Jun/07/13 09:00 AM Filed in: Lamar Miller
In a limited role, typically in relief of the since-departed Reggie Bush, Lamar Miller was an explosive, change-of-pace back last season, averaging 4.9 yards per carry.
Now, heading into his second season, Miller appears ready to take over as the team’s full-time starter, earning confidence from Ryan Tannehill and others this offseason.
While he’s ready to help a Dolphins’ reloaded offense try to put up more points this year, personally, he has a number in mind.
“My goal is to rush over 1,500 (yards),” Miller said, “and just help this organization get back to where it used to be.”
It’s quite an audacious goal, one that the second-year running back will need a combination of skill, opportunity and, yes, luck to accomplish. For one, the NFL isn’t what it used to be; teams are throwing more than they ever have before. Six of the seven highest single-season totals for pass attempts by a quarterback have occurred the last three seasons.
When teams do run, they — to the chagrin of fantasy owners everywhere — are more likely to spread carries around — we are in the running back-by-committee era. To put it in a numerical context: running backs have eclipsed 1,500 rushing yards just ten times during the past six seasons (2007-12); there were 27 1,500-yard seasons in the six years prior to this stretch (2001-06), though.
The question — if Miller can prove to be effective as a starter — is whether he will get enough carries. The four running backs that rushed for 1,500 yards in 2012 — Adrian Peterson, Alfred Morris, Marshawn Lynch and Jamaal Charles — combined to carry the ball on an average 32.2 percent of their team’s plays. Compare that to Bush, who only carried the ball 23.1 percent of the time in the Dolphins’ West Coast offense last season, and it may be tough for Miller to get enough attempts this year, especially with Daniel Thomas and Mike Gillislee helping out.
But if the additions of Mike Wallace, Brandon Gibson, Dustin Keller, et al. open up running lanes for Miller, and he gets enough opportunities, the Dolphins running back, a potential fantasy sleeper, could give 1,500 yards a run.