RICKY ON THE SPOT

It's pretty obvious that the biggest reason the Dolphins running game has gone nowhere this season has been mediocre play by the offensive line, but Ricky Williams is not without blame, either. He admitted as much on Thursday.

"Playing good enough to win is what I need to do," Williams said. "It doesn't matter (how many) yards or whatever, I have to do enough for us to win and to me, if we're not winning or we're not doing a good job in the running game, then I'm not playing well enough."

Anyone who has watched the Dolphins this season can see that Williams doesn't look like he's running with the same kind of authority and decisiveness he showed last season.

Of course, it doesn't help that opposing defenses are basically begging the Dolphins to beat them through the air and selling out to make sure Williams doesn't break any long ones.

That accounts for some of Williams' struggles, but there's also the issue of Williams getting frustrated because he hasn't had many holes to run through.

It appears at times Williams is hesitating at the line looking for a big run when there's maybe a 4- or 5-yard run to be had.

For his part, Williams said he realized last week he hadn't been running as hard as last year, so he began making a concerted effort to do just that in the Indy game, even though he didn't get the desired results.

"Maybe some of that was that I was getting the ball so much, I wasn't sure if I was going to make it," he said. "But I realized what has got me where I am today is the fact that I run hard, so I kind of rededicated myself to running a little bit harder.

"I'm definitely a little bit sore this week for it, but I think that's a sacrifice that I have to make to make this team a better team."

It's clear the Dolphins need more production from Williams than they've gotten. The question is whether it will happen.

Williams needs some help, and if the offensive line picks up its game, who knows, maybe Williams can explode down the stretch like he did last season.

At this point, it doesn't appear likely that will happen, but you can rest assured the Dolphins are keeping their fingers crossed it does.


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