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NFL Miami Dolphins

Miami Dolphins Expecting Big 2013 Production From Lamar Miller

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Despite seeing very little from rookie Lamar Miller in 2012, the Miami Dolphins were very willing to allow Reggie Bush to walk away this offseason in order to have Miller become their lead dog out of the backfield. The University of Miami product is chock-full of potential, so I sure get the enthusiasm surrounding the second-year player, but I think we would have to acknowledge that the youngster has just 51 carries for 250 yards (just one touchdown) under his belt.

Miller’s debut was his best game so far as he had 65 yards on 10 carries (6.5 yards per carry) plus his only touchdown in the ‘Phins ’12 home opener vs the Oakland Raiders. Miller did have two other good games last season, and both were versus AFC East foes as he went for 48 yards on nine carries against the New York Jets and career-high 73 yards on 10 carries facing the Buffalo Bills. All of these games came at Sun Life Stadium. In fact, Miller had 216 of his 250 yards at home, so it will be interesting to see how he fares on the road with way more responsibility this season.

Miller is a guy who will play through pain. He is durable, and he attacks any holes very aggressively. Miller has a wonderful second-gear which makes him a home run threat on every touch because if he gets just one step behind the defense he cannot be caught. I like the way this young man requires multiple tacklers to bring him down. Miller going down on first contact is uber rare, and while he is not really all that elusive, he is very tough to bring down — a determined runner.

The biggest knock on Miller is his ability, or lack thereof, to protect the franchise aka Ryan Tannehill from blitzers. Word from the recent OTAs is that Miller has clearly improved his ability to recognize and pick-up blitzers which is massively key to his playing time. Joe Philbin and Mike Sherman have tons of carries available for Miller, but only if his pass-protection gets up to snuff.

Miller has the tools, and ’13 will provide the opportunity for a coming out party for the second-year Miami native. Dolfans are excited about Miller, and I get why.

Craig Ballard is a NFL/NBA/MLB writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @craigballard77, and you can find all of his articles HERE