The Phinsider 30-day challenge continues today with another chance to pick your all-time favorite player at a specific position on the team. Earlier this month, we asked you for your favorite all-time (non-Hall of Fame) quarterback and your favorite wide receiver. We stay on the offense, taking a look at the running backs now.
The 30-day challenge here on The Phinsider is a way to get to know some of our community members and their thoughts on the Miami Dolphins. We are asking a question every day for 30 days, with the goal of getting all of our readers involved in the discussion. If you haven’t ever posted a comment on the site before - now would be a great time to get in here and join us.
The Dolphins have a history of great running backs, with Hall of Famer Larry Csonka leading the way. Jim Kiick and Mercury Morris, sharing the backfield with Csonka, definitely deserve to be in the discussion, as do Ronnie Brown, Lamar Smith, and Delvin Williams. Current starter, Jay Ajayi, is clearly making a case for himself to be included in that list with another couple of years of running like he did last year.
While Csonka would probably be my answer for “best” running back, the question for today is “favorite” running back, so I will go with another runner - and probably the only player who could challenge Csonka for the best spot as well. There was nothing like watching Ricky Williams run. Sadly, Dave Wannstedt ran Williams into the ground in the first two seasons in which he was with Miami - with Williams leading the league with 383 carries in 2002 and 392 carries in 2003. Williams also led the league with 1,853 yards in 2002 (an average of 115.8 yards per game), his only Pro Bowl and First-Team All-Pro season.
Obviously, there are other issues with Williams, including missing the 2004 season when he retired and the 2006 season when he was suspended for the year. After being reinstated in the middle of the 2007 season, Williams suffered a torn pectoral muscle in his first game back, when rookie linebacker Lawrence Timmons, now a member of the Dolphins, stepped on Williams’ shoulder trying to recover a fumble.
Even with all that missed time, Williams still ran for 6,436 yards as a member of the Dolphins, with 48 touchdowns and a 4.3 yards per carry average. He added 197 receptions for 1,431 yards with six more scores. He is second in team history in yards and rushing touchdowns, behind Csonka, and leads the team in yards per game. His 10,009 yards, adding in his time with the New Orleans Saints and Baltimore Ravens, make Williams the 29th all-time leading rusher in the NFL.
Wait....did you see that run through the middle and stiff arm against the Chiefs? Want to see it again?
Williams is my favorite all-time Dolphins running back. It was fun watching him with the ball in his hands, and he was a perfect combination of power and speed. He eventually became the “speed-back” for Ronnie Brown’s “power-back” style, which is ridiculous because of the power Williams had.
Your turn. Who is your favorite Miami Dolphins running back of all-time?