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Monday, August 20, 2007

The evidence of the RB competition comes out

During one of my blog posts last week -- one that unfortunately got hijacked by stupidity about 9/11 and other political mumbojumbo -- I tried to explain how the RB position is worthy of scrutiny for several reasons.

I called the dynamic between Ronnie Brown and Jesse Chatman a "building competition." Now, a lot of guys on here suggested I'm just stirring up a RB controversy. Others dismissed the post as me being negative about Brown.

Well, I am now going to share with you what Cam Cameron said Sunday afternoon about the RB situation.

On if he wants Ronnie Brown to be able to break a run when he gets behind the defense – “That’s a loaded question. It’s a fair question. Ronnie Brown, beating the ground after that run, I think spoke for itself. At some point in time, all of us, not just Ronnie Brown, you’ve got to continue to improve. You get better or you get worse. I’m looking forward to seeing him come out and continue to run. The evaluation of Ronnie Brown is far from over, far from over. He’s an ascending player. When you are the second pick of the draft, the expectations are so unrealistic, and then a guy like LaDainian Tomlinson sets that bar so high. Like I’ve told all you guys, and I think you guys agree, they’re all different. That’s what happens to those high-round draft picks – the expectations get so far out there, it’s almost if they do well, they’re looked at as a failure. My focus on Ronnie Brown is what he is, and let’s see how much he can get incrementally better. That’s my evaluation of him. Otherwise, it just gets out of whack.”

On if he wants Brown to be able to score when he gets behind the defense as he did in KC – “It’s a fair question. You make a good point. It’s the pressure that goes, number one, with being a starting running back in the National Football League. The expectation is when you’re in the open field, that’d better be a house call. Everybody wants that, but fortunately, there’ve been some teams that have won championships without a guy that can go the distance. That doesn’t mean you can’t be successful. The bottom line is how tough is a guy, how smart is a guy and how durable is he. There’s a lot of good backs in this business that didn’t run to the end zone every time they got into the open, but you can count on them, they were tough they got you the tough yards, they get you the fourth-and-one. The third-and-two the other night – if he doesn’t make that play, he doesn’t get the opportunity to break in the open later in that series. Ronnie Brown is an ascending player who just needs to keep improving, and that is not what any of you people want to hear. I understand that, but that is the reality of it.”

On if he is considering giving Chatman more playing time – “If I’m sitting where you’re sitting, I’m thinking, ‘Here’s my opportunity to at least make him think I’m reading between the lines.’ Don’t read anything between the lines, I can tell you that right now. But I will tell you this – our best running back will play. That hasn’t changed, and that’s consistent with what I’ve always said. Our best running back is going to play. You just keep practicing and playing the games. I don’t see anything you don’t see for the most part, and our best running back is going to be the guy. The running back that gives us the best chance to win is going to play, and I can already read what’s going to be written tomorrow. We have a group of running backs, and I’ll tell you what – has anybody seen Patrick Cobbs? You can say all you want – it’s the end of the game and all that stuff – but speed and quickness and north and south and smarts and toughness and hanging onto the football is what that position is all about. I’m not saying anything to you that I haven’t said to our team. Competition brings out the best in everybody. If you don’t rise to the level of the competition, it speaks volumes about you, and that’s okay. We have competition at tailback, and we have competition at fullback. All of you know that, you just wanted me to say it. They know that, and you can write it. Feel free to write it because we’ve said that from day one.”

On who has been the back running back in training camp thus far – “We’re not to that point where we would say that. The competition is ongoing. That’s why we’re putting different guys back to run kicks back. As you well know, it’s good for the Miami Dolphins. Competition brings everybody’s level up, and it builds depth because very seldom does one back make it through the whole season. We want to be in a position where if our starting back goes down, we don’t miss a beat. We go right in with the next guy. That’s what I’m accustomed to. When Terry Allen went down, Stephen Davis came in. When LaDainian Tomlinson was nicked up, in comes up Michael Turner and Jesse Chatman, Chatman first, then Michael Turner. You need at least two good backs in this system, and we’re building some depth at that position. To me, that’s exciting.”

OK, now you decide if there is a competition at RB (AS I TOLD YOU A WEEK AGO) or there really isn't.


Anonymous edswood said...

I cannot see Chatman starting over Brown. That being said Brown is just not a running back that can get take all the carries. He lacks the homerun speed and durability. So I do think Chatman will get alot of work this season probably close to ten carries a game. Unless we spend all season three and out which is a good possibility with the O-line we have. Speaking of the O-line Hadnot was by far the best we had the other night and I am still wondering why Cam doesnt like the guy. I do like the fact that Cam mentioned Cobbs I have been really impressed with him. He runs hard, his legs never stop moving, and he doesnt dance at the line of scrimmage like Brown. I seriously would love to see him take a few snaps against the Bucs first team defense this week. Armando keep up the fantastic objective work whether good or bad on the fins and your blog will continue to be my source of Dolphin info

4:02 AM  
Anonymous scott said...

