Ricky Williams snuck in and out of a Fort Lauderdale hospital this week for the purpose of squaring away his left shoulder. His agent, Leigh Steinberg, indicated that the surgery was very minor, and that it dealt with “some of the bumps and scrapes that happened during the season.” Williams has a history of minor injuries, but has played in 32 consecutive games. Williams won’t miss any time, and is already back to his training regime.
For a running back, shoulder surgery is no big deal. But it gives us the opportunity to discuss Williams—a player that some feel is worthy of the first overall pick next year.
Let’s begin by recapping his stellar 2002 campaign, featuring the following career bests:
- 1,853 yards
- 16 touchdowns
- six 2-touchdown games
- seven 100-yard games
- 4.8 yards per carry
- 16 games played
If you knew he’d repeat those numbers, you’d probably take him with the first overall pick. But will he?
Danger lurks in the form of the Dolphins schedule. Last year’s schedule was softer than Rosie’s recently-loofahed butt cheeks, featuring just four games against top-third run defenses, while Williams had the luxury of playing against seven games bottom-third teams.
Last year, the Dolphins caught a break by playing four games against the miserable NFC North defenses. It couldn’t be more different this year, as Miami now must face three formidable defenses in the NFC East. Philadelphia allowed fewer rushing touchdowns than any team last year. Dallas was fifth-best in that category, and the Giants were sixth.
Certainly, the schedule isn’t everything, and teams change from year to year. But, if last year’s results are any indication, it’s going to be a lot harder for Williams to duplicate his numbers.
Just something to think about, be interesting to see if RW can match his numbers from 02.