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Tag:Ronnie Brown
Posted on: August 3, 2011 8:27 pm
 

Report: Tiki Barber works out for Dolphins

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

In case you were wondering if you would ever again hear about Tiki Barber’s attempted comeback, wonder no more. Foxsports.com’s Jay Glazer is reporting that Barber had a tryout with the Dolphins on Tuesday.

Tiki Time
Glazer writes that Barber looked good working out, but it remains to be seen whether he’ll catch on with Miami because the Dolphins want to test out their current RBs.

The Dolphins backfield certainly will look new this season after drafting Daniel Thomas in the second round and then dropping Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams. Then, they acquired Reggie Bush to complement Thomas.

It’s possible Barber could find a place on the squad, but Lex Hilliard and Kory Sheets also are on the Dolphins depth chart, and those two are probably who Miami personnel want to see before they think about making a move on Barber.

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Posted on: August 3, 2011 12:40 pm
 

Roundtable: Are the Eagles the Heat of the NFL?



Posted by Eye on Football Staff

Throughout the 2011 season we'll assemble our crew to discuss important NFL issues, Roundtable style. Though there are more pressing concerns for Philly right now, and though we've discussed this topic on the podcast, we want to know: Are the Eagles the NFL's version of the Miami Heat?


Will Brinson: The Philadelphia Eagles -- or, at least, Vince Young -- believe they're building the NFL's version of the Miami Heat. Obviously, this involves acquiring one of the top-five players at three-fifths of the starting positions on the roster? Oh wait, they didn't do that? Yeah, I don't think the analogy really works either.

That being said, I'm open to the idea that the Eagles are going out and turning themselves into villains while picking up all the biggest names in free agency. Or at least that they're putting a target squarely on their backs as we prepare for the 2011 season to start.

Josh Katzowitz: I find it awesome that it was Vince Young -- I mean, VINCE YOUNG!!! -- was the one who made the comparison. As if he's the key cog of that Dream Team that everybody in the league was trying to secure. I actually think Young gets a bad rap because of his attitude, because I think he's got talent and, most importantly, he's a proven winner. But in this case, he's the guy who's going to be holding the clipboard for Mike Vick. If this were the 1992 Olympic Dream Team, Young would be Christian Laettner. No, he'd be Christian Laettner's valet.   Anyway, I don't see the Eagles as the villains. Unlike the Heat, this wasn't some kind of conspiracy. It's not like Jason Babin and Cullen Jenkins decided to join forces because they're such good friends. It's not like Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie somehow orchestrated the Kevin Kolb trade. And no matter what you think about Nnamdi Asomugha's intentions, he didn't ask for a one-hour national TV special to announce his decision.    To me, the Eagles -- and Vince Young -- aren't the bad guys. They're just the guys who have pushed all their chips into the middle of the table and are trying to take down the pot with the best hand. Which, if the Eagles want to win a Super Bowl, is exactly what they needed to do.

Ryan Wilson: We talked about this on the Eye on Football podcast, but the Eagles can't be the NFL's version of the Miami Heat because if we're going down that road, the Jets have already done it. In the three offseasons Rex Ryan has been in New York he's yet to meet a player with more baggage than talent that he wouldn't acquire if he thought it meant more wins.  The Eagles have Nnamdi and, well, that's about it for big-name talent. Rodgers-Cromartie is a nice player, but the Cardinals traded him for a reason. Vince Young, as Josh points out (and to tie this back in to the Cards) is who we thought he was.  The Jets, meanwhile, have had LaDainian Tomlinson, Jason Taylor, Santonio Holmes, Braylon Edwards and Antonio Cromartie mosey through the organization since Rex's arrival. And whether you agree with the personnel philosophy, it's hard to argue with the results; the Jets have appeared in AFC Championship games twice in two years, and the 2011 team looks to be the best of the bunch. Plus, as Josh notes, it's hard to hate the Eagles because they haven't won anything. In fact, I half-expect them to falter under the weight of all the preseason expectations, and then all that will be left is to find a way to blame it on Donovan McNabb.

