NFL Nation: Miami Dolphins Dolphins-Panthers 111909

Polite refuses to live up to his name

November, 20, 2009
11/20/09
12:17
PM ET
Everybody is singing the praises of Miami Dolphins running back Ricky Williams for his three-touchdown performance Thursday night against the Carolina Panthers.

Lousaka Polite
Al Messerschmidt/Getty ImagesLousaka Polite's jarring blocks helped spring Ricky Williams for his big night.
Williams ran for 119 yards and two touchdowns and caught two passes for 19 yards and a touchdown. In his long and sometimes spectacular career, it was his first game with rushing and receiving touchdowns.

Williams is 32 years old, but he recorded two 100-yard rushing games in a span of five days. Highly impressive.

But let's stop for a moment and acknowledge the performance of Dolphins fullback Lousaka Polite, who delivered several skeleton-rattling blocks to open lanes for Williams.

With the Dolphins' offensive line crumbling before them -- right tackle Vernon Carey, center Jake Grove, starting left guard Nate Garner and reserve Joe Berger all came off the field at some point, and usual left guard Justin Smiley played hurt -- Polite was the best hole-puncher on the field.

ESPN Stats & Information tracked every play and found 18 of Williams' 22 rushing attempts came out of a backfield set. He gained 107 of his yards, averaging 5.9 yards a pop, with Polite blocking for him.

Polite, a highly effective option in short-yardage situations, likely will be called upon to carry the ball more with Ronnie Brown out for the year with a broken foot. Polite had four attempts for 11 yards Thursday night, but he also fumbled for the first time in his career.

But do yourself a favor the next time you watch the Dolphins. Watch how he plays when he doesn't have the ball.

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