They’ve got the thunder, now they need some lightning.
The Dolphins running back situation cleared up some with the selection of 6’0″, 230-pound horse Daniel Thomas in the second round of last April’s NFL Draft. With Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams not certain and rather unlikely to return, they will add more bodies to a backfield in need.
Besides Thomas, the other two backs on the roster are Lex Hilliard and Kory Sheets. While Sheets has exceptional speed and quickness, he has had trouble staying healthy and is no lock to make the roster. Hilliard is a back more in the mold of a Williams. So a speed back is one of this squad’s pressing needs.
And for those of you thinking Miami needs to be more of a passing team, you can forget it.
“We’re going to continue to run the football because that’s my nature,” said coach Tony Sparano at the NFL owners meetings several months ago. “It might not be popular with everybody, but that’s what I like to do. There are some teams in this league that got very far being able to do it.”
With Chad Henne as your quarterback at the moment how could they be anything but a running team? Let’s take a look at some potential names that should be out there once Free Agency finally hits. The players in blue are ones I think make superb fits.
DeAngelo Williams - He’s probably the most accomplished back on the market. His 5.0 career yards-per-carry tells a lot about his game. The kid gets yardage in chunks and would help out a slow, stagnant offense. Great bounce and quickness.
Ahmad Bradshaw – Although chances are slim the Giants don’t get him back, he’d be more than welcomed in Miami, pending they write him a fat check. Bradshaw is coming off a career year in which he ran for 1,235 yards, caught 47 balls, and scored eight touchdowns.
Ricky Williams – On the downswing of his career and he publicly criticized the Dolphins organization after the season. Highly doubtful he returns.
Ronnie Brown - Has the size and speed but for whatever reason never played that fast. He’s also injury prone. Adios Ronnie.
Darren Sproles - Certainly goes against the Dolphins traditional mindset of size over anything else, but rarely do big backs have great speed, and when they do they’re in the class of Adrian Peterson. This guy may be a shorty at 5’8″ but he can scoot, giving Miami a true home-run threat. One of the more likely scenarios.
Derrick Locke (*Rookie) – I’ve raved about him since April’s draft, yet still don’t get why he wasn’t selected. He has a shiftiness to him and excellent burst that would compliment Thomas perfectly.
Noel Devine (*Rookie) – Rarely does a player with his speed (4.3 40) not at least get drafted. Worth a look.