Phins At 50: Top 10 Backs
By Dan Heaning
Mandatory Credit: MiamiDolphins.com
No. 2 – Ricky Williams
Call Ricky Williams what you will. As a Miami Dolphin, Williams was extraordinary.
With then-head coach Dave Wannstedt looking for another running back to run into the ground after Lamar Smith, the Dolphins acquired Williams from the New Orleans Saints on March 8, 2002 for four draft picks (a relative steal compared to the entire draft the Saints gave up to get him in the 1999 Draft).
Williams was an instant success in Miami. His first season as a Dolphin shattered the team’s single season records in rushing yards, yards per game, and rushing touchdowns. Williams’ second season with the Dolphins ranks second all-time in rushing yards and third in yards per game. However, the Dolphins would miss the playoffs in both seasons.
In 2004, Williams tested positive for marijuana and went on to fail multiple drug tests. He was suspended for the first four games of the season and then retired in August. With Williams as the only legitimate source of offense for the Dolphins, the team sputtered and finished 4-12.
Williams returned for the 2005 season after serving his suspension and split time with Ronnie Brown. But he would miss the entire 2006 season with another failed drug test and would not see NFL action until the 2007 season and immediately became injured in his first game back against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
However, Williams would rebound in 2008 and set the fifth best rushing season in Dolphins history in 2009. Proving that age wasn’t wearing him down.
In Williams’ only playoff appearance for Miami in 2008, he was nonexistent. Williams rushed for 17 yards on four rushes and he and the Wildcat were tamed by the Baltimore Ravens, 27-9.
Despite all the drama and the Dolphins losing slightly over three seasons worth of his prime, Williams’ record breaking years with Miami ensure that he is the greatest running back in Dolphins history.
However, there was still one back who was better…