I think there is a competition but Ronnie will stay the starter for now. Cameron says Ronnie is still a relatively inexperienced runner but Jesse only had 79 carries in his 3 years in San Diego. Chatman looked better than Ronnie in the first game but Ronnie had some good second effort in the last game. The competition is more on who does better after the first hit and who fumbles less, a problem for Ronnie. I'd expect Cameron to use 2 running backs, unlike in SD, with Ronnie getting twice as many carries as Jesse. Cameron knows he doesn't have an LT on the team but it looks like the Dolphins have some good depth at running back this year.

Ronnie will never outrun the defense when he gets behind it, he's just not fast enough. It's more important what he does when the first player catches up to him. If only Ronnie'd learn how to stiff arm a defender or two when he gets some running space... [For those with foggy/happy memories of Ricky and wish for his return, Ronnie had a longer run his first year than Ricky ever had. On a per carry basis, Ronnie also had more 20+ yard runs and 40+ yard runs, even during the slimmer, faster Ricky of 2005.]

Cameron seems to use competition to keep players from becoming complacent, such as putting Ronnie and Jesse in for kickoffs to let Teddy know that the return job is not automatically his and if he doesn't learn to run forward instead of sideways, it can be taken away.

5:03 AM  
Anonymous Shawn said...

you would expect better performance from the 2nd overall pick in the draft going into his third season. then again, our line has got to take most of the blame. can't say R Brown can be labeled a bust at this point...

9/11 was an Inside Job

checkout watch the collapse videos

learn the truth

5:40 AM  
Anonymous Govt did 9/11 said...

Why is everyone saying Ronnie Brown lacks homerun speed, can't outrun the defense and he's just not fast enough. I thought we drafted him cuz he ran a 4.4 or 4.5?

5:43 AM  
Anonymous edswood said...

Another example of too much emphasis placed on 40 times run on a track. Anybody who watched the game the other night can see that Brown does not run close to a 4.4 in pads. If he did he would never have been caught from behind with two steps on the defender. Can the Dolphins ever get a good player with a first round draft pick? I cant remember a single one since the Shula era. I know a regular season game hasnt been played yet but I would bet against Ginn breaking that trend. Jason Allen could be one of the biggest first round busts since the Browns defensive picks or Yatil Green. Its beyond bad luck and seems to almost take skill to have that many mediocre first rounders. Cedric Benson who was taken after Brown is supposedly having an amazing training camp and seems poised for a breakout season. Oh how I feel for Zack and JT not to mention my fellow Dolfans.

6:35 AM  
Anonymous PJK said...

Workout speed and game speed are different. Plus,I read we drafted him because he has great hands,not so much his speed. He ran a sub 4.4 though,which proves 40 times are misleading.

Scott,great post. Ronnie is a power back trying to be a speed back. Stiff arm,lower the shoulder and steamroll somebody,do something to use your strengths.

6:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is obvious what Cam is doing, Chatman is the guy. The only reason Brown is still a Dolphin is because of that fat contract they can't dump. Come on name another team in the NFL that puts their starting RB to return kickoffs.

7:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yatil Green was not a draft "bust". He had a major injury and couldn't recover from it.

7:31 AM  
Blogger Chris said...

Armando, puh-leeese...put down the kool-aid and slowly back away...

This is just like the so-called QB competition, a motivational play by Cameron to get a starter's attention.

I will admit, it is a master stroke and very effective in terms of driving out complacency. It's something that Bobby Knight would do.

Don't you think Cam got into Ronnie Brown's head when he put him back as a KO returner? Don't you think Cam is getting into his head when he gives Chatman first team snaps?

Extra credit to Cam for using the press to ratchet things up a notch.

The outcome of all this is pre-ordained, just like the QB competition.

Good stuff, though. And needed...

7:55 AM  
Blogger lacesoutdan said...

I agree with Chris. This is just a move to motivate Ronnie. I thought he looked great against the Chiefs, breaking tackles and bouncing away when the line couldn't open a hole for him.

8:40 AM  
Anonymous Jason from Atlanta said...

Here's what I want to know. Since Cam is talking about the best player playing, for once Id like to see a reporter have the balls to ask him if that applies to the QB position, because if it does, its obvious Beck is the best QB we have in camp. Why waste so much valuable time with his development by trying to force Trent Green on this offense. If the best player plays, then Beck better be taking snaps with the 1st team soon.

8:48 AM  
Blogger Armando Salguero said...

Jason: Beck is not the best QB in camp. He's looked good against third and fourth team defenders. But in camp practices he has shown a great need for improvement.

I also agree Cameron is trying to motivate Brown. But that is not where it ends. If the motivation doesn't work, he will take it a step further and give Chatman more carries. I don't think Brown will lose his starting job, but he's going to lose carries.

