Dangerous Player: Ronnie Brown, Dolphins RB

November, 4, 2009
11/04/09
1:00
PM ET
NFC: D. Jackson (PHI) | S. Jackson (STL) | P. Harvin (MIN) | D. Williams (CAR)
AFC: R. Brown (MIA) | D. Sproles (SD) | J. Cribbs (CLE) | C. Johnson (TEN)

Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Graham

A look at the players opposing teams hate to see with the ball in their hands in the open field.

Perhaps the most scintillating anticipatory moment on an NFL field occurs each time the crowd realizes there's no quarterback between the center and Miami Dolphins running back Ronnie Brown.
 
 Marc Serota/Getty Images
 Running back Ronnie Brown is a versatile threat in the Dolphins’ backfield.


What's he going to do? Run it? Throw it? Hand it off? The only thing Brown can't do when he takes a direct snap in the Wildcat offense is pass it to himself, but you better believe he can catch.

Regardless of the formation, Brown is nasty.

"He's the best back in the league," New York Jets coach Rex Ryan said recently. "This guy can run anything. If you want to play I-formation or any scheme, this guy would be a great back. The fact that he's back there in the Wildcat, he's a special player back there."

New England Patriots receiver Randy Moss is another AFC East player who qualifies as dangerous, but we went with Brown because he doesn't rely on a quarterback's help to exact damage.

Brown's rushing yardage and receptions are tempered by the presence of Ricky Williams in the Dolphins' backfield. Each of them could run for 1,000 yards this year.

Despite averaging 17.1 carries through seven games, though, Brown has 518 yards. His seven rushing touchdowns are tied for fourth in the NFL.

He went to his first Pro Bowl last year, but certainly would have gone the season before had he not suffered a season-ending knee injury in Week 7. At the time he went down, he led the NFL in yards from scrimmage. He had 39 receptions in just seven games.

Brown has lost only one fumble since 2006.

"He believes that when he has the ball in his hands he has the responsibility to make something positive happen with it," Dolphins coach Tony Sparano said. "I think that is what the elite backs do. Those guys are not worried about how many carries they get. They are worried about what happens when they make these carries."

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