Katzowitz: Well, I think you can still not win a thing and yet be hated. Look at the Heat, for instance. I think the reason the Heat were hated so much is because it was clear LeBron James felt like he couldn't win the title on his own, so he was willing to join forces with his buddies (and take a back-seat role!) to try to buy his way to a ring. There's a big difference between that megalomaniac (and egotistical) approach and improving your team with what looks like pretty smart (though costly) acquisitions. Even with a convicted felon starting at QB, the Eagles aren't hateable. They're just a team trying to win a Super Bowl. Just not in the manner that James and company tried to employ.
Brinson: You can totally lose and be hated -- it's just easier to hate teams and people who win all the time, especially if the folks involved are especially hateable. That's what strikes me as odd about this Eagles team: there isn't anyone you can really hate. I mean, you can dislike VY, but can you really hate him? He's a 28-year-old quarterback who's already fighting his way along the comeback trail, having dealt with mental issues and repeated benchings for Kerry Collins. (That's not hate-worthy material; more like mocking sympathy or something.)

And is Nnamdi the equivalent of signing LeBron James? Um, no, and for several reasons. One, he's not even the best player in the NFL, even if he is the best at his position. And two, he's like a really nice, soft-spoken guy who takes kids to the Met when he's visiting New York City. That's the total opposite of generating money for the Boys & Girls Club by doing a one-hour ESPN special with Jim Gray.

Vick, I guess, is worthy of folks' scorn, but only if you're really, really adamant that anyone who ever harmed a dog deserves never to be given the liberties associated with the Constitution despite having served the required amount of jail time.

Or if you're a PETA member.

Wilson
: Here's the deal, at least in my mind: no, the Heat-Eagles comparison doesn't really work. And even though Philly is imminently likable (even lovable when you see Andy Reid on the sidelines) by fans outside the NFC East (and cat lovers), that will all change if they start winning consistently. Part of that is our fault -- if the Eagles jump out to a 10-0 start the media will be all over it, and fans won't have any choice but to hate them. That's how these things work. The Pats, Colts and Steelers are the most obvious examples, sort of the NFL equivalent of the Yankees and Red Sox. The Eagles are a long way from that level of hatred, but a nice winning streak and wall-to-wall media saturation can change that in a hurry. So in honor of T.O., former Philly wide receiver who really had a knack for getting people to loathe him, I will get my popcorn ready. Just in case.

Brinson: I'd agree with you except the just signed Ronnie Brown and, obviously, that put them over the top. Except not at all, but that's the narrative we'll be hearing the rest of the week I presume.

Vick will be a great litmus test for the symptoms that come with over-exposure to winning. There's absolutely no doubt that the Eagles will be shoved down the public's throat in 2011 -- I count a whopping five (!) national television appearances, and that doesn't include another five (!) that are all but guaranteed to be the CBS or FOX national games of the week.

People didn't hate getting too much of Vick last year because it was an out-of-nowhere comeback story for the ages that polarized the opinion of everyone watching -- either you didn't believe he deserved a second chance or you were thrilled to see redemption on a national stage. Plus it didn't hurt that he was single-handedly marching millions of people to fantasy football titles.

This season will be vastly different because there are expectations -- in both real and fantasy football -- and that always changes the way we perceive athletes. Fans of other teams who rooted for Vick's story won't be doing so this year and if he struggles at all, it won't be nearly as sweet.

Plus, NFL is all-in on the Eagles, so we will be seeing a lot of them even when there's not football being played -- they're the premiere team when it comes to updates, peak-ins, discussions and (duh) roundtables.  So in that sense maybe they are the Miami Heat, who somehow warranted their own section on many a sports website during the 2010 season.

Which means we've somehow come full circle on this analogy. At least until Mike Kafka's under center in Week 5.
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Posted on: August 2, 2011 4:58 pm
Edited on: August 2, 2011 8:09 pm
 

Eagles sign Ronnie Brown to 1-year deal

Posted by Ryan Wilson

After Ahmad Bradshaw re-upped with the Giants Monday, Ronnie Brown was the last big-name running back available in free agency. Now that honor falls to either Jason Snelling or Ricky Williams because Brown is the latest member of the Philadelphia Eagles.