9:27 AM  
Anonymous John Michaels said...

This is nothing more than a motivational tool being used by Coach Cameron to try and get the best play possible out of Ronnie. We've seen this all off-season long out of Coach Cameron. He likes playing mind games and using motivational tools in order to get the best out of his players.

10:03 AM  
Blogger H.C.D. said...

Coaches have their different methods and do whatever it takes to bring the best out of their players. In this case, Cameron trying to suck as much out as he can from both Chatman and Brown by making Chatman believe he could possibly be the starter and making Brown believe that he could possibly lose his starting position. That is the game he is playing. “We plan to use the best player at the position.” Well DUH!!! You put your best 11 out there on offense and your best 11 on defense…period. I’m not saying what Cam is doing is wrong. I think its great and I’m happy that Chatman is looking good. Nothing wrong with having a solid RB duo……a good 1-2 punch to keep the legs fresh.

Arrrrrrrrrmando, you can keep reporting what you want, only Cam Cameron and his staff knows exactly what they are doing and it is my firm belief that there is no way in HELL that Ronnie Brown starts the season as the #2 back, unless he’s seriously dinged up. Same goes for the QB completion. No matter what is said, Green is the guy who will be under center at FedEx field on the 9th of September…and he’ll be handing off to Ronnie Brown.

Now, lets get a look at Booker…..what can he do?

10:36 AM  
Anonymous Patrick said...

Ronnie, has the talent to be a great back but I see one huge flaw in his game. It's the infuriating hop at the point of attack. As we saw with the 22 yarder he bounced outside, it will work sometimes but it usually leads to negative or zero yard gains.

Some backs can make this work because they have a great burst from a stand-still or a cut. Ronnie can indeed run a 4.4, but what he lacks is that burst you see from guys like Barry Sanders, LT or any of the really great running backs.

With this in mind Ronnie needs to hit the hole going down hill where if he finds a crease he is already up to speed. Then, his 4.4 speed will be evident. He must stop doing "the hop" at the point of attack and use his power to break through the 1st level. Then you can ask Jason Allen what it's like to take him on with a head of steam.

Chatman and Cobbs both hit the hole much more effectively than Brown. But neither has the raw power of Ronnie brown. Once Ronnie learns to run within the boundaries of his own talent he will be a great back. A Campbell or Czonka type back, but not an LT. He can only be what he is and I don't think he has figured that out yet. Get going down hill and knock someones lights out along the way.

He will be starting, but if he continues "the hop" Chatman will be seeing more and more carries. Come on Ronnie, forget LT, think Earl Campbell.

12:39 PM  
Anonymous Tom said...

It's the Dolphins bad luck that when they have the second pick of the draft, it's a weak class. But they probably had no choice but to pick Brown. If I remember correctly, Satan tried to trade out of that spot. But I don't think all of Miami's weak offense can be blamed on the OL. Brown was lacking in experience and we've had different QBs every year, and Chambers is not very consistent.
Also McMichaels couldn't catch a ball if was coated in super glue. Let's face it, the entire offense sucked. No stars anywhere.

1:19 PM  
Blogger NYdolfan84 said...

NO ONE IS FAST WHEN THEY ARE GETTING HIT 2 YARDS DEEP IN THE BACKFIELD. If they block for Ronnie he will have a huge year. He has shown glimpses of power and agility, he just rarely has holes to run through. Chatman had a nice run mopping up in a preseason game against 3rd stringers. He is a decent back-up and thats all

2:13 PM  
Blogger NYdolfan84 said...

For the most part the success of your offense starts and ends with your offensive line. We have neglected to fix the problems on our line for the past 5 years. The "drops" were a big problem last year, but I think better blocking will make our QB, WRs, and RBs look much better. Afterall many of the drops I remember from last year were like such: 3rd and 12, protection breaks down, Harrington throws a 5 yard out which is dropped by Chambers because he is running before the ball gets there, because he is 7 yards short of the first down with a CB and S closing in...
My biggest problems with last year's offense:
1) o-line
2) play calling (Mularkey)
3) Dropsies
4) QB Play

Here's to hoping Carey and Hadnot make strides and the rookies Mormino and Satele are capable starters!!

2:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have to admit Armando told us about this situation last week before it was on anyone else's radar. OK, Mando, you hit on one. Good stuff.

3:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mark my word.... Chatman will be the starting RB within the first 4 weeks of the regular season if not the very first game. I am tired of Brown dancing in the back field.


Thank you,

DolFan # 1

4:00 PM  
Anonymous NYScott said...

I'll admit it,you were right Mando. I'm hoping that Cam is trying to push Browns buttons to toughen him up but if Chatman outperforms him, Chatman should start.

5:38 PM  
Anonymous Taylor Eats Brady said...

