By DJ Siddiqi @DJSiddiqi on July 27, 2014
As the Miami Dolphins enter training camp, third-year running back Lamar Miller has the inside edge over Knowshon Moreno to be the team's starting running back. However, when Moreno signed with the Dolphins as a free agent four months ago, it was Moreno who was expected to be the franchise's starting RB in 2014. Here are five reasons why Miller will be the No. 1 running back come September.
It was reported that Knowshon Moreno's struggles early on during OTAs was due to a knee injury. Well, the knee soreness in Moreno's left knee was enough of an injury to require arthroscopic knee surgery, which the veteran running back underwent last month. It remains to be seen how Knowshon performs in training camp following knee surgery.
This plays a role in positional battles all across the NFL. Although at the end of the day coaches will pick the players that give the team the best chance to win, players who are home grown products have an inside edge over guys who are non-home grown products. Miller was a fourth-round draft pick of the Joe Philbin regime in the 2012 NFL Draft, while Moreno was a free agent signing of the 2014 draft class.
Miller is entering his third year with the Dolphins, which not only means he was a hand-picked selection of head coach Joe Philbin, but it also means that the former University of Miami product is more familiar with his teammates than the recently-arrived Moreno. The UM product entered the NFL the same year as franchise quarterback Ryan Tannehill.
It's no secret that throughout OTAs Miller held down the No. 1 running back position. Miller received all first-team reps, while Moreno was relegated to second-team reps. Beginning in training camp and preseason, the pecking order will be the same, which means Moreno faces an uphill battle just to win the starting job. It will take an eye-popping training camp for Knowshon to win the starting job.
Perhaps the most important reason is Miller has very little wear-and-tear on his body, while Moreno has had a history of injuries in his five-year NFL career. The UM product is just 23 years of age and has just 228 career rushing attempts to his resume. On the other hand, the University of Georgia product has suffered a torn ACL and knee surgery on his left knee over the past couple of years.
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