A: "John that's a very interesting question. One would think that the Dolphins would have continued running the ball with Ronnie Brown throughout the second half after starting the third quarter with a 10-play, 73-yard scoring drive. Ronnie Brown ran hard and accounted for 22 yards on 4 carries. He had just one more carry the rest of the game. The Dolphins' missed opportunity came after the defense forced the Cowboys to punt on their first series of the second half. This is where you would have liked to have seen the Dolphins come out and impose their will against the Cowboys, but instead they go three and out (one running play, a two-yard run by Ronnie), and Murphy's Law went into effect, starting with the big 49-yard punt return by Patrick Crayton. Four plays later, the Dolphins were down 17-13 and would never recover - nor run the ball again."
A: "Todd, the decision to trade Wes Welker came down to economics. The New England Patriots made an offer to the restricted free agent Welker that the Dolphins were not willing to pay to their No. 3 receiver. Without getting to technical, the Dolphins actually made a good move in working out a deal to trade Welker to New England, which gave the Dolphins an additional seventh-round draft pick to go along with the second-round pick (they would have only gotten a 2nd without the trade). One may ask why would the Patriots step up to pay Welker but not the Dolphins...the answer is the Patriots saw great value in Welker being their return guy as well as a perfect complement to Randy Moss and Donte' Stallworth so they were willing to up the ante...good move by both teams.
Q: First, you seem right on with Ginn. I see no instincts or aggressiveness. Do you think he should be taken off returns? Also, our D-Line isn't getting much pressure at all on the QB and blitzes seem minimal this year. What's up with the D-Line? Eds, Glen Allen, VA
A: "Eds, trust me Ginn will get more then enough opportunities to prove me wrong and I hope that he does, but it appears as if you paid attention this weekend while watching Ginn on returns. Taking Ginn off of returns is not an option at this point. The return game is why GM Muller and Cam selected Ginn, so they will have to sink or swim with him (life preserver anyone). Now on to the D-line. I don't know about you but my hand is on the panic button. The defense is supposed to be the strong unit of this team but in Week 1 they gave up 191 yards on the ground and in Week 2 166. Simply put, the Dolphins are being manhandled up front versus the run and getting very little pressure against the pass. And when they did get pressure on Romo, he made the plays that you like to see your QB make, keeping the play alive and moving the chains. Is it me or did it look as if Dallas was the team that practiced in the Miami heat all summer long? This is the first time in a long time that I can remember when a visiting team came down to Miami in September and looked more fresh. History states that the Dolphins fade in December...on Sunday they faded in the second half."
Q: Who is Jesse Chatman to be getting the chances he is and over Ronnie Brown? Don't you have to stick to one guy? Miguel, Kennesaw, GA
A: "Miguel, Jesse Chatman played for the Chargers from 2002-04 while Cam Cameron was the offensive coordinator. It's obvious that Cam saw things in him that he liked...similar to the Trent Green situation. I do not have a problem with the two-back system because it's working for a number of teams in the league. However, when Ronnie Brown (a No. 2 overall pick) cannot separate himself from Chatman, who by the way has been out of the league the last two years because of weight problems, that should tell you something about Cam's thoughts on Ronnie. There is no question - Cam is sending a message to Mr. Brown."
Q: What was your relationship like with Don Shula? Andrew Reich, Hollywood, FL
A: "Andrew, quick story. Growing up a Dolfan, coach Shula was a larger-than-life figure to me. I can recall meeting him as if it were yesterday. It happened at the NFL combine prior to the 1987 draft. A month earlier I had played with coach Shula's son, Mike, in the Japan Bowl. While at the combine, Mike took me over to meet his dad. I was nervous as nervous could be. Anyway, the next month I'm drafted by the Dolphins and I'm now playing for coach...WOW! In my opinion we had a great working relationship. He loved the way I played and I love how he had our team prepared for every game. Oh, yeah...only one time in his dog-house, but we will leave that for another time."
Q: Bring back Ricky! See what you can do to let Cam & Co. know we need him - a playmaker! Certainly we don't have one RB now. Milt, N.Miami, FL
A: "Milt, sorry but I don't have any pull/power when it comes to bringing Ricky back, but I will tell you this...if things continue as is you will have a lot of fans chanting Ricky-Ricky-Ricky along with you."
Q: Hey Troy, how would you sum up your playing days with the Chiefs? Also, what was it like playing in two totally different offenses with the Dolphins and Chiefs? Bryan T., Framingham, MA
A: "Bryan, although I enjoyed playing out in K.C., it just was not a good fit for me. Great owner in the late Lamar Hunt, great fan base and atmosphere at Arrow Head Stadium, and truly the most all-around, most-talented team that I played on with the likes of the late Derrick Thomas, Neil Smith, Deron Cherry, Christian Okoye, Barry Word and others. I can't forget the coaching staff with Marty Schottenheimer, Bill Cowher, Herman Edwards, Tony Dungy and Al Saunders. It was just that the offensive system was designed for the big, bruising backs - and that I was not. In comparing the offensives systems between the Dolphins and Chiefs: In Miami we worked on the passing game 80-85 percent of the time. In K.C., we worked on the running game 80-85 percent of the time."
Q: Troy, you have always been one of my favorite players and remember vividly when you juked and undressed Bill Bates on Monday Night football. Anyway, I'm losing faith in Ronnie Brown. You might as well put back on No. 23 and lace up the cleats. The only players that looked good in No. 23 since the 80's is you and Patrick Surtain. My opinion is Miami has had the softest offensive linemen over the years...never open any holes, always getting dominated. If Ronnie Brown is traded to Denver, he becomes an immediate star. What do you think? Michael Hogue, Washington, DC
A: "Michael, I would have to agree with you when it comes to the offensive line having its struggles over the past few years. But O-line coach Hudson Houck has the reputation as being one of the best in the business, so I have to give him another year to get his unit on the same page. As far as Ronnie going to Denver and becoming a star there is a very good chance that he would post numbers like all of the other running backs that Denver has plugged in over the years. It's one of the best systems to be in if you are a running back."
Q: I am sure you will agree. Dan Marino never had a complete team surrounding him like Peyton Manning. I am tired of people saying, "He couldn't win the big one." Any comments? Brian, Ventura, CA
A: "Brian, in football never does it fall on one individual, it takes a team. You also need to be a little lucky at times while staying healthy as well. In just looking at the years that I played with Dan, I would have to agree that we never had a complete team around him. We struggled to stop teams from scoring and we struggled to run the ball with any consistency."
Troy Stradford can be heard locally on 850 (AM) WFTL Saturday and Sunday afternoons, and on the Web at www.850wftl.com.