Submission: 15


By:  J.R.

Potential RB Issues:

Flash back to the start of 2009.  Fresh off of an 11-5 comeback year, the Dolphins appeared headed in the right direction with a few solid pieces in place, but many needs still had to be addressed, as evidenced by the 7-9 finish.   If you polled any football expert, they would tell you that the one place the Phins were strong in was running back.  A year later, RB appears to be a deadly problem for the future.

You may be wondering, how could we POSSIBLY have a problem at running back?  We have a star inRonnie Brown, a solid backup in Ricky Williams, a special teams stud and change-of-pace guy inPatrick Cobbs, and a prospect in Lex Hilliard.  Well, Brown, who is going to be 30 in a year, is coming off of yet ANOTHER shortened year, and now has a surgically repaired foot.   Plus, he becomes an unrestricted FA next offseason (He is currently holding out on signing his tender in hopes for a long-term deal). Williams is turning 34 this season and is well due to start slowing down at his age, despite his lack of carries (FA next year).  Plus, he is pondering retirement after this year.  Cobbs is coming off of surgery, but unlike Brown, is not as vital to the running game.  Don’t expect much more than his typical solid special teams play this year (FA next year).  And last, Hilliard.  Many compare his style of play to Giants star RB Brandon Jacobs, but there is too small of a sample size to tell if he is the real deal.  In two years, the only guy remaining could be Hilliard.

While the NFL has become a passing league, the running game is vital to keep the defense guessing.  With Henne, Marshall, Hartline, Bess, and Camarillo, Miami could develop into a top-notch offense by, say, 2014.  That’s the year the Frozen Bowl will be played in “New York” (actually in New Jersey, what were they thinking?)  I don’t know about the rest of the Dolfan community, but I don’t want to see Henne tossing 2 yard curls to Marshall and Bess all game in 20 degree weather.  Expect the Trifecta to make a push for a great running back next offseason, similar to how they went all-in on LB’s in the recent draft.  One of Miami’s biggest strengths could also turn out to be one of its biggest flaws.