Seeing Ricky run the ball like it's 2003 again is only a part of it.Since returning from the last suspension, in interviews and at practices, he seems to be a man who has found much of the balance that he went searching for all those years ago. He knows he's not a typical NFL premier running back (and he is premier, by the way: 11th in the league in rushing only being the starter 2 times, at time of writing) or even a typical pro athlete Not by a long shot. The difference the past and present is that he now seems far more accepting of this, as do his coaches and teammates.There are still many commentators and egomaniacal talking heads who will either ignore Williams' resurgence, or use people's misconceptions of him to make cheap jokes, just as they did in the past. That part of this peace includes him returning to an NFL field and reminding everyone of the physical gifts that won him Doak Walker Awards, the Heisman, and Pro Bowls; well, that's just a bonus for me and other Dolphins fans.Run, Ricky, run!.
When the NFL completes its draft in April, there is no shortage of opinions from the experts who attempt to grade each team's decisions the very next day. However, those same experts are nowhere to be found two years later when that predicted bust turns into an All-Pro, or that best thing since sliced bread turns into a drag on his team's salary cap. It usually takes a minimum of two years to determine whether the person pulling the trigger on draft day made all the right moves. This draft will be no different. Even though it is still too early to call, lets take a look back at the 2009 first round of the draft and see how things are progressing 12 weeks into the season. 1. Matthew Stafford, QB (Detroit Lions) Statistics: (GP: 10, PYDS: 2,267, PCT: 53.3, TD: 13, INT: 20, RT: 61.0) This really was a no-brainer for the Lions brain trust. He was rated by most as the top quarterback in the draft for a team that did not have any other options at the most important position on the field. While the Lions have more holes to fill than quarterback to turn their fortunes around, it looks like they will not have to worry about their field general in the near future. Staffords canon arm comes as advertised, he is a hard-worker in the film room, and he has shown the right temperament when it comes to leading the troops. Like most rookie quarterbacks thrown into the fire, he needs to cut down on his mistakes But it appears the Lions have made the right decision. 2 Jason Smith, OT (St.
Louis Rams) Statistics: (GP: 9, GS: 5) The Rams were desperate to fill the huge void left by Orlando Pace. He has had his share of struggles, but nothing he cannot overcome. The Rams struggle on offense has more to do with the lack of playmaking ability at wide receiver, ineffective play at quarterback, and poor play at the opposite tackle spot than anything Smith has done. The Rams will have to continue to add pieces on the offensive side of the ball, but they should be set at right tackle. 3. Aaron Curry, OLB (Seattle Seahawks) Statistics: (GP: 12, T: 56, S: 2, FF: 2) At 62, 256 pounds, with freakish athletic ability, Curry is as gifted a young linebacker as there is in the game. On the field, he has shown glimpses that he can indeed turn into what some scouts were calling the "biggest impact defender in the draft." That being said, he still is very inconsistent and at times will completely blend into the woodwork. Curry is having a solid but unspectacular rookie year, and should blossom once he learns the nuances of the professional game. 5. He had solid games against the Texans in Week One and Miami in Week Eight, but he has had disasters in too many others (one TD and 12 INTs against the Saints, Bills, and Patriots). While Sanchez possesses the moxie and good looks that made him an instant idol in New York, the jury is still out on whether he will be a star on the field. It is way too early to distinguish between boom and bust for this quarterback.
GS: 0) Things did not start out on a positive note for Smith. He sat out in a contract dispute to start his professional career. When he finally did sign a contract, he came to camp overweight and proceeded to get injured. Now that he is healthy, he cannot get on the field. His only playing time has been in a backup role in the last two games. There were concerns about Smiths weight and attitude before the draft. Although Bey performed well in the NFL combines, he was not expected to be picked until the middle of the first round (at the earliest). Instead, owner Al Davis continued his draft meddling by selecting Bey well ahead of where most draft experts had him. While it is true that Bey has had to suffer through the incredibly awful play of former first-round bust JaMarcus Russell at quarterback, Bey has done nothing to quiet the critics. To add insult to injury, fellow rookie wide receiver Louis Murphy stepped in while Bey was injured this week and caught a 75-yard touchdown pass. Murphy has more catches for more yards, with more touchdowns than Bey (23, 411, 4). 8. Eugene Monroe, OT (Jacksonville Jaguars) Statistics: (GP: 11, GS: 9) Monroe was inserted into the starting lineup from Week One. Apart from dealing with some minor injuries, he has acquitted himself quite well. In fact, as the season has worn on, Monroe has established himself as a pretty solid left tackle. It is no accident that, as Monroe has begun to find himself, the Jaguars have gone on a streak of four wins in five games. 9 B.J. He will get better as he packs on even more pounds and learns the intricacies of the position. 10.