Wednesday, August 21, 2013
Dolphins too cautious with Lamar Miller?
By James Walker
MIAMI -- All offseason Lamar Miller has been in the spotlight.
The 2012 fourth-round pick is pegged to replace veteran Reggie Bush as the Miami Dolphins’ starting tailback. Miller showed plenty of flashes last year when he led Miami with 4.9 yards per carry.
But we haven't seen much of Miller during the preseason. The Dolphins have only given Miller nine carries in three preseason games. This is a player who could get as many as 20 carries per game in the regular season.
Are the Dolphins being too cautious with Miller?
Miami is expecting a breakout year from Miller as a first-time starter. However, it's hard to gauge where Miller currently stands when he averages just three carries per preseason game. Also keep in mind that Miller has just 51 carries in his NFL career.
Miller has looked out of rhythm at times. He fumbled a hand off from quarterback Ryan Tannehill in the Hall of Fame Game against the Dallas Cowboys. Miller also dropped an easy third-down pass last weekend against the Houston Texans in limited playing time. These are mistakes that must be worked out by the regular season.
However, Miller has well-documented durability issues and it's clear the Dolphins believe injury prevention is the best approach with their second-year running back. Miller already twisted his ankle in training camp, which was a minor scare.
The Dolphins will host the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Saturday in their "dress rehearsal" preseason game. Whether the Dolphins increase Miller’s workload in preparation for the regular season will be one of the big storylines to watch in this game.