So…Um…Why Isn’t Ricky the Starter?

5 Sep

Let’s jump in the Not So Long Ago Machine, to the fall of 2009. Ronnie Brown is kicking some serious behind. Eight touchdowns in nine games. Then, the unthinkable, a season ending injury. Actually, it is quite thinkable. This isn’t the first time we’ve watched Ronnie’s body betray him in the middle of the season. Ricky is once again a full-timer.

As impressive as Ronnie’s first half of 2009? Mr. Williams’ second half. The moment Ronnie went down Ricky stepped in and went for 100+ on the day. He would score in six of the next seven games.

Last year Ronnie averaged 4.4, to Ricky’s 4.7, with both of them healthy. This preseason Ricky’s averaged 6.2 ypc to Ronnie’s 2.1. Of course, you could argue that Ronnie’s seeing the first team defenders, with fresh legs and better talent. And perhaps Ricky has entered these meaningless contests and beaten up on second stringers a little. But almost three times as many yards per carry?

We love Ronnie, but did you see that burst on Ricky’s 42-yard run up the gut against Dallas? It was vintage Ricky, and it was impressive as hell. Ronnie has battled since his return, no doubt. But is it wrong to ask if we can afford to play a brutal first half schedule leaning mostly on a running back who’s not 100% yet? Seems a fair question, especially when the Dolphins happen to have a 2nd string back with all the ability in the world.

When that hole opens up for a split second in crunch time at Minnesota, is Ronnie going to hit it and make the Vikings pay big time? We wouldn’t bet against him. But if we had to say right now which Dolphin we’d want carrying the rock at that crucial moment, it would be #34.

Just sayin’…

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6 Responses to “So…Um…Why Isn’t Ricky the Starter?”

  1. Ripp September 6, 2010 at 8:07 am #

    You make a good point although you have to also take in consideration that Ricky was starting to run out of gas towards the end of the season. But I do like the idea of him being the starter at the beginning of the season till Ronnie gets back to 100%. I think we are just blessed to have two RBs with HOF talent.

    • danewen September 6, 2010 at 8:57 am #

      Absolutely, it’s great to have the depth. Just wondering if we can afford to not put the most explosive back out there. Every game will be crucial in the beastly East.

      • WillyRicks September 6, 2010 at 10:17 am #

        Beastly East? Im not so sure about that. This is a topic all in its self but i dont fear the Jets at all. I did before preseason but id be willing to guarantee they dont win the division. They have too many stars on that team, lack of chemistry and an over rated QB. The Jets wont live up to the HYPE. They looked horrendous in preseason. As for the Patriots… Their offense is still going to put points on the board but their ancient defense isnt anything special. We can and will score on them and i dont fear them either. And the bills…. are still the bills. I still feel bad for Lee Evans… had to ruin his career on that horrible team lol.

      • danewen September 6, 2010 at 11:58 am #

        I agree with the Lee Evans thing. That guy could be a major star elsewhere.

        I think that the Jets are way overhyped. I don’t think they will meet expectations. But the fact is, one way or another, they went to the AFC title game last year. They had the #1 defense and #1 running game in the NFL. They will not be easy to beat, hype or not. The Patriots won our division. And having an offense that can put points on the board (and a mediocre defense) seemed to work just fine for the Saints and Colts.

        There’s a reason Peter King calls our division the AL East of football. There are three teams that could easily win it. And with the likelihood that just a couple of game could separate all three of these teams, every game could be crucial.

  2. WillyRicks September 6, 2010 at 10:11 am #

    Your right and your wrong. Perhaps maybe thats the game plan? Ricky is a great back but he isnt 27 years old any more! Using Ricky in key moments of a game, keeping those legs fresh is perhaps the smarter move. Ronnie will get his yards, and will most likely have a great season. You should also realize that Ronnie is wondering about his future after this season. Ronnie wont let us down, he wont let himself down or his family. We should all feel comfortable knowing that Ricky is there waiting to get int he game when we need him. And as for the difference in YPC average… Ronnie was taking 2 or 3 carries a game this preseason… Hes not Barry Sanders lol. A RB needs his carries to put up the numbers.

    • danewen September 6, 2010 at 11:52 am #

      Thanks for stopping by The Bottlenose, Willy.

      I politely disagree with a couple of your points. Ricky hasn’t had a two major foot and knee injuries. While Ronnie may only be 28 (he turns 29 this season), I think he’s legs are no more fresh than Ricky’s, whose legs, aside from a broken ankle a decade ago, have remained remarkably fresh. Not to mention Ricky has had a little bit of “time off” due to certain poor lifestyle choices he’s made.

      Ronnie’s had more preseason work than Ricky. Eight more carries, barely half as many yards as #34. So is it just Ronnie then that needs carries to put up the numbers? Doesn’t Ricky need warm-up carries too?

      Or does it go back to my original point? Right now, in my opinion (which is certainly backed up by what we witnessed in the preseason), as the regular season starts, Ricky is looking like the more explosive back. That doesn’t mean Ronnie won’t play proudly and effectively. But if #23 is still fighting back from his tricky Lisfranc fracture, should he be the guy who leads us into battle?

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