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Monday, May 20, 2013
Show and prove: Dolphins RB Lamar Miller

By James Walker

The AFC East blog will begin its 2013 "Show and Prove" series this week. We will examine key players in the division who have a lot to prove this upcoming season.

Let’s start with Miami Dolphins tailback Lamar Miller, who will be a first-year starter.

2012 stats: 51 carries, 250 yards, one TD

What he has to prove: Miller must prove that he can carry the load in his second season. He showed a lot of potential in 2012 by leading the Dolphins with 4.9 yards per carry, but this year will be different with the departure of former starter Reggie Bush to free agency. Miller’s carries could increase from 51 last season to more than 200. That's a big jump. Miller had injury issues in college and must prove his durability. Miller also is a bit undersized and struggled mightily with pass protection. That’s a major focus for Miller if he wants to be the long-term solution at tailback in Miami.

Walker’s 2013 outlook: I liked what I saw from Miller last season. He has good burst and vision, which are two things needed from a tailback running behind Miami’s zone-blocking scheme. Miller is a better fit in that respect that Bush, who had a penchant to run east and west too often for zero or negative yards. However, I do have serious doubts about Miller as a pass blocker. Teams identified and exposed Miller last year in that area when he was in the game. He has a long way to go with taking on blocks, and I’m not sure he can make huge strides in just one offseason. Otherwise, Miami’s backfield of Miller, Daniel Thomas and potentially rookie Mike Gillislee should be solid and better than advertised.