwhile, was impressing the heck out of people with his explosion and pop and practice habits. Williams was at that time Miami's best RB.
That obviously changed during the regular-season as Brown healed and got stronger and had a very good season. Speaking of change, the wording has since been changed back by editors so that's appreciated by me. We're all human.
The next thing I'd like to clear up is the notion that Pat White continues to struggle in these OTAs, which I've heard around town from fans and other media.
So you understand, these OTAs are glorified classroom sessions. The team meets in the morning and goes over an "install" for that day's practice. An "install" is when coaches put in a set of plays the team has in its playbook and wants to use.
After two hours or so of that install, the team goes on the practice field at around 10 a.m. and works the install. This work does not include pads, does not include any hitting, is not done "live" or at full speed. There is no tackling.
This is basically flag football using plays the athletes first learned a few minutes ago.
So if Pat White, a rookie quarterback, struggles here and there during one of these practices, so be it. It does not mean he's over his head. It does not mean he's a bust. It means he's a rookie quarterback seeing something on the field for the very first time only minutes before he saw it from coaches for the first time.
Most of the rookies around the NFL right now are easy to pick out. They're the guys with the bulging eyeballs. They're the guys seeing scary things for the first time. They're the guys that seem a bit overmatched.
It's May, people. That's the way it's supposed to be. Get a grip.
Similarly, to suggest a guy is playing well based on what is happening in these OTA practices is a stretch because it's not real football out there. There were a couple of throws across the middle in Thursday's OTA session that seemed nice but really weren't that great because, were it a live game, they would have gotten the tight end or receiver decapitated.
I've also seen far too many players look like Tarzan during these offseason camps and then play like Jane when the real games begin. This doesn't mean offseason camps are a waste of time. They serve their purpose in keeping guys in shape, sharpening the players' minds, and establishing team chemistry.
But please keep perspective otherwise.
And thank God it's Friday!