The Miami Dolphins are attempting to rebuild their run game, replacing Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams with a trio of backs, each of which face questions. Brown and Williams ruled the backfield, giving the Dolphins versatility and a dynamic wildcat package, but have been replaced by Reggie Bush, Daniel Thomas and Larry Johnson. To say nobody has a clue what to expect from the trio may be an understatement.
On Monday night, we'll get our first look at the Dolphins backfield while seeing how it performs against a stout New England Patriots' defense. Miami jumps right into the fire, having to deal with Tom Brady and a powerful offense while also trying to break in the run game on the other side of the ball. The latter of the two aspects of the game will play a large role in the success of the Dolphins on Monday Night Football.
Over at Pats Pulpit, the running game is the focus, and Patriots fans are hoping their team shuts down the Dolphins three-headed rushing attack, forcing Chad Henne to win the game with his arm.
All three runners have the capability to be a game changer. None of them are able to do it on a consistent basis. However, it only takes one player to take over the game and the Dolphins have a stable of potential game changers. It's up to the Patriots defensive line (who have yet to play a down as a starting unit) to stop any chance of a run game from starting. Also, the Patriots' will need big plays fromas last year's run stopper has missed a lot of the preseason.
And Patriots fans aren't alone. On the other side of the coin, Miami fans are wondering what the run game will produce, or if it will produce at all.
3. Miami Running Game. The Dolphins running game is another series of question marks. Can Reggie Bush actually be an every-down, workhorse back? Is Daniel Thomas healthy enough to be the compliment to Bush? What does Larry Johnson have left in the tank? With Charles Clay out, can Lex Hilliard fill the fullback role effectively? With the offensive line in the mess that it is and all these questions about the running backs, this could be a very difficult matchup against New England.