"Everybody wants to label me as a third-down back," Miami Dolphins running back Kory Sheets explained to the Miami Herald's Jeff Darlington before Thursday's practice. "That’s not who I am. I’m an every-down back. There’s not one person in this league that can tell me I’m just going to play on third down."
Sheets, who spent last year on injured reserve after tearing his Achilles tendon, had a guaranteed roster spot as the team's kick returner. "The job was mine," Sheets said. "They told me the day before it was mine to lose. As soon as I went down, I knew what it was. It broke my heart, especially after seeing that the kick-return game wasn’t as good as it should have been."
However, Sheets expects more out of himself, "I told Ronnie and Ricky before they were gone, I’m looking at it as if nobody is standing in my way. I don’t care who they bring in. I don’t care who they draft. In my head, they’re going to be the No. 2 back. And I’m going to be the starter."
Coach Tony Sparano is not quite ready to appoint Sheets the Dolphins' feature back. "Things Kory needed to get better at, he kind of got thrown in to the middle of that group [last year] so the mental part he never really had the full process," Sparano said. "I would say the blocking end of it was something he hasn’t been asked to do, so those were the things we wanted to see a little more of."
But, Sheets stays positive. When asked about one of the the Dolphins' newest acquisitions, former New Orleans Saints running back Reggie Bush, Sheets replied, "It wouldn’t have mattered who they brought in. Bringing in Reggie, I look at us as being the same person. He’s just getting paid more than me."
With the Miami media and fan base assuming the starting running back position will come down to rookie Daniel Thomas or Bush, Sheets continues to work toward his goal. Confidence and trust in yourself get you far in the NFL, the question is, however, is it far enough to put Sheets into the top spot?