3 Predictions and 3 Recommendations
I was going to write a long piece on my opinion of Ricky Williams' recent epiphany and subsequent retirement, but whatever I could say about his actions have already been said, at length and in excruciating detail.
And one thing I do have in common with Ricky - probably the only thing, in fact - is that I want to be different.
So I'm not going to bore you with another dissertation on right and wrong. For the record, I stand in the company of those who enthusiastically support Ricky's decision to quit football and find himself, but think his timing and method of breaking the news were despicably selfish, irresponsible and cowardly.
Most of all, though, I think Ricky's recent actions point out that Ricky has bad judgement and makes bad decisions. And it's not just this time - it's his entire career. Whatever reasons or excuses he might have, Ricky makes bad decisions.
Which leads me to my 2 predictions:
First of all, we haven't seen the last of Ricky Williams in the NFL. Oh, we may have seen the last of Ricky as a Dolphin - it's hard to imagine him returning to the team even if he decides to do so in the next week. But I think that in a few years, perhaps sooner, Ricky is going to run out of money. People who make bad decisions have a hard time holding on to their money, especially if they don't care much about it.
And when he runs out of money, he'll realize that it's lot easier to be free if you have money than if you don't. And when he discovers that, he'll return to the only thing he's really good at - running the ball between the tackles.
Secondly, the saga of Ricky Williams will not end well. Ricky will not ride off happily into the sunset and quietly pursue his dream of self-discovery and enlightenment as he travels happily through the world. I don't know how it will play out, but after Ricky makes a few more bad decisions - gives his money to the wrong charity, befriends the wrong people or gets lost in the wrong country - he'll end up as the poster boy for bad judgement.
Now let me just say that I don't have any special insight into Ricky Williams that allows me to make these predictions. I'm not a psychic, psychiatrist or soothsayer. But I do know that Ricky Williams makes bad decisions in his quest to be different and that the best predictor of future behavior is past behavior. And it's not a huge leap from that to my predictions.
And truthfully, I hope I'm wrong. I hope that Ricky finds himself, because that is the ultimate destination for any human being.
But I wouldn't bet on it.
So now that Ricky is gone, what's next? Well, I have a few modest recommendations to the team on what they should be doing now. Three, in fact. But I'll bet you already knew that, didn't you?
If this team is going to do anything this year, they need to make some radical changes and make them right now. If they try to run the offense they had planned without Ricky Williams, they'll be pounding their collective heads into a brick wall without a battering ram all year long.
The first recommendation is to sign one of the free agent running backs available out there. Sign Stacey Mack or James Stewart or Robert Edwards and put them into the backfield behind Travis Minor. Please do NOT trade for someone like Anthony Thomas. Sign someone who is decent but relatively cheap.
Then take the saved Ricky Williams money and sign Adewale Ogunleye. The team should be able to sweeten Wale's deal considerably now and get him in camp. Do not trade Wale - the defense is going to need to be even better this year.
My second recommendation is to make Marc Trestman the offensive coordinator. Sorry, Mr. Foerster, you do deserve your chance - just not right now. With Ricky gone, the passing game has just become a lot more important and the team needs to make some serious changes and make them now.
Two years ago, Trestman created the best passing attack in the NFL with a weak armed quarterback and two older receivers who had put their best days behind them. In 2002, the Raiders went to the SuperBowl with the number one offense and number one passing attack in the league and their offensive coordinator was Marc Trestman. Right now, he's the best option the Dolphins have for an explosive offense this year and they're going to need it.
My last recommendation is going to cause a stir, but I believe it is the right thing to do.
My last recommendation is to start Sage Rosenfels at quarterback.
Yes, I'm serious.
No, Ricky has not been sharing his stash with me.
With Ricky gone, the old way of doing things has to be abandoned if Miami wants to be a serious contender this year. There is not a running back available anywhere that can fill Ricky's shoes, so the old offensive scheme must be dumped.
And Jay Fiedler is not the man to run a pass-oriented offense. His ability to throw the ball deteriorates the more he throws. The Dolphins don't win when Jay has to throw the ball more than 30 times a game.
AJ Feeley is the new guy and has a better arm, but is having trouble learning the offense. He admitted at the end of the last mini-camp that he wasn't ready to start.
Sage Rosenfels knows the offense, has a better arm than Fiedler and has looked the best of any of the quarterbacks in the mini-camps. He has virtually no experience during a regular season game, but then again, Jay Fiedler didn't have much when he started and AJ Feeley has very little himself.
In a season so completely upside down, it would be the perfect twist to open training camp.
So those are my predictions and recommendations. I do have one other prediction before I go, however, and it's this: the team will do none of the things I have recommended, except perhaps signing a cheap running back. They will not use the extra money saved when Ricky retires to sign Wale. They will not promote Trestman to Offensive Coordinator and they most certainly will not start Sage Rosenfels.
Oh well. I'm a systems administrator, a father and a husband. I'm used to having my recommendations ignored. So I won't feel bad if the Dolphins don't take my recommendations. Even if they do it..