The Miami Dolphins failed to get the most of Lamar Miller during his time with the team. As a result, the free agent running back opted to sign with the Houston Texans in free agency. With the change in scenery comes a fresh start, and a chance to cement himself as one of the league’s best running backs.
During an October 18th game that featured Miller’s Miami Dolphins against the Houston Texans, the 24-year-old running back produced arguably the best game of his career, rushing for 175 yards and a touchdown. In addition, Miller added three receptions for 61 yards and a second touchdown.
The Texans are hoping they get that same kind of production from Miller throughout the rest of his NFL career. But that’s where things with Miller get tricky. He wasn’t ever a dominant running back with the Dolphins, as many feel his potential was never fully reached.
I’s easy to see how little Miller was featured in the Dolphins system. Last season, Miller only had 194 rushing attempts, never surpassing the 20 carries per game mark once. That’s not an efficient number for a starting running back.
By comparison, Atlanta Falcons running back Davonte Freeman had 265 attempts on the year, which saw him pass the 20 carries per game mark seven times. Freeman also contributed heavily in the passing game, catching 73 balls.
It’s unfair to Miller that his talents were squandered on the Dolphins last season. Even with the coaching change of Joe Philbin to Dan Campbell, Miller still wasn’t heavily used. He needs to be given a full workload. Miller is only 24 and wasn’t doing himself any favors on the Miami roster.
The Texans are going to make Miller a featured part of the offense. That’s certainly a change from his days in Miami. Miller stated his reasoning for joining the team to the Houston Chronicle during his introductory press conference.
“I’ve been following Houston for a while now. I know in this offense, they get their running backs involved. I just wanted to be a part of that. I feel like with my skill set, I can help this offense.”
While Miller is leaving Miami because of the opportunity to receive more touches, there is also one factor that could signal future success.
According to Pro Football Focus, the Dolphins were ranked last in all of the NFL in run blocking last season. Meanwhile, Houston was rated the 24th best run blocking offensive line according to Pro Football Focus.
It’s not much, but Houston is definitely more accommodating to running backs than Miami. Alfred Blue preformed relatively well for the team when he was called into action. Imagine what Miller can do with an improved offensive line
All signs point to Miller being a much improved running back for the Texans. He’s going to get more work than he was ever given in Miami. It’s time Miller shows that he is a legitimate number one option.
Follow Daniel James Gentile on twitter @dgentleman9288