My colleague Cody has already written a blog about the Dolphins brining in running back Larry Johnson, but I wanted to share my personal thoughts on the signing as well.
Many fans are going wild in Miami suggesting the Dolphins would have been better off looking at OJ Simpson or Mercury Morris over Johnson, but I think those fans are missing the point.
People must see the Larry Johnson signing for what it is. The Dolphins most likely will keep four running backs on their roster this year. Bush and Thomas are obviously locks to make the team and it would seem you could add Lex Hilliard to that group too at this point.
That leaves one bubble spot for the final running back slot on the roster. Bush has struggled with health issues his entire career and Daniel Thomas is an unproven rookie. Keeping that in mind, it is 100% necessary, due to the lack of experience Hilliard has, that the Dolphins make sure their 4th running back is a veteran.
While I would have preferred Ronnie Brown (went for a bargain to Philly) or Marion Barber, Larry Johnson has had success in this league before. Johnson is apparently in very good shape and is a player Daniel Thomas has modeled his career after.
Hopefully, Johnson will be able to bring in some solid insight for Thomas while potentially acting as also a goal-line back for Miami.
Another note that Jeff Darlington of the Miami Herald made was that Larry Johnson played his college ball for Penn State and running back coach Jeff Nixon, hired this year by Miami, also has ties to Penn State.
The most important thing, which Dolphins fans might be ignoring, is that there isn’t much risk here. If LJ stinks and is old and plays like it, the Dolphins can just cut him. Plain and simple. End of story!