Analyzing an Apparent Lack of Depth at Running Back for the Miami Dolphins

peter weberContributor IMay 8, 2009

ST. LOUIS, MO - NOVEMBER 30:  Ricky Williams #34 of the Miami Dolphins runs against the St. Louis Rams at the Edward Jones Dome on November 30, 2008 in St. Louis, Missouri.  The Dolphins beat the Rams 16-12.  (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)

Last year at this time, no one was talking about the Patriots quarterback depth, or the Chargers linebacking corps depth, but by September, it was the most beaten horse in nearly every article. 

We now know that the Patriots had perhaps the best QB depth so far this decade, but can the same be said for the Dolphins running back group? Ricky Williams has expressed interest in playing only one more year for the Dolphins, although he recently added another year to his contract. That doesn't mean he can't ask to (or without his asking) be cut, to explore his options for other teams. 

For Ronnie Brown, 2009 is a contract season for him, and to re-sign Brown would cost quite a lot. Although it is often unwise to re-sign a running back after his first contract, it is not unheard of. 

But not signing a running back after his rookie contract is one of Bill Polian's (draft guru for Colts, previously Bills, during their years of dominance) principles, and we all know he's been pretty successful.

That means that potentially, this time next year, our only current running backs would be Lex Hilliard and Patrick Cobbs.  Lex Hilliard is more of a power back—and was on the Dolphins practice squad last year—not getting any carries.

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Although a proven deep threat in the wildcat last year, Cobbs has been quite limited in his runs, but did average seven yards a carry last year.  But take away his 44 yarder against KC, he had 11 carries for 44 yards, a modest four yards a carry. 

We all know that when you're a feature back, instead of just a situational back (wildcat, blow out time) you show your true stripes.  So expect those YPC to change, but for now, expect running back to become a big priority.

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