Via the Eagles' official Twitter feed: "BREAKING NEWS: #Eagles have agreed to terms with former Dolphins RB Ronnie Brown on a one-year deal."

Brown is the latest acquisition for a team that has been busily assembling the pieces for a Super Bowl run in 2011. The centerpiece of the frenetic free agency signing period is cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha. The club also signed Jason Babin and Vince Young, and they shipped Kevin Kolb to Arizona for Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie.

Brown was originally selected by the Dolphins with the second-overall pick in the 2005 draft, but serious knee injuries in 2007 and 2009 limited his effectiveness. And last season, despite starting 16 games, he rushed for just 734 yards on 200 carries for a paltry 3.7 yards per carry. In Philly, Brown will play behind LeSean McCoy, the third-year back who rushed for 1,080 yards in 2010 (5.2 ypc), and had another 592 yards receiving.

Added value: you could argue that Brown was the best quarterback in Miami the last few years, and maybe he can reprise that role in any Wildcat wrinkles the Eagles might employ. 

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Posted on: July 18, 2011 9:42 am
Edited on: July 18, 2011 2:02 pm
 

Ahmad Bradshaw 'very interested' in Dolphins

Posted by Will Brinson

You don't need a crystal ball to know that the Miami Dolphins -- who are likely to rid themselves of Ricky Williams and Ronnie Brown this offseason -- will be chasing a running back in free agency.

Their top target will likely be DeAngelo Williams (yes, we're assuming a reversion to old rules here), but there's no guarantee the 'Fins can pick him up, particularly if the Panthers really do want to re-sign him and John Fox picks up his pursuit in Denver.

So, how about a fallback option like Ahmad Bradshaw? Is that something the Dolphins might be interested in? Because if they are, Bradshaw is also interested.

"I represent Ahmad. He's training here in Miami and would be very interested in the Dolphins," Bradshaw's agent Drew Rosenhaus told Sports Xtra, per Omar Kelly on Twitter. "If they (Dolphins) are interested in Ahmad (Bradshaw), we're interested back."

I'm not sure if this constitutes tampering or not (I don't think so), but Rosenhaus waved at the Dolphins from the set of the show, knowing that the Dolphins watch. And maybe that doesn't count either. Whatever, predicting what the Dolphins need and then assuming your client fits that need isn't quite like figuring out where Hoffa's body is.

Rosenhaus also made an interesting point about the 'Fins running-back situation -- they'll try and find someone who can compliment rookie Daniel Thomas, who the Dolphins moved into the second round to draft in April.

Conveniently, Sports Xtra had a relevant guest to that topic -- one Daniel Thomas.

"I can go every down, but if we get a [scatback] it will help the team,"said Thomas who, per Kelly, also said he's more of an inside runner.

So, yeah, you can tell why Bradshaw would be interested in this job opportunity -- it involves getting paid handsomely to carry the ball often for a run-first team that isn't going to make you get beat up by going between the tackles as often as you would elsewhere.

Of course, the quarterback setup may dictate the Dolphins spending ability at the running back position. If Miami can strike early and pick up a quarterback who will push Chad Henne for the starting gig and/or someone they'd feel comfortable starting the 2011 season with, you have to imagine they'll know more quickly what they can spend on a running back.

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Posted on: July 12, 2011 8:33 pm
Edited on: July 12, 2011 10:09 pm
 

Fox: 'Running back is our No. 1 priority'

Posted by Will Brinson

If at any point during the Denver coaching transition you thought that the 2011 Broncos would resemble the 2010 Broncos, well, you must not have realized that John Elway went out and hired John Fox.

Because Fox, the former Panthers coach well-known for pounding the rock and focusing on defense, confirmed again recently that Denver's gonna focus on the run in the coming season. Oh, and that he doesn't really like Knowshon Moreno all that much.

