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Ronnie Brown to be a workhorse

There's a very interesting blog entry made by Armando Salguero about Ronnie Brown and his workload.  It talks about how Brown is seeing increased reps in practice to prepare him for the increased workload during the regular season.  Here is some of the article:

Ronnie Brown ripped off his pads immediately after practice today and doused his head with water, seeking relief on a morning in which he got all but one of the carries with the first team offense.

Brown, despite being in good shape at a trim 230 pounds, looked spent and was clearly not prepared for so much action.

But he better get used to it.

Brown, you see, is going to be asked to carry the load for the running game this year. I know you've heard that before, but this year the training camp talk about this talented player doesn't seem to be merely lipservice.

"I know my workload is going to be turned up," Brown said following today's practice.

Cam Cameron expects Brown to be a workhorse in the mold of LaDanian Tomlinson, Priest Holmes, Marshall Faulk, Eric Dickerson and any number of the other quality backs that previously have made themselves stars in the system Cameron runs.

And unlike the past coaching regime, Cameron seems to realize if Brown is going to carry the load in games, he's first going to have to do it in practice successfully -- at least early in training camp.

That's great news, in my opinion.  I've said it many times on this very site that Ronnie needs to see more carries every game.  He's the team's best offensive player and he has to carry the ball more than just 18 times per game, which is what he averaged last year playing in Mike Mularkey's ass-backwards offense (yes, I'm bashing Mularkey again...get over it, Shane).  

Here are some figures to chew on for a while.  The Dolphins are 6-3 in Ronnie's 2 year career when he gets at least 18 carries.  And when he does get over 18 carries, he averages 109 yards per game with a 4.7 yards per carry average.  Now that's some nice productivity.

What's even more obvious is that Ronnie is the kind of back that needs to get into a rhythm and who seems to get better as the game goes on and as he gets more and more carries.  Here's how it breaks down.  On carries 1-10 of a game, Brown averaged just 3.6 yards per carry in 2006.  On carries 11-20, Brown averaged 4.9 yards per carry.  And then on every carry after 20, Brown averaged 4.5 yards per carry.  Or, if you want, let's break it down by half.  In the first half, Brown averaged just 3.8 yards per carry in 2006.  But in the second half, Brown averaged 4.6 yards per carry.  However, in 2006, Ronnie only saw an average of 8 carries per game in the 2nd half.  8 damn carries!  That's simply not enough.  No wonder Mularkey is nothing more than a tight ends coach (yes, there's another shot at him).

And then there's yet one more statistic that I want to throw out there to show how underused Ronnie was last year.  When the Dolphins were trailing by between 1 and 8 points in 2006, Brown carried it just 19 times for 112 yards (that's 5.9  ypc) and scored 2 touchdowns.  That's right, despite picking up chunks of yards at a time, he got 19 carries.  Meanwhile, the Dolphins passed the ball 127 times when trailing by the same margin, only completing 59% of their passes.  Thanks again, Mike (I promise that's the last one).

So, if you didn't before, you should now realize just how important it is for Brown to get his fair share of carries.  And you should be excited for what kind of production we could possibly see out of Ronnie this year with Cam Cameron calling ths shots.  It's great to hear how he's seeing more work than usual in camp right now, especially having to play in this extreme heat, as it will only make Brown more prepared to carry more often in the regular season.  And if the stats are any indication of what we can expect, then I think that Brown is going to show everyone why he was a #2 overall pick.

Oh, and what does Ronnie himself think about the increased workload?

"Whatever I got to do as far as running myself into the ground in practice and having to fight through it," he said today. "Come in the game situation, it'll be a little bit easier for me."

Indeed...