Talking Dolphins with a "Football Outsider"

So earlier in the week, I was reading an ESPN.com chat transcript.  One of the guys who were fielding questions from readers was Bill Barnwell of Football Outsiders, the best NFL stats site in the world.  And for those who don't know, Football Outsiders are the people who bring you the best-selling pro football book, Pro Football Prospectus.

So in this chat, a question is posed to Barnwell about Ronnie Brown:

andrew, new york: Being a huge dolphins fan, I really like Ronnie Brown and think he can easily be a top 5 running back in this league when on the field. What are your thoughts?

SportsNation Football Outsiders Bill Barnwell: A healthy Ronnie Brown on the Vikings would win NFL MVP.

Of course, as soon as I read that, I just had to contact Bill myself.  So that's what I did.  I posed 3 questions for the busy Barnwell.  Below are the questions and his responses:

I saw that you said in an ESPN.com chat that a healthy Ronnie Brown would win the MVP award if he was on a team like the Vikings.  What do you like most about Ronnie and do you think he'll be able to reach his full potential with this new Miami Dolphins regime running things?

Barnwell: I like Ronnie's burst into the hole -- I described him in a radio interview as Marion Barber-esque, but the difference between him and Barber is that Brown has the elite speed that Barber lacks. He's simply really impressive. The biggest concern isn't the regime, it's for Brown to stay healthy. No regime is really going to have a huge impact on that.

What are your thoughts on Miami's young, but talented offensive line?  Do you think this unit, bookended by Jake Long and Vernon Carey, could become a dominant unit over the next couple of years?

Barnwell: I'm not thrilled with Vernon Carey's work, and I think at this point, Jake Long's a right tackle playing left tackle. My favorite lineman on the team is Samson Satele, who I think has the opportunity to have a Kevin Mawae-type career. That's pretty high praise.

One of the hot topics in Miami is the growth and development of Ted Ginn.  I still don't think he's being used correctly.  What do you think?  Can he become a legitimate #1 receiver in time?  Or is he destined to become another one of Miami's failed picks by previous regimes?

Barnwell: I don't see it. This is a guy who wasn't even really a polished enough receiver to play well in college; he's got the ability to be a great return man, and maybe a downfield target who can run go routes and create space, but he's not going to end up being a #1 guy.

Interesting stuff.  A big thanks to Bill for helping us out.

Feel free to discuss below...

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