It's now even more interesting to consider the Chatman-Brown kick return duo last week. It isn't a stretch to surmise that CC will pair Ginn with our 2nd team running back on kickoffs, and maybe there is a chance that Brown will be that 2nd team back. I don't really think that will come to pass, but I bet we see a fair bit of Chatman this year. In any case, why not keep the heat on Brown and find out what he's made of?

5:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Guys, I don't think it's right to get caught up in who starts and who doesn't. As Armando said on radio today, it's about who carries more times, not who gets to run out of the tunnel with the first team offense.

It's possible, maybe likely, Ronnie keeps his starting job. But at the same time Chatman might get 12 carries a game to Ronnie's 10.

6:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I thought I was the only one thinking Cobbs looked awesome. I hope that Cam really gives this kid a chance. Players like Cobb somehow never seem to get a fair chance to show their long term ability. What does a player have to do to move up the depth chart? Get rid of the politics and give him a chance to make a name for himself, regardless of how he was aquired.

7:24 PM  
Anonymous randy said...

Armando, it's easy to say you're right when you have inside information that you don't share with the fans for a week, so I'd take it easy on the "I told you so's." Now to the important stuff. Brown should be our #1 back for whatever that means. He's done nothing to show he doesn't deserve it. He's had pathetic OL to run behind and still managed respectable seasons. I think he can only get better....but it all depends on what sort of OL we're able to field this year.

8:23 PM  
Anonymous Flatbush said...

Randy, do you live under a rock? I read this blog daily and knew that Chatman was making a run at Brown. Why? Because I read the blog daily. Give my boy Mando his props you hater. He came tight with the 411 and that's the end of that.

Meanwhile Ronnie sucks.

9:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There are few things worse than a professional writer with the case of the I told you so's.

Also, you lead with the title "Evidence of the RB competition comes out" then go on to comment that you believe Brown will remain the starter.

So which one is it? Seems like you're playing both sides of the fence.

I'm not a gambling man, but I bet you that come the regular season, Cameron will use Brown like a workhorse, giving him 18-24 carries per game. If he gets that kind of workload and still posts subpar numbers, then all of these naysayers will have a reason for their complaints.

However, if Brown puts up big numbers, then hopefully some of these negative and seemingly dellusional "fans" will finally get off the "bash Brown" bandwagon.

Only time will tell.

12:56 AM  
Anonymous IPSE DIXIT said...

Aaaaarrrrgggg. 9/11 is a job inside Shawn's head. WTC 7 was NOT brought down by controlled explosions. Shawn has absolutely no response to the study published by

To save you having to read the 12 page paper, the relavant conclusion is that no explosions of the nature required to bring down buildings were recorded by the many seismographs recording in the area during the time of the collapses of WTC buildings. NONE. Shawn and his 9/11 lunatics are peddling an evil fantasy.

Armando, please delete the offending portion of his post. Then you may delete this as well.

Ronnie Brown is the starter. Take away Chatman's ONE nice run against second teamers and you've got diddly to promote him above Ronnie. He does seem capable of being a good back-up.

1:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The "starting" RB does not mean anything. Brown may start, but Chatman will get his carries too, and whoever does better will get the most carries in a game. I'll bet Chatman could care less who starts, as long as he gets more carries, or an equal number. More likley they will get an equal number and share the duties, like Brown and Ricky did. Chatman reminds me of Ricky, qhick and fast but also of good size, around 220.

11:40 AM  
Anonymous randy said...

flatbush...i do live under a rock and even with that deficit i'm able to read just like you. My point was this...a REAL competition means both players have an EQUAL shot at the position. No one, Armando included, ever said they thought that was the case or indicated that the coach said that was the case. Don't report through inuendo...tell us what's going on. If, on the other hand, it was a motivational tool being used by the coach, nobody's going to come out and say that...leaving the fans to wonder and make our own conclusions. I've played enough team sports to understand the idea that every position is up for grabs when the season starts...but everyone on the team knows who's ultimately the top player at every position the first day you step on the field. Ronnie needs to get better at some things...but a better OL will go a long way to helping him have a big year.

As far as I'm concerned...there's way too much reporting these days about the reporters themselves...and not enough about the team or whatever else they're writing about. I don't care if a reporter was right. They are privy to information none of the rest of us slobs can get, so they should know more than we know and be right. I expect them to be right...just don't rub my nose in it when you actually do get it right.

Armando...nothing personal...your behavior is the norm rather than the exception in our world today. I appreciate reading your posts and increasing my knowledge of the team through reading yours.

6:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sounds like Cam's simply trying to create competition at RB. Cobbs and Chatman have looked good against back-ups. Additionally, the Phins have had Liewinski and Shelton in at these times. If Cobbs and Chatman run as well against a first team D, behind Alabi and Mormino, I'll be stunned.

1:24 AM  

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