Ricky Williams’ Smoky Past Comes Back To Burn The Dolphins, Again

Ricky Williams seems to be a living enigma, of sorts. With an exorbitant amount of football talent, Williams brought great hope to the Dolphins’ lackluster running game in the 2002 season. With the exception of his 1999 season with the New Orleans Saints during which he had only 884 yards on the ground with 253 carries, Williams has done well. He boasted 1000 rushing yards in 2000 with 248 carries, and 1245 rushing yards with 313 carries for two years before he joined the Dolphins.

When he joined Miami in 2002, instead of playing a role in the backfield, he was asked to pretty much spearhead the Dolphins offensive explosion. Ricky accumulated 1853 rushing yards with an almost machine-like 383 carries; do you think they ran the ball that year? By the time the 2003 season rolled around, the hype around Ricky Williams was astonishing. Ricky was thrown into the spotlight by not only the local media, but also by the national media which acclaimed him as the next great running back in the NFL This only heightened an already escalating problem. The Dolphins continued to utilize Ricky in the 2003 season the same way they had the year before; he compiled an amazing 392 carries, but only 1372 rushing yards. Opposing teams seemed to figure out that Miami was going to run the ball, a lot.

Right before training camp started for the Dolphins, on July 25, 2004, Ricky Williams placed a phone call to the team to announce that he had planned to “retire” and not play the 2004 season. Ricky cited many reasons for his choice to leave the high-paying career of football. He said, “I just don’t want to be in this business anymore,” and added, “I was never strong enough to not play football, but I’m strong enough now.” Ricky also added that he was “finally free,” and he couldn’t remember being this happy. The Dolphins weren’t. Miami ended up finishing that season with a 4-12 year. The Dolphins’ savior had become their downfall. The story of Ricky Williams’ decision to leave football to pursue a career as a holistic healer made the news often during the 2004 season, and many twists and turns surfaced in that time, including Ricky failing a drug test due to marijuana use just prior to his decision to leave football.

Last season, Williams returned to the Dolphins to play football, and tried to work off some of the money that he owed them for the 2004 season he did not play. Ricky missed the first four games of the season, serving a suspension for his failed drug test prior to training camp the year before. He came  สมัครเว็บ ufabet back slowly, only achieving seven yards rushing during the first two games of his return. Ricky then finished the season with two games during which he gained more than 100 yards rushing. At this point, Nick Saban was onto something; not only did he have an established power runner in Ricky Williams, but he also had a finesse running back in Ronnie Brown. Enter the two-headed monster of power and finesse.

Now the power-half of the two-headed monster is gone. Williams failed another drug test last month and has just been handed a one-year suspension by the NFL as of last week. The real question isn’t ”How will the Dolphins welcome him back next year or will they use him as trade bait?” The real question is how well Nick Saban can convince his team that Ricky Williams is insignificant to their success. While most of us know that Williams is one heck of a running back, I doubt his failure to play this season will seriously affect their chances in the AFC East. The Dolphins have improved themselves greatly in the off-season, and their competition in the division has either lost key players or has remained dormant in free-agent signings. The Patriots (God-bless) have lost Adam Vinatieri, Ted Washington, and, probably the biggest hit of them all, Willie