Ronnie Brown: Man On a Mission

Brad RossmanContributor IMay 28, 2009

NEW ORLEANS - AUGUST 28:  Miami Dolphins running back Ronnie Brown #23 rushes for positive yardage against the New Orleans Saints during the first quarter of their final preseason game at the Louisiana Superdome on August 28, 2008 in New Orleans, Louisiana  (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)

Ronnie Brown definitely caused a stir by his comments regarding the elite running backs in the league. The best part is, he was exactly right. In order to survive in this league you need confidence, and that is exactly what Ronnie exudes when he plays football. Some may question his statistics throughout his short career and disregard him entirely.

That's perfectly fine for Ronnie, after two head coaching changes and a battle back from injury a little criticism shouldn't hurt. Remember this is a guy who didn't skip a beat and was already practicing 7 months after his reconstructive surgery.

Hopefully these words are a sign of things to come for Ronnie. He definitely has the motivation since he's playing in a contract year and should be fully confident in his knee. It's important for perspective purposes to remember that today's NFL teams rely on dual running backs to carry the load.

Lets go back to his rookie season in 2005 where he rushed for 907 yards (4.4 YPC) while sharing carries with Ricky. This was probably the best Dolphins team he was on until last year's squad. 2006 saw Ronnie take over the reigns full time for an abysmal offense. Appearing in only 13 games Ronnie posted his first 1000 yard season. With a shaky Culpepper and Harrington at the helm, Ronnie was the lone bright spot for the team.

That brings us to the infamous 2007 season. This was Ronnie's 3rd year in the league, and it was evident he was ready to break out. When he went down in week 7 he was leading the league in yards from scrimmage and was on pace for over 2,000 all purpose yards. Again, playing for the 2007 Miami Dolphins.

Last year could have been a lost year for Ronnie due to the severity of his injury. Instead he garnered his first Pro Bowl appearance. His stats were inflated due to the frequent use of the WildCat formation, but Ronnie still was able to produce.

Don't forget outside of the tackles, Miami had a revolving door at the two guard spots and an undersized center. Not to make excuses for Ronnie, but even at about 80% (IMO) last year he was great. How many times last year in the fourth quarter did Ronnie keep drives alive and keep the chains moving. A handful of wins can be placed squarely on #23's shoulders for keeping the offense on the field and making pivotal plays.

Now comes Ronnie's breaking out party. We didn't see much of his breakaway speed last year, but something tells me this year will be a whole different story. 

The WildCat will definitely play a big factor into Brown's 09 production, which will be significant. This year will be the return of the 2007 Ronnie where we saw glimpses of his dominance. If Miami plans on repeating then they should utter one phrase come week 1: "Run Ronnie, Run."