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Open Competition at RB

Assuming Ricky has played his last game as a Miami Dolphin, and it's pretty likely that he has, the Dolphins now only have 2 halfbacks who are locks to make the team (Ronnie Brown and Lorenzo Booker). So who could be that 3rd halfback? There are 3 backs that will battle it out, assuming the Dolphins don't bring in a free agent. Those are Patrick Cobbs, Jesse Chatman, and Ray Perkins. Let's take a look at these 3 options.

Cobbs is an interesting prospect. He is out of North Texas, where he led the nation in rushing his senior season (152.7 ypg). He is now entering his second season. Last year, he was on New England's roster during training camp and in the pre-season. He was then traded to the Steelers right before the regular season, but was released a week later. Miami then signed him to the practice squad. Cobbs was active for Miami in 3 games, but did not receive a carry. Here's his preseason stat line with New England, where he led the Patriots in rushing:

Att. Yds Ave. Rush TDs Rec. Yds Rec TDs
38 188 4.9 3 7 115 1

At 5'8, 210 pounds, Cobbs is a workhorse type back who runs with power. Though he does break tackles, he can also change directions quickly and create space. He can also catch the ball out of the backfield fairly well. His biggest knocks are his size and lack of breakaway speed. However, I think he could be fairly effective as a 3rd RB for the Dolphins.

Chatman is a big bruising back who has experience working with Cam Cameron. He spent his first 3 NFL seasons with San Diego, before joing the Dolphins in 2005. However, he never got into any games with Miami before being traded to the Saints following an injury to Deuce McAllister. Unfortunately, he never got into a game in New Orleans at any point. But he did get 65 carries in 2004, his last season with San Diego. He ended the season with 392 yards and 3 TDs, averaging 6 yards per carry. Here are some of Chatman's game logs from that season:

Opponent Att Yds Ave TDs Long
vs Jax 11 103 9.4 1 41
at Car 8 69 8.6 1 52
vs Oak 12 69 5.8 0 16
vs NO 7 51 7.3 0 22
at Cle 14 48 3.4 0 8

Those aren't bad numbers for a backup. And in Miami, he'd likely be the 3rd running back. He's a big, powerful back who lacks speed. He's 5'8 and weighed around 240 back when he last saw game action, but the Dolphins' website has him listed at 223, so he may have lost weight and gained a little speed. Either way, he's still more of a power back than anything.

Perkins is a bit of a wildcard because there isn't much known about him. In high school, he did run the 100 meters in 10.5 seconds. Of course, I have no idea how that translates to the NFL, but it's a nice stat to throw out there. He went to SE Louisiana, where he gained over 1,100 yards in a pass-happy offense. He was then signed in 2005 by San Diego, was prior to the season, and then signed to the practice squad. He spent the past 2 seasons in San Diego on their practice squad. So Cameron is very familiar with Perkins. However, at 5'10, 205, Perkins seems more like a change of pace back, which the Dolphins don't need anymore following the selection of Lorenzo Booker. I think it's unlikely Perkins wins the battle for the remaining RB spot.

I think it comes down to Cobbs and Chatman. I like the upside of Cobbs and I think I'd rather have Cobbs on the team, but I think Cameron's familiarity of Chatman might just tip the sclaes enough for Chatman. Either way, it does make for yet another interesting storyline to track once training camp opens in July, which simply can't get here soon enough.