Most defensive game plans take into account the primary running back and maybe one backup when preparing to stop the run, but thanks to rookie quarterback
“That’s a new one that I wasn’t really aware of but yeah, that’s a deep position and I think we have some guys that are capable of running the football, there’s no doubt about it,” Head Coach Joe Philbin said. “I like the guys that we have. Hopefully they can continue to get better and develop and make some big plays.”
Bush has carried the bulk of the load, rushing the ball 50 times for 302 yards and two touchdowns through two-and-a-half games. He missed the second half of last Sunday’s 23-20 overtime loss to the New York Jets at home with a knee injury, which forced second-year running back
“I think Jorvorskie is doing a great job as a rookie going in there and making some huge plays for us, things that kind of go unseen to a regular fan,” said Bush, who had the first 1,000-yard season of his career last year with the Dolphins. “But he’s in there and he’s making some key blocks that are really springing me and Daniel and everybody else. He’s just creating big holes for us and making it really easy for us to go out there and make plays.”
Even though each running back has a distinct style when rushing the ball, the offensive line maintains the same level of confidence up front. Miami’s zone blocking scheme allows for the linemen, quarterback, running backs and receivers to know before the snap which direction the play is being run, making it easier for the player carrying the ball to make his reads.
Pro Bowl left tackle
“He’s a big boy and he can run. When he puts his shoulder down he can run over anybody,” Long said. “But all four of those guys are really fun to block for and I think are really thriving in this offense and we’ve just got to keep getting better and getting them a lot of carries.”
Thomas bounced back after missing the Raiders game with a concussion to rack up 69 yards and his first career rushing touchdown on 19 carries against the Jets. He is third on the team behind Bush and Miller (113 yards and a touchdown on 19 carries) and is seen by most opposing defenses as more of an in-between-the-tackles runner. But he is not afraid to bounce it outside either and has been used on screen passes and as a receiver out of the backfield.
The size of the holes that are being opened up by the offensive line have been impressive, especially from the running backs’ perspective after they take the ball from Tannehill. Thomas has been able to run with more conviction knowing that he’s getting a high caliber of blocking.
“They’re definitely opening up a lot of holes and making it easier for us to get through there because they’re getting a lot of push,” Thomas said. “Reggie and Lamar can do it all and they’re very similar and real shifty, while Jorvorskie and I are the two bigger and physical running backs. We can sense when the defense is back on their heels after we soften them up a little. As long as we continue to run the ball effectively I think we’ll be good on offense because it opens up the passing game.”
Long, left guard
Pouncey has the unique perspective of making the line calls before the snap and seeing precisely what Tannehill sees at the same time or even a little bit before, so he is essentially the spark plug that ignites the engine. The more success Bush, Thomas, Miller and Lane are having running the ball – in addition to Tannehill’s threat to run – the more effective the line can be up front.
“Obviously we know when Reggie’s in the backfield everything’s going to be a lot easier,” said Pouncey, who has made 19 consecutive starts at center since being taken in the first round of last year’s NFL Draft. “But when we’re out there we have our set targets and our set IDs and so we have no time to look and see who’s in the backfield. We’re just out there blocking, trying to keep those guys on their feet and letting them make the plays they can make.”