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Nzoner
08-23-2005, 02:49 PM
From the for what it's worth department (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/9054282/)

By EDDIE PELLS
Associated Press Sports
Updated: 4:22 p.m. ET Aug. 23, 2005

DENVER (AP) - Ron Dayne takes the ball from the quarterback, scoots down the line of scrimmage, finds a hole and starts running.

It looks like he's running downhill. It looks like he used to run when he was a Heisman Trophy winner in college.

"It seems like I haven't played football in five years,'' Dayne says.

Anyone who caught a glimpse of him during those five years with the New York Giants would certainly agree.

A first-round draft pick in 2000, he was supposed to give the Giants a bruising, straight-ahead presence in the backfield. Despite his size - 5-foot-10, 245 pounds - he simply didn't run that way.

The results were disappointing: five seasons, a total of 14 starts. He was inactive the entire 2003 season, the result of a personality conflict with coach Jim Fassel. And when it was over, after new coach Tom Coughlin had given him a final look last season, Dayne had totaled only 2,067 yards on 585 carries in 62 games.

"You'd have to ask them'' what the problem was, Dayne says of the Giants. "I did everything they asked me. I did everything right.''

Sometimes, though, the system really does matter.

And thus far in the preseason, it's clear that's the case in Denver.

Coach Mike Shanahan said the Broncos always had Dayne ranked highly in their evaluations. His 6,397-yard career at Wisconsin, which culminated with the Heisman Trophy in 1999, was surely part of it. But so was the way Dayne ran in the Wisconsin offense, which is pretty much a copy of Denver's offense.

"He finds holes, he's got quickness,'' Shanahan said. "He's had an excellent camp.''

How much difference can a system make?

One way of judging that would be to look at Clinton Portis, the back who starred for the Broncos for two years before they traded him to Washington for Champ Bailey before last season. In 2003, running in Denver's system, Portis averaged 5.5 yards per carry. Last year, running in a more straight-ahead scheme in Washington, the average plummeted to 3.8 yards.

"You're used to doing one thing, and you turn around and turn into a grinder - 3 yards a carry,'' Portis said earlier this summer.

Dayne may have been envisioned as a 3-yards-a-carry guy by the Giants, but so far in Denver, it's clear that's not his style. Through two preseason games, he's Denver's leading rusher with 143 yards on 29 carries for an average of 4.9 yards.

More impressive was his performance in training camp. He caught the ball effectively out of the backfield, picked up on pass-protection schemes and, overall, pretty much looked like the Broncos' best back.

He is still listed fourth on the depth chart behind Mike Anderson, Tatum Bell and Quentin Griffin. But Dayne has outperformed Maurice Clarett - who has missed a good portion of camp with an injured groin - and he's looking like a good bet to make the roster.

"I don't know about other people, but it doesn't surprise me,'' Shanahan said.

Not Dayne, either.

"A lot of people didn't really get to see me play,'' Dayne said. "Or when they did, it was more like third-and-1. Sometimes I wouldn't get it and sometimes I would. I have been judged by that.''

Rain Man
08-23-2005, 02:56 PM
So he's a budding superstar, but he's still fourth on the depth chart, and the only person he's ahead of is a fat, slow kid. I'm scared.

chagrin
08-23-2005, 02:58 PM
He had a "great" preseason last year for the Giants too...

the Talking Can
08-23-2005, 03:04 PM
He's the next Barry Sanders!

Rain Man
08-23-2005, 03:08 PM
I wonder if he has a nickname yet. Maybe the Denver Post should have a "give Dayne a nickname" contest.

I think that he and Quentin Griffin could be "Thunderthighs and Lightweight."

Nzoner
08-23-2005, 03:09 PM
So he's a budding superstar, but he's still fourth on the depth chart, and the only person he's ahead of is a fat, slow kid. I'm scared.

Exactly why this was brought to you by the for what it's worth department.

WisChief
08-23-2005, 03:09 PM
He had a "great" preseason last year for the Giants too...
he did rip us a new one...

Mile High Mania
08-23-2005, 03:28 PM
If there were a preseason fantasy football draft, Dayne would be a top 3 phenom...

Dayne does this in the offseason, sadly for him though... he tends to play like Kijana Carter in the regular season.

Braincase
08-23-2005, 04:48 PM
If there were a preseason fantasy football draft, Dayne would be a top 3 phenom...

Dayne does this in the offseason, sadly for him though... he tends to play like Kijana Carter in the regular season.

At least he's your Kijana Carter. All we have are a priest, a tattood communist, a 9th round draft pick out of football powerhouse Illinois, and a bunch of Methuzelah's on the offensive line. You think YOU'VE got problems? How'd you like OUR offense?

B_Ambuehl
08-23-2005, 05:58 PM
I remember watching him run in college and thinking he wouldn't be a very successful NFL tailback. He has good feet and he's big but has never had the explosion as he hits the hole and you could see that when he played for the Giants. I think Cedric Benson runs the same way so wouldn't be surprised if he doesn't pan out in Chicago.

That Donks o-line can make anyone look like a good runner.

SNR
08-23-2005, 06:36 PM
If there were a preseason fantasy football draft, Dayne would be a top 3 phenom...

Dayne does this in the offseason, sadly for him though... he tends to play like Kijana Carter in the regular season.Keep f*cking doubting Ki-Jana Carter@!

chief52
08-23-2005, 06:40 PM
With the depth the Broncos have at running back, there selection of Clarett in the 3rd round seems all that much more peculiar. Strange indeed...maybe they could have picked up a DB or something :)

SoCalBronco
08-23-2005, 07:13 PM
Ron Dayne has done pretty well so far in the preseason and in camps. He is 3rd on the depth chart right now.

stevieray
08-23-2005, 08:27 PM
That Donks oline can make anyone look like a good runner.

Easy to find a gap when everyone is holding.

B_Ambuehl
08-23-2005, 08:48 PM
....haha....yeah and throwing cheap crack back blocks