Blame it on McFadden

Rob Bradford
September 21, 2008 - 10:35 am
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If you were wondering where the Dolphins' idea to use direct snaps to running back Ronnie Brown came from, look no further than Miami's new quarterback coach, David Lee. Lee, who had experience with Miami head coach Tony Sparano while both were coaching with the Cowboys, served as the offensive coordinator with the University of Arkansas last season where he helped guide the standout season of current Raiders running back Darren McFadden. McFadden would consistently be used by Lee and the Razorbacks in the same sets as Brown was against the Patriots. The results were similar, as well. Brown rushed for four touchdowns and threw for another on the way to leading the Dolphins to a 38-13 win over New England. "They kind of did it a little bit at Arkansas last year and Coach thought it might work," Brown said. "We ahd some success today and hopefully its something we can build on and maybe I can throw some more touchdowns. "I'm not the best thrower in the world and I was thinking, 'Run, run, run.' But they did a good job of stopping the run. (Anthony) Fasano was open and I just had to pass the ball. I'm glad it wasn't that far. "We tried to keep them off guard and show them a different formation and get them thinking a little bit. After the first time we ran it, I could see them running around and they weren't used to it. We just tried to keep them off guard and it worked." Miami's other running back, Ricky Williams, complemented Brown with 98 yards on 16 carries. "We tried to put it in a while ago, but the time just wasn't right," Williams said. "The offensive coaches came to us and said we were going to do it and everyone was excited. We thought it would work, but I don't think we thought it would work this well. It was just a wrinkle and they had a tough time figuring out what we were doing." As for the Patriots' reaction to the chicanery ... "We looked at it on the sideline prior to halftime," said Patriots defensive end Ty Warren. "You're not really surprised by it because they have so many options they can do out of that package. They can pitch it the opposite way, they can run like they did, they can toss it out. You just have to be alert and obviously they were a little more alert than we were. "We knew the gadget plays would be a possibility. We spent a lot of time just trying to watch film, but all in all, they just did a good job of executing and the hat goes off to them." "Ronnie Brown is a tremendous player and its hard tackling him in the open field as well as Ricky Williams. You just have to stay disciplined and aggressive," said Patriots safety Rodney Harrison. "Unfortunately we had no idea they were going to come out and run those kind of plays and they came out and made some plays on us."