Dolphins Rushing Attack: Ronnie and Ricky Should Still Split Workload

Kris CardellaContributor ISeptember 30, 2008

Wildcat.  Wild Hog.  Single-wing.

Google any of those words and you will most assuredly will find this: the Miami Dolphins 38-13 upset of the the Patriots in Foxborough.

The bigger story on the day is the benefactor of the single-wing trickery: Ronnie Brown.

Brown scored 5 touchdowns (4 rushing, 1 passing) over the Brady-less Patriots.  This one-man explosion of offensive production would have most coaches retooling their game plans.

Take for instance the 2007 season.  Cam Cameron nearly benches Ronnie Brown in the off-season in favor of the newly acquired Jesse Chatman.  After 2 games of a sparse rushing offense, and subsequently no offense, Cameron decides to unleash Brown on the Jets.  Before a season-ending knee injury in a week 7 game against New England, Brown was leading the NFL with 958 all-purpose yards.

One year later, 3 games into the NFL season, new Dolphins skipper Tony Sparano is presented with the same "dilemma": give Brown more touches or keep the 50/50 workload between him and Williams.

Tony, keep splitting the carries.  Ricky had 16 carries for 98 yards, and Ronnie had 17 carries for 113 yards.  While you can't expect this kind of production every week, you have to give both of these players a chance to get in a rhythm and break one.  Last game it was Brown.  Next time it might be Williams.  You have two superstar athletes at your disposal.  Keep them both fresh and you give the Dolphins the best chance of winning.

This method has worked elsewhere in the NFL.  An aging Fred Taylor is more productive than ever, and may have very well extended his playing career while sharing time with the young Maurice Jones-Drew.  LaDainian Tomlinson is the workhorse in San Diego, but Darren Sproles is too explosive an athlete to not get the ball to at least 10 times a game.

Barring injury, you will see a shared Dolphins backfield for the remainder of the '08 season.