Lamar Miller has not uttered one syllable of complaint about the fact the Miami Dolphins don't use him as much as seems logical. But his agent Drew Rosenhaus has.
Rosenhaus, who represents multiple Dolphins players including Miller, was on his usual Sunday night appearance on WSVN-7's Sports Xtra show when the frequency of Miller's use became a topic.
Rosenhaus said it was "disappointing" the Dolphins have not used Miller more. Rosenhaus went on to make a case why more use of his client seems more logical for the Dolphins.
Rosenhaus mentioned the idea that getting into rhythm is difficult for any back, including Miller, when he's getting only 10-12 carries a game. He made the point that at a time the Dolphins are struggling with their pass protection due to a troubled offensive line play, running the football more with Miller would be an easy way to keep defenders off the quarterback.
And all those points are valid.
The fact is Miller is No. 12 in the NFL with 782 yards. He's averaging a hefty 4.8 yards per carry.
But he's only carried the football 162 times, an average of 12.4 carries per game. The number of totes ties Miller for No. 16 in the NFL.
So why not maximize Miller? If 162 carries is good, wouldn't 182 be better at 4.8 yards a pop? Might that take some throws away from Tannehill? Maybe. Might that take some runs away from either Daniel Thomas or Damien Williams? Maybe.
I can live with that.
You must understand that at a time much of the NFL is bent on passing, passing, passing, the league's better teams have for several weeks been going in the other direction. The Patriots, Broncos, Seahawks and Packers can throw the dickens out of the football but for weeks they've emphasized the running game.
That running game makes it easier to get into the playoffs and tougher to bounce those teams from the playoffs.
But the Dolphins aren't on that course. Indeed, the Dolphins are going in the exact opposite direction.
Miami has run the ball fewer than the game before in three consecutive weeks. They've gone from 24 runs against Buffalo, to 21 against Denver, to 18 against New York, to 16 against Baltimore. Not exactly insistent and tough-minded December football, folks.
Fewer carries for everyone obviously means fewer carries for Miller because the Dolphins long ago decided they want to split the number of carries rather than rely on just one back. That's fine. A large majority of NFL teams divide their carries. It's part of keeping everyone fresh, I suppose.
My problem is the Dolphins are taking carries away from someone who needs more carries and giving them (not many, but some) to players who haven't shown they deserve more carries.
That's because what precious few carries Miller doesn't get in Miami's run-quantity-challenged offense go to Daniel Thomas and Damien Williams. And neither is setting the world on fire.
Thomas has 41 carries this year for 162 yards. Got your calculator? Punch the numbers. That's a 3.9 yard per carry average or about a yard less per carry than Miller.
Williams has 33 carries for 104 yards this season. That's 3.1 yards per carry.
Why are these guys getting the football at all when the better back is easily able to carry it more often and do it better?
I recognize the Dolphins have roles for each player. Williams, for example, has been getting a lot of work on third down. (He dropped a pass last week).
But there is nothing more frustrating than watching Miller get a carry for, say, five yards, another for 4 yards, another two or three plays later for 3 yards, and then he gets taken out of the game. How does that help him get his rhythm?
Sometimes Miller will have a really good series and not be seen in the next series. And the way these games sometimes go, the next time he carries the ball is sometimes a quarter later.
I know Miller isn't worn down. He is not tired. Why do the Dolphins do this?
I ask here because I've asked the Dolphins and the answer one gets is something about making decisions that are best for the team. Instead of clearing things up those kind of answers make me think of the IRS hearings when the dude insisted nothing was wrong after he announced all the emails had been lost.
It is frustrating.
Glad Rosenhaus made that obvious.