Miami's Lack Of Running Back History


Bob Griese, Dan Marino, Earl Morral, hell even Don Strock, David Woodley and Jay Fiedler.  They are names we recognize immediately when we think about the history of the Miami Dolphins QB position.  The same could be said about our Safeties, LB’s, DE’s, and our lineman.  But what about running backs? Do they elicit a historical buzz of names?

Larry Csonka and Jim Kiick for sure.  Mercury Morris as well.  Then there is, well, there is, hmmmm?  Buehler?

The fact is that the Miami Dolphins used to be a very good running team.  Way back in the day.  But during the Marino campaign the Dolphins never had a legit running back that could carry the load.  Try as they may.  A few names will pop up and of course fans will throw out Ricky Williams and Ronnie Brown.  But outside of someone like Tony Nathan, is there a history of great even good runners?  I don’t think so.

The Dolphins pride themselves these days on being a bulldozing force from the tailback position.  Look no further than 4th down and Lousaka Polite.  While Ronnie Brown is a good runner, he is hardly a great one.  While Ricky Williams is a great runner, he is hardly historic.

In our sites forums, Southbeach brought up a good question earlier when he asked if Ricky Williams should someday be an addition to the “Ring of Honor”.  He is after all 2nd on the teams all-time rushing list behind Csonka for most yards in franchise history.  Does that make him a lock for that honor?  Does it eliminate the tarnished years of suspensions and quitting on the team?  Should that matter at all?

The truth is the Miami Dolphins, outside of Larry, Merc, and Jim, don’t have a historical running back but instead of had solid seasonal contributors.  Sammy Morris had a decent “season” once.  How about Lamar Smith, Delvin Williams, and Andra Franklin.  Do you even recognize those names?  Who else would you put on that list?

Does Ricky Williams deserve a spot on the “Ring of Honor”?

I have to believe that next year the Miami Dolphins will make yet another attempt to find a future star at the position when the draft rolls around.  Of course, with the historical drafting of Bill Parcells, yearly contributors may be all we get.

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Tags: Jim Kiick Larry Csonka Mercury Morris Miami Dolphins Ricky Williams Ronnie Brown

  • MDDolFan

    Not sure I agree with totally with your view. How could R. Williams 2002 season not be historic? 1853 yds, 115 yds/game, 2216 yds from scrimmage, 4.8 yds a carry… He then racked-up 1372 yds the following season. R. Williams has acheived more in the 2002 season, while playing on a mediocre team that went 10-6 and got pinched from the playoffs. Oh, there’s more…. check the stats on 2009 season. Another historic acheivement!

  • FinFanRod

    Sad but true but Ricky deserves to be in the discussion as a Dolphins great based on the fact there aren’t many more to compare too. I like Ricky as a player but wish that wasn’t the case. He won’t get in the Ring of Honor though as that is for players like Marino, Zach Thomas, Jason Taylor, Czonka, and the like. Ricky is still a great back for us but not in that ilk.

  • Pragmatic Heatfan

    If Ricky doesn’t get into the ROH with all the punishment his body took after we got him from the Saints, that would be really f**ked up man. I can’t see how we can’t enshrine him FOREVER… he is the GREATEST modern era running back the dolphins have had, period. And look at how he came thru for us when Ronnie went down, he is a champ in my book.

  • Jetro

    Sorry but gotta say that Ricky is one of the great Dolphins runners despite the fact that he quit on the team. We all know that he really quit on the coaching staff that was more than content with literally running him into the ground, even more so than what most coaches do to their young running backs. The quitting and his love for dope will keep him out of the HoF but he certainly deserves consideration for the Dolphin Ring of Honor should he continue to be a productive teammate.

  • Beowulf

    Ricky really let the team and fans down in 2004. Regardless of the reasons (or excuses), he QUIT in July 2004, when it was impossible to add any replacement for him!

    He played incredibly in ’02 and ’03. He also played his heart out in ’09. Those three seasons don’t seem to balance the damage to his reputation though…

    Maybe if he gets some more great years in this could happen, but at this point, I don’t believe he has a hope to get there…

  • Myself

    I liked Bernie Parmalee. By like I say he had some talent (not star talent, but not bad considering no one expected it… except me… I watched the preseason and thought he should have started above our other options) and if he had stayed healthy and started at RB his break-out year he would have been remembered as the first 1000+ yards phin since 1978. Still, that is the best I can do so I agree with your basic point.

    For all the legit criticism of Wanny as a Coach (and even more as a GM!) he delivered the goods and actually brought a running game to Miami with Smith and Ricky.

  • Ripplerat

    I also am not buying into this storyline. If anything, the Marino years were more the story of Shula reaching the end of his legendary era and placing all of his chips on 13.
    There have been plenty of solid running backs throughout the history of the Fins. I don’t believe that their history at the RB position is much different from the rest of the league.
    The fact is that most RB’s have very short careers. It is hard for any player in that position to build up the legendary status that players in other positions can do just through shear attrition.
    The other point here is that we are comparing Ring of Honor players that have won a Super Bowl with the franchise to players whom have not. If the Fins were to win 1 while Ricky and Ronny were in the backfield, the Fins would be making room for them in the Ring.

  • People

    I think that Ricky deserves to be in the ring of honor if for no other reason than to make up for the way Dolfans treated him when he left the team. We all selfishly thought of how it effected our football teams chances rather than why this player was as troubled as he was at the time. I believe that most dolfans have now accepted Ricky for but we have not apologized. I believe a celebration in his honor would be well deserved apology.

  • Brian Miller

    It’s a debate piece…and it’s working…:) I do however think that if Marino was not the QB for almost two decades the Dolphins would have been built a lot different.