The Miami Dolphins have made several upgrades this offseason, and with the draft approaching they have opportunities to add even more to the roster. One interesting thing is the idea that this team will have second year quarterback Ryan Tannehill and second year running back Lamar Miller as their starters at those positions. Tanny we could see coming of course, but giving the starting RB job to a guy who you used for just 51 carries in 2012 (250 yards, one touchdown) is a bit of a surprise.
I love Miller, and like the team I too believe in his abilities and his upside, but I think that letting Reggie Bush go and creating a scenario where Miller will go from 51 carries to somewhere north of 200 is interesting and noteworthy. In week 2 last season we saw Miller break of a 15-yard romp to the house for his only TD so far. That play was an example of what he can do. The 5’10” 220 pound product from the University of Miami has been banged up for a while (shoulder especially), but the hope is he will be ready to go in 2013.
The 21 year old will be 22 by the time the season starts, as will fellow current 21 year old starters David Wilson and Trent Richardson. Wilson will have Andre Brown to play with, plus of course Eli Manning so not a lot of pressure on him. T-Rich, like Miller, will be playing with a second year QB but T-Rich has 950 yards and 11 TD on his resume already and I would think he is going to be even better going forward. The ‘Phins’ passing game should take strong steps forward in 2013, but if they are going to earn a rare playoff birth, they will need Miller to go for over 1,000 yards plus they will surely need more than the six touchdowns that Bush averaged.
Miller is a home run threat with every carry. If the offensive line provides any sort of hole, Miller will explode through it way more often than not. I am very excited to see what a healthy Miller can do on the NFL level. He is also a guy that can move the chains. Bush averaged a first-down every 5.33 carries as a ‘Phin while Miller is at 4.25 (small sample size, granted, but we can only look at what we have so far). Surely Miller’s blitz recognition and blocking skills need to take steps forward as he has to help protect the franchise (Tannehill), but he did improve in that area as 2012 went on.
Time will tell if Miami is in good hands, but it sure looks like Miller will get a fantastic opportunity in 2013 to prove he can be legit on the NFL stage.