"We were 13th on offense last year. I certainly want more balance. We've got to run the ball more and better, and (another) running back is our No. 1 priority [in free agency]," Fox said, per the Denver Post.

All right, he doesn't directly insult Moreno and/or call him a "third-down back," and you could make the case that Fox knows he needs two solid running backs.

But come on -- it's clear that he's not that high on Moreno. And it's also clear that he'll pursue his former star, DeAngelo Williams, who should be an unrestricted free agent under the new (old?) collective bargaining rules.

If he doesn't land DeAngelo -- and there's a decent chance he won't, as both Carolina and Miami will be fighting for Williams' services -- there are other options out there, including Cedric Benson, Ronnie Brown and Willis McGahee.

It's all but certain that Denver will be able to pick one up too -- Fox's tendency to let his running backs tote the rock with great frequency makes his offense attractive for running backs.

Unless you're Knowshon Moreno anyway.

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Posted on: April 28, 2011 7:42 am
Edited on: April 28, 2011 11:45 am
 

'A couple RBs in 1st round' says one top prospect

Posted by Will Brinson

NEW YORK -- There's not a whole lot that anyone knows about the 2011 NFL Draft, thanks to the labor situation keeping the Panthers from negotiating with one prospect. But there is one truth that we think we know: there might be a single running back taken in the first round.

One. That's it ... if someone bites on Mark Ingram with their top pick. However, Virginia Tech running back Ryan Williams -- the third-ranked RB on CBSSports.com's prospect board -- thinks something different might unfold. In fact, he thinks we'll see "a couple running backs" go early on Thursday.

"The draft is full of surprises," Ryan Williams told CBSSports.com at NIKETOWN on Wednesday. "They say they don't want running backs in the first round -- how can you not take running backs in the first round when a lot of teams are taking running backs.

"I think we're going to get a couple running backs in the first round."

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A bold prediction to be sure, and one that's certainly a bit convenient, as a result of Williams hoping that he goes early.

But at the stage that he said this (less than 24 hours from the first round), there's not a whole lot for him to gain from saying this. He knows who's interested in his services.

And he also knows how many teams might be desperate for a second and/or first explosive running back capable of stepping in and making a difference right away.

"You look at the Dolphins, they're losing Ricky [Williams], Ronnie [Brown]," Williams said. "You look at the Bengals, they're losing [Cedric] Benson. Redskins lost [Clinton] Portis.

"Knowshon [Moreno] with the injury problems. Baltimore Ravens with Willis McGahee … so the list goes on."

Williams also added about the Panthers' DeAngelo Williams, "he's already gone."

And he's right. These guys are either out the door or likely gone. Miami's made their intentions clear (it's why nearly everyone has Ingram pegged to the Dolphins), DeAngelo seems like a lock to leave the Carolinas because of his status and Jonathan Stewart, Benson is an unrestricted free agent, etc., etc.

That's the weird thing about this draft -- there's a lot of teams who need running backs but a ton of teams who aren't acting all that interested in taking a running back early. After all, there's a ton of depth and, as always in this day and age, a ton of teams that actually need healthy, talented running backs.

For the Dolphins, Williams already has a solution: draft and pair him with Darren Evans, our 31st-ranked running back prospect , who also happens to have played at Virginia Tech.

"You know what would be great? If the Dolphins picked up me and Darren [Evans of Virginia Tech]," Williams half-joked. "I feel like me and Darren pair well with each other. They're losing Ricky and Ronnie -- pick up Ryan and Darren."

No one's going to bank on the Dolphins listening to Williams' advice, much less a pile of teams jumping all over a running back in the first round, but just remember if they do -- after giving credit for where you heard it first -- tell someone to hire Williams as a draft analyst ASAP.

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Posted on: April 16, 2011 11:42 am
 

Ricky Williams thinks Fins will dump both RB's

Posted by Andy Benoit

All along, we’ve believed that Ricky WilliamsR. Williams (US Presswire) wants to use his free agency to breakup with the Miami Dolphins. But the 34-year-old running back believes it’s actually the other way around: the Dolphins will use Williams’ free agency to breakup with HIM. And he thinks fellow free agent Ronnie Brown will likely be dismissed, as well.

