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Monday, July 30, 2007

The heat is on Ronnie Brown

Ronnie Brown ripped off his pads immediately after practice today and doused his head with water, seeking relief on a morning in which he got all but one of the carries with the first team offense.

Brown, despite being in good shape at a trim 230 pounds, looked spent and was clearly not prepared for so much action.

But he better get used to it.

Brown, you see, is going to be asked to carry the load for the running game this year. I know you've heard that before, but this year the training camp talk about this talented player doesn't seem to be merely lipservice.

"I know my workload is going to be turned up," Brown said following today's practice.

Cam Cameron expects Brown to be a workhorse in the mold of LaDanian Tomlinson, Priest Holmes, Marshall Faulk, Eric Dickerson and any number of the other quality backs that previously have made themselves stars in the system Cameron runs.

And unlike the past coaching regime, Cameron seems to realize if Brown is going to carry the load in games, he's first going to have to do it in practice successfully -- at least early in training camp.

So Brown is not only getting plenty of repetitions in practice, he's getting work (as in carries or catches) during those repetitions.

It makes sense if you believe the adage that one plays as he practices. In the past Brown didn't seem to get an inordinate amount of work in practices. I guess you can argue that saved him for the games, but it also set him up for a certain amount of failure.

How, after all, can you expect the guy to carry the load in games if he's never done it practice?

It was never surprising when Brown would fail get more than 15 or so carries a game when he wouldn't be prepared for more work than that during the week. (By they way, am I the only one who would be frustrated watching Brown break off a couple of 6- or 7-yard runs during a game then either ask out or get replaced by Sammy Morris?)

That isn't likely to happen as much this year. First, there is no veteran backup behind Brown, and there is practically no chance Ricky Williams will ride to save him as happened in 2005. Yeah, Williams' days with Miami are over.

Lorenzo Booker will be a change-of-pace guy, but he's not destined for 180 carries. So it'll be Brown. It must be Brown.

The good thing about this is that Brown seems to welcome the increased practice workload.

"Whatever I got to do as far as running myself into the ground in practice and having to fight through it," he said today. "Come in the game situation, it'll be a little bit easier for me."

29 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

the more I read about what's going on at Dolphins camp, the more I'm liking this new group of coaches and personnel guys.

thanks armando!

12:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Working Brown hard in practice is a good thing to get him ready to be the workhorse, I agree. But relying on him for the entire season is risky. As often happens in the NFL, and through no fault of Brown, he could get hurt at some point during the season and the Fins do not have a quality backup. They need to acquire one for insurance.

12:34 PM  
Anonymous Scott Alderson said...

gosh it's frustrating to see a world class athlete who is being paid millions and millions of dollars to play a game and not be in shape. you gotta be kidding me ronnie. where is the yoga training or something similar to ensure you NEVER pull a muscle? why not not interval training with a sprint and conditioning coach BEFORE training camp starts? this career of millons could be over in a snap. why dont these guys prepare like crazy to be the best they can be. think how much more effective camp could be if they were already in shape and could really work on techniques and game plans instead of gasping on the side line. im sure many of our guys come into camp ready to roll, i just think our number one guy would have too. all that said - ronnie is gonna be a freakin freight train this year and really break out and booker is gonna kill it when he is in too - this years reggie bush!!

12:49 PM  
Anonymous John Michaels said...

Well said Armando! Ronnie better get used to this, because it's not going to change. If Ronnie has any aspirations of being great, he'll step up and accept the challenge head on and prove to everybody why he was the number two overall selection in the 2005 Draft.

12:53 PM  
Blogger John R. said...

I've read alot about how this year's camp is more physically demanding then last year's. Could Saban's no-contact camps have been responsible for the slow starts. Also, why aren't we worried about a 6th round draft pick starting by default.

12:58 PM  
Blogger Armando Salguero said...

John R: I guess you're referring to Drew Mormino working with the first team at right guard. Well, did you read my previous blog about Pete Kendall?

We're worried, dude. Very worried. But having said that, I wouldn't be surprised if there aren't a couple of changes along the line between now and the regular season.

1:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

IMO Ricky is a good guy, albeit troubled and unreliable. Does he get into fights on S Beach (or Vegas), hang out with gang bangers, beat up on his wife, take roids (did Cam/SD relaese Merriman for using roids?)complain to the media? He is a good guy at heart. Everyone on the team likes him as a teammate, he was a great mentor to Brown in 05, and is a hard worker on the field and in practice. The Fins would not be "relying" on him at RB, that's Ronnie Brown's role. But they could use Ricky to spell him and as insurance if Ronnie goes down. He did a great job for us in 05 in that role. And what's the downside? Nothing. If he fails another drug test, so what, he's gone. But if he stays clean he would be a great #2 RB. No one can dispute the guy has talent, he's still young and not washed up, and the Fins do not have to pay him much. It sounds like a very good risk/reward scenario to me. The only question then is whether Mueller can swallow his pride and bring him back after making Mueller look like a fool and disappointing the organization and fans with the failed drug tests. My guess is that Mueller will not bring him back, unfortunately. Remember, Mueller unloaded Ricky to the Fins when he was at NO. That's too bad because his talent and good character warrants another shot. And remember, he was suspended last year NOT for smoking weed, but for some still unknown substance in his herbal remedies.

1:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Re Scott's comment - where are the Jerry Rice's and Walter Payton's of the world? Ronnie B should take a page from those guys, they put themselves through the most arduous off-season workouts known to man and came into camp in tip top shape. Doing even hapf of what those guys did in the off-season would server Ronnie well.

1:12 PM  
Anonymous Patrick said...

I agree with John Michaels, anything less than an every down stud would depict the number 2 selection in the entire draft as a bust...

Thinking back to that draft when Ronnie went 2 and Cadillac 5 both from the same Auburn back field, it made me wonder if either was going to be great without the other. As it turns out they have both proved to be good but neither has risen to elite. At least not yet anyway. Ronnie has the talent although I have always felt he was a little stiff, nothing like an LT running the ball. He's a power guy and I wonder how that will work in the Cameron system that seems to rely on more of an illusive cut back runner.

We'll see, Cam may have to adjust his offense a little to make the most of the talent he has. If he's a good coach he will adapt.

1:15 PM  
Blogger John R. said...

Armando
I dutifully read your earlier post and would love to see Kendall in aqua and orange. I don't think the JETS would let him go to the Dlphins (still no "O" in Miami). I think pinning your hopes on an inter-division trade is very problematic and unlikely. That being said, I think Cameron/Muellar will get something before putting a product on the field to start the season as poorly as last year. Once Harrington took over and got the safeties off the line I thought Ronnie improved.

1:25 PM  
Anonymous lacesoutdan said...

Ronnie is already in the best shape of his career. The post didn't say he was out of shape, just that Cam is pushing him hard. These comments on his offseason training program, which I'll bet was pretty bad ass this year, are completely unwarranted.

Armando - I would have thought if Mormino was playing with the 1st stringers, he would replace Liwienski. Where is L.J. Shelton and what's going on with Hadnot?

2:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

>>>But they could use Ricky to spell him and as insurance if Ronnie goes down. He did a great job for us in 05 in that role. And what's the downside? Nothing.<<<

The huge downside is that the team would have to release a capable player to make room for Ricky. The double downside is that Ricky doesn't play special teams,and that's the kind of guy who'd have to be released. It might not seem like a big deal if Ricky ends up playing, but when he inevitably gets suspended again, the team would be left with a huge hole.

It sounds as if Jesse Chatman or Ray Perkins would be more reliable backups at RB.

2:45 PM  
Blogger Chris said...

Ronnie Brown is Miami's best offensive player BY FAR. He should see soemthing like 25-30 touches per game.

2:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Armandito, yo creo que L.J. Shelton is una mierda. Me gusta mucho que lo han sentado en el banco.

Dolfan en Argentina

3:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Regardless of how good a shape Brown would be in from Yoga and/or working with a sprint coach, he needs to have Cameron work him hard on the field to get in football shape....sprinting is one thing, having pads on in the heat and humidity and carrying the load is an entirely different kind of conditioning...

Cameron seems to run things much more traditional ala Shula (I know no one compares to Shula)....so far, so good.

5:03 PM  
Anonymous FLPD said...

It don't say anywhere in this post that Brown is outta shape. Quite the opposite, if I read correctly. What are you retards reading?

5:25 PM  
Anonymous oscar_g said...

This should be R.Brown's breakout year. It's his show.
With new offensive minded coach & a new QB, the offense has to be better.
The offense could not be much worse than last year.
Still have to see if the offensive line can improve.

5:40 PM  
Anonymous tommy a. said...

It's good to hear that the Fins are working hard.

And to read Armando's posts it sounds as if even he is impressed with the way camp has started.

And its damn hard to impress Armando.

6:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Armando,

I really think the issue with Ronnie, at least last year, has little to do with whether he was capable of handling the load, but moreso having to do with the shoddy play calling. If you look at his statistics from 2006, you'll see practically every game he had more than 20 attempts a game he ran for more than 100 yards. Only twice did he carry the ball more than 20 times and not gain at least 100 yards, and his rushing totals were 90 and 89, and he would've gained more against Detroit had he not been injured. You look at our red zone offense last year (the past 3 years, really) and we're ranked almost dead last. With as horrid as our QB was last year, Mularkey still decided to throw the football 62% of the time, hence Ronnie's lack of TDs. I would like to see Ronnie take more of an authoritative role in the offense, but to suggest he didn't carry the ball as much last year because he couldn't handle it is stretch.

