Naming Miami Dolphins top three running backs since 2000 not an easy task
By Brian Miller
The Miami Dolphins may not have had great quarterbacks since 2000 but they have had some really good running backs so naming the top three is not easy.
For the Miami Dolphins, relying on a strong running game was a staple of the early 2000s. It was a power offense that ran from Dave Wannstedt to Nick Saban and was reestablished under Bill Parcells before he fell off the intelligence wagon and tried to milk the Wild Cat formation.
Picking three from the list of runners that have come and gone isn’t easy but here is a subjective view of those three that deserve the recognition more than some of the others.
Number 3 – Lamar Miller
Miller was unique in the sense that his success started a string of running back mid-round draft picks that the Dolphins have found success with. At the same time, the success of the mid-round talents has left the Dolphins rotating runners almost every other year. In fact, the success of Miller paved the way for Jay Ajayi to replace him, and then Kenyan Drake to replace Ajayi, and now, Drake may get replaced by Kalen Ballage.
For Miller, his time in Miami was successful. In 2018 he made the Pro Bowl with the Texans. In his four seasons with the Dolphins, Miller rushed for 5,864 yards and 32 touchdowns. This behind offensive lines that were not very good.
Number 2 – Ronnie Brown
Brown spent six seasons with the Dolphins after having been the 2nd overall pick in the 2005 NFL Draft. Brown was the catalyst of the Wild Cat offense in 2008 when he made his only Pro Bowl appearance. In his career with Miami, Brown rushed for 4,815 yards and 36 touchdowns, he also threw for two touchdowns.
Brown’s numbers may not be as impressive as Miller’s given the fact that he had two more seasons with the Dolphins and the WC formation but Brown split a good portion of his career with Ricky William.
Number 1 – Ricky Williams
There is no debate as to who the best running back of the 2000s is and was. Ricky Williams was by far the best and most interesting runner of the last 20 years. In the 7 years with Miami, he rushed for 6,436 yards on 1,509 attempts. Williams was worn down by Wannstedt and in 2002 and 2003, Wannstedt rushed Williams 383 and 392 times in both of those seasons.
Some believe or point to that used as a reason for Williams decision to turn to THC and retirement. While he had his off-field issues, there was no questioning his ability to play football on the field. In fact, Williams could make a case as one of the best running backs in all of Dolphins history.