Offense Offerings

We're less than three weeks away from the start of the regular season and it seems as though the Dolphins offense is far from settled, even after Monday's "shocking" announcement that Trent Green will be the starting quarterback. That's one spot, but questions remain on the offensive line, at wide receiver and, more importantly, at running back.

That might be the biggest development of training camp, actually, those Cam Cameron comments regarding Ronnie Brown where he's suggesting there's a competition for the starting running back job.

Couple of thoughts on the Brown situation:

-- It is entirely possible, maybe even likely, that all Cameron was doing with those comments was light a fire under Brown, a guy who always has been mellow and certainly looks like someone who might lack a killer instinct.

The idea is if Brown reads or hears about the comments, he'll get teed off and want to take it out on somebody else, and that will make him a better running back.

Of course, it's also possible that Cameron was legit and simply doesn't think Brown should be a lock to start.

-- Cameron also mentioned the fact he didn't draft Brown second overall. No, he didn't. But the Dolphins did, and the truth is no one should expect Brown to perform the way a typical second overall pick should perform because he probably would have been a guy picked in the 10-15 range had he come out in something other than a horrible draft year.

Seriously, look back at the draft class of 2005. This was the top 10 that year: 1. Alex D. Smith; 2. Ronnie Brown; 3. Braylon Edwards; 4. Cedric Benson; 5. Cadillac Williams; 6. Pacman Jones; 7. Troy Williamson; 8. Antrel Rolle; 9. Carlos Rogers; 10. Mike Williams.

See any studs in that bunch? Uh, no. In fact, the only first-round pick that year who has become a dominant player is San Diego linebacker Shawne Merriman.

So Brown isn't your typical No. 2 overall pick.

-- Brown isn't Tomlinson. That seemed to be a point Cameron wanted to stress, but the truth is nobody ever suggested that Brown could become Tomlinson under Cameron because he's simply not that kind of back. Look, Brown is a solid back, but he's also a guy who realistically might never reach Pro Bowl level.

-- Jesse Chatman is a very good back. In the furor over Brown, let's not forget that Chatman was a starting-caliber player when he backed up Tomlinson for San Diego in 2004. He's also a guy who rushed for over 2,000 yards as a senior in college. Yes, at Eastern Washington, but 2,000 yards is 2,000 yards.

OK, now let's move on to the other issues on offense.

First, we know the Dolphins would to look at all options, but it would be nice at some point to have a starting offensive line, and that offensive line really should include L.J. Shelton.

Bottom line is he's better than Anthony Alabi at right tackle. And while Drew Mormino making a push for a starting job as a sixth-round pick was a nice story, it was pretty clear last Thursday night the Dolphins were better with veteran Chris Liwienski in the lineup.

Now, we're not suggesting Liwienski is a stud because he's far from it. But unless the Dolphins can get Pete Kendall, which won't happen if the Jets don't release him, then Liwienski is the best solution.

Finally, at wide receiver, we'd like to see someone emerge as a clear No. 5 for the 53-man roster behind Chris Chambers, Marty Booker, Derek Hagan and Ted Ginn Jr.

But the big issues right now are at running back and the offensive line, and both spots bear watching between now and Sept. 9.


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Alain Poupart is the Associate Editor of Dolphin Digest and DolphinDigest.com. To read him every day, visit DolphinDigest.com and become a Miami Dolphins insider.