Miami Running Backs To Blame For Poor Rushing Attack?

There is a great article in the Miami Herald by Armando today in his Miami Dolphins In Depth Blog titled Report:  Williams, Brown Not Very Elusive

In the article Armando references a article titled Elusive Rating 2010.  It is a long article that talks about how they come up with a rating for RB's that does not include the play of the other 10 men on the field.  If you want to read the article, here is the link:

The Elusive Rating takes into account a RB's ability to break tackles and run away from defenders.  From Armando's article:

ProFootballFocus refers to this as its elusive rating. It measures a back's ability and performance independent of the blocking in front of him. This rating is a great equalizer in that it removes the advantages running backs that play behind great offensive lines have over those who do not.

PFF further states their elusive rating filters out coaching and playcalling, as well as the other 10 guys on the offense.

So how did Ronnie Brown fair in the rankings?  Not very good.  Again from Armando's article.

Brown rated No. 48 of 58 with an elusive rating of 20.8. Keep in mind Ladell Betts had the worst elusive rating, according to, with a 3.1. LeGarrette Blount led PFF's elusive ratings at 89.8.

Brown, the website said, gained 58.6 percent of his yards after contact or 2.2 yards per carry. That's bottom-third ordinary. Blount gained over 73 percent of his yards after contact and Oakland's Darren McFadden averaged 3.5 yards after contact.

For perspective, understand that Adrian Peterson gained 877 of his 1,298 after contact last season. Brown gained a total of 734 yards.

How about Ricky Williams


He ranked 40th of 58 backs, with an elusive rating of 26.7. He was in the same company with backs such as Willis McGahee and Michael Bush.

Williams averaged 2.5 yards per carry after contact, according to PFF. He had 404 yards after contact for the season -- meaning 60 percent of his yards came after contact.

The good running games in the NFL have RB's with the ability to either gain yards after contact, can make defenders miss, or can out run defenders.  What would you think of the Phins run game if the RB's would have gained an extra yard, like Darren McFadden did over Ronnie Brown, after contact?  The Phins ranked 21st in the NFL in rushing last year.  They averaged rushing 27.8 times for 102.7 yards per game.  Imagine adding 27.8 yards per game by having a RB gain an extra 1 yard after contact.  If that was the case the Phins would have rushed for 130.5 yards per game.  At that mark, they would have ranked 7th in team rushing.  If the Phins RB's average 0.5 yards more per carry more after contact, they would have ranked 13th. Maybe the RB's are more to blame than the OL for a lack of running game last year?  I'm just saying. Armando sums all this up:

their numbers confirm what your eyes should have been telling you:

Neither Williams nor Brown were very good at gaining yardage on their own last season. Neither was good at breaking tackles or running away from tackles.

This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of The Phinsider's writers or editors. It does reflect the views of this particular fan though, which is as important as the views of The Phinsider writers or editors.

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