"I think there is always situations and I think Ronnie and I have had some success doing what we been doing here the past couple years, but I think things changed last year," Williams said on WQAM’s The Sid Rosenburg Show. "I think we are not the same offense we were two years ago . . . I think they might want to go in different direction. If Dolphins really want me to stay and make a fair offer, it would be hard for me to turn down, but I don't know if that is going to happen."

Williams and Brown both stayed healthy in 2010, but with opponents figuring out how to stop the Wildcat, their combined yards per carry plummeted from 4.6 to 3.9.

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Posted on: April 6, 2011 2:19 pm
Edited on: April 6, 2011 3:20 pm
 

Offseason Checkup: Miami Dolphins

Posted by Josh Katzowitz



Eye on Football's playing doctor for every NFL team with our Offseason Check-ups .



Entering their Monday Night Football matchup against the Patriots in Week 4, the Dolphins had to be feeling confident in their chances of beating New England in Miami. The Dolphins defense had looked good in knocking off the Bills and Vikings (which, at the time, was considered a pretty good win), and then Miami played the Jets to a close loss before the Patriots came to town.

A 41-14 disaster later, Miami fired special teams coach John Bonamego and never got more than a game above .500 for the rest of the season (and, in fact, finished the year at 7-9).



Coach on the hot seat, quarterback

Although Tony Sparano took a 1-15 team and turned it into an 11-5 division title winner a year later (beating out the Patriots for the honor), he’s gone 7-9 in back-to-back seasons. Apparently, owner Stephen Ross listened to Bill Parcells’ recommendation and decided to bring back Sparano for another season (though Ross DID disgustingly go out of his way to woo Jim Harbaugh for the job). But the specter of Jon Gruden and Bill Cowher still are out there and until Sparano is off the hot seat, fans will wonder about their availability.

Sparano would get a great deal of help if QB Chad Henne could put together a consistent season. WR Brandon Marshall blasted his QB at the end of last season and said he actually works better with QB Tyler Thigpen (a major ZING, by the way). It’s too early to give up on Henne, especially now that Chad Pennington will miss all of 2011 because of a torn ACL, but it’s getting to the point where Henne needs to show somebody something.




1. Running back
On paper, the duo of Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams would seem a surefire way for the Dolphins to rack up rushing yards and plenty of touchdowns. Yet, the Dolphins managed to finish 21st in running last season. There’s a good chance that neither back will return to Miami next year, leaving Patrick Cobbs and Lex Hilliard on the roster at RB. Which means the Dolphins will need some big-time help at that spot and which is why Alabama’s Mark Ingram might be a good draft pick (though the Dolphins might want to trade down instead).

2. Offensive line
You know what doesn’t help your third-string quarterback perform better? A terribly inconsistent offensive line. That’s what Tyler Thigpen faced in Miami’s 16-0 loss to the Bears in Week 11 – a line missing starters Jake Long and Joe Berger who then watched backup Cory Procter get injured on the second offensive series, meaning Richie Incognito had to move from guard to center. Miami could make a play for a solid center in the draft.

3. Keep improving the defense
n 2009, the Dolphins ranked 25th in the league in defense, but last year, they improved that number to No. 13. Most of the starting front seven is solid, but Miami’s DBs had a tough time hanging onto interceptions last season. It also would help if they got more playmakers in the secondary.




After Ross stopped emasculating Sparano for Harbaugh and then gave him a two-year extension, Ross made it clear he wanted a more aggressive, more exciting offense. Sparano, though, said he plans to keep running the ball more often than not. Could we see both? I suppose, though I kind of doubt it.

I also don’t see a playoff run with Miami, considering the Patriots and Jets still will be battling for AFC East supremacy. All of which means the meddling Ross probably will fire Sparano, and then, everybody can just start over again in Miami. Which means we might not see good pro football in Miami for a while.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com