6:20 PM  
Anonymous burt said...

time for ronnie to step up and show that he was supposed to be picked second two years ago. i want to see him near 2000 yards all porpose. catching and running out of the backfield. man this offense is going to be fun to watch and i cant wait. not since before marino got injured have i been exited to see my dolphins on offense. i love the new coaches, make these softys into hardasses. go fins!

7:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

maybe most of you are not familiar with the rookie lorenzo booker's capabilities. booker may not be a big running back, but he plays big with quickness,elusiveness,and plain football awareness.i think booker can be the next willie parker or the other small runningback for the eagles.

7:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lorenzo Booker the next Willie Parker? He's not as fast, he's not as big and he's not running behind the Steelers OL. So I don't think so.

8:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

MAN UP RONNIE! MAN UP! THIS IS YOUR YEAR. GIT ER DONE!!!

9:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Brady Quinn should be the one handing off to Brown right now. Please fire Cam immediately.

9:32 PM  
Anonymous Scott Alderson said...

hey laces out and flpd
can you read? the post speaks of being tuckered out and spent - and it speaks of brown asking to be replaced after two successful runs during games. i call that "not in world class shape". i'm not sure of either of your ages so maybe you don't remember the jerry rice offseason regimen or the walter payton regimen. do you think either of those hall of famers ever asked to be replaced during a freaking game ever? much less after two measley little 7 yard runs? paaalleease!! and i gurantee you this as well. no coach in training camp ever could get the best of them either. their offseason routines were legendary and nothing in a little old two-a-day could even come close to matching it. that's what I am talking about here. i guess it's too much to ask of a millionare #2 draft pick though in your eyes. can't a die hard lifer fan kinda just hope for some type of elite kind of effort that may become its own legend one day. that would be something to be proud of as a miami fan. i want to ask MORE of my team NOW! improvement is not good enough anymore. this great franchise is the face of south florida - our homes. did you know that not so long ago, the miami dolphins were the pro sports franchise with the highest historical winning percentage!! not just football - but ALL pro sports!!! i just want to see a dramatic change. if i was ronnie brown (and please don't get me wrong - i like ronnie and think he is and will be a good back) i would take this unique opportunity that he has been priviledged to recieve, and make something legendary, historical and extra special out of it. i read where he is working hi sbut off this camp and he said he trained real hard this off season (but he showed up 10# over weight). fooey - he neds to call up jerry and read sweetnesses book an drun jerry's trail out west and work out on walter's sand mountain. check out the stories of these men and get back to me.

2:17 AM  
Blogger H.C.D. said...

"Anonymous said...

Brady Quinn should be the one handing off to Brown right now. Please fire Cam immediately.

9:32 PM "

Umm...last I heard, Brady Quinn was still holding out. Our #1 pick is in camp. Get over it already.

Oh..and on Ronnie Brown...it is time for him to man up and be the player that he was envisioned to be when he was the #2 overall selection in the 2005 draft. Yeah, that South Florida heat can be brutal, but once you get used to it, its a huge advantage early in the season.

9:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This year will tell us whether Ronnie Brown is the real deal. I personally think the guy is very talented, although he tends to fumble the ball occasionally at the worst times. Durability is also an issue; will he be able to play a full 16 game schedule in one back system? In 2005 he had Ricky Williams helping out, but he might not be around this year again. It's a shame too, because I think the Ricky-Ronnie tandem in the backfield is a tough one to beat. And with a fast change of pace back like Lorenzo Booker on the roster, their running game would be the toughest in the league to beat. Hopefully Ricky will resolve his issues and return during the season. Without Ricky, Ronnie will have to shoulder the burden. The key question is will he be able to do it?

12:36 PM  
Anonymous JaxDolphin said...

Ronnie will be ok as long as he has a decent offensive (!) line to run behind. That's my main concern regarding the upcoming season, with the secondary right behind them. Still, like I said before (lol), we're going to surprise quite a few teams this year.

11:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Defense better than ever!

Add the tandem of Brown & Williams running behind Shleshinger, Pete Kendall at left guard, Booker as a change of pace & slot-man, Ginn & Chambers@ w/r and you've got a credible offense.

All within the realm of Miami possibility. Wake up coach. You're almost there.
Let's field a play-off team and do it this year.

4:06 PM  

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