There has been a lot of talk in South Florida regarding which veteran running backs could be on the Dolphins’ radar once free agency begins, but the speedy, homerun threat runner this offense is missing could already be in house. I’m referring, of course, to third year running back Kory Sheets.
Technically, there is no guarantee Sheets will be a Dolphin in 2011, as he was scheduled to be an exclusive rights free agent under the old CBA. But even in the event that the new CBA doesn’t permit exclusive rights or restricted free agents, it’s widely speculated that Sheets will remain in Miami in 2011. The Dolphins need depth at running back and Sheets will be cheap to resign.
Some may consider Sheets only a camp body with an outside shot at cracking the final-53. But looking at what Sheets could bring to the table for what was a boring and slow offense in 2010, you probably shouldn’t sleep on him as the dark horse candidate to split the majority of the carries with second-round selection Daniel Thomas.
Unfortunately for Kory, though, the Dolphins don’t exactly have a grasp on what they are getting with him. He went down early with an Achilles injury in last year’s training camp, a year after signing with the Dolphins mid-season off the 49ers’ practice squad. Camp and the preseason is when roster fringe players like Sheets get the most reps and the biggest opportunity to make an impression. Kory has yet to have either with the Dolphins.
That’s the biggest reason why I doubt Jeff Ireland will forgo acquiring a veteran back once the lockout is over. But hey, you never know. An outstanding camp and preseason or an injury to one of the projected starters, and Sheets could be right there getting an opportunity to be a playmaker for Brian Daboll’s offense.
So let’s check in with Kory to see how the Achilles is progressing, what his goals for 2011 are, and more. He was a bit brief with his responses, but minimal reading material is better than nothing at all, especially in the midst of a lockout. The interview can be seen after the jump.
Phins Phocus: How is the leg feeling these days? Are you back to 100% yet after the season-ending Achilles injury you suffered in last year’s training camp?
Kory Sheets: I’m just about at 100%. I’m running well on it and it all feels good. I’ll be at full strength at camp and ready to compete.
Phins Phocus: How are you gearing up for the 2011 season despite this lockout mess? Any specific workout routine?
Kory Sheets: Nothing specific really. Just a whole lot of running and lifting and daily rehab, that is all.
Phins Phocus: What are some of your goals for the 2011 season? Do you feel like you can be the scatback this offense is missing and share the majority of the workload with 2nd-round pick Daniel Thomas?
Kory Sheets: One of main goals is to be named the starting back this year, then help turn around the offense, then get this team back into the playoffs.
Phins Phocus: Before you got hurt, many fans were hoping you would become the primary return man in 2010. Would you like the opportunity to compete for that role in 2011?
Kory Sheets: If becoming the kick return man is what the coaching staff needs/wants me to do then I’ll be more than ready, willing, and able to perform that task. But my focus this season will be to pick up where Ronnie and Ricky left off.
Phins Phocus: They say you are one of the fastest players on the roster. Which Dolphins, if any, can beat you in a footrace?
Kory Sheets: I can beat anyone on the team in race. Lol
A big shout out to Kory Sheets for taking the time to do this. Make sure to follow Kory on twitter.
@phinstake Hey, you got to have confidence. Should be interesting to keep an eye on Kory in training camp and the preseason. Even in the likely event the Dolphins sign a back, he could be an injury away from being a significant contributor on this offense.