Call it overreaction or call it playing it safe, but after Week 1’s dismal performance on the ground, the Miami Dolphins need to consider bringing in a veteran running back.
Miami came into the season counting on the potential of second-year back, Lamar Miller, but he failed to impress during the preseason and was woefully inept last week against the Cleveland Browns. The would-be Reggie Bush replacement could only manage three yards on 10 carries against the Browns and was practically nonexistent in the passing game, registering just one catch for seven yards.
Miller’s backup, Daniel Thomas, was nearly as miserable, gaining 14 yards on just eight carries, but did manage to get into the end zone late in the game. The score is nice, but the overall performance was lacking and should leave the Dolphins’ coaching staff scratching their heads and looking for answers.
They may want to look in the direction of Michael Turner.
Turner spent the last five years as the workhorse of the Atlanta Falcons, but he was released this spring after averaging just 3.6 yards per carry last season. He also seemed a bit slower, racking up just 800 yards – a full 540 yards less than he had posted just a season before. Turner may have lost a step, but he still knew how to get the ball across the goal line.
During his five years with Atlanta, Turner averaged 12 touchdowns a season and he could always be counted on in the red zone. The Dolphins could use his veteran leadership and consistency to even out an offense that has the potential to be one of the best in their division.
No one is going to bring Turner in to lead the team to the promised land. He is no longer the featured back he once was, but with a rushing attack as disturbingly ineffective as the one the Dolphins fielded last week, he can definitely bring enough stability to keep defenses honest.
His presence on the field would keep Miller and Thomas honest as well. As soon as Bush was allowed to take his talents to the Detroit Lions, Miller was practically given the starting job and has never truly been pushed. Turner may not have enough in his tank to actually challenge the youngster for his spot, but if it has him looking over his shoulder and running a little harder, then it is worth it.
After opening the season with the worst rushing total in the league, no option should be written off. And with guys like Turner sitting on the couch, the Dolphins do not have to stand pat.