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Miller Coming Into His Own Midway Through Season

Posted Nov 7, 2013

Second-year running back is near the top of the league in YPC.

Through the first eight games of the regular season, Miami Dolphins second-year running back Lamar Miller has been asked to platoon with Daniel Thomas and split the carries. But his recent performances seem to be buying Miller more of a primary role.

Only Washington’s Alfred Morris (5.20) and Dallas’ DeMarco Murray (4.83) are averaging more yards per carry among running backs in the National Football League than Miller’s 4.81. He has rushed for 448 yards on 93 attempts with two touchdowns and also has 13 receptions for 72 yards, which has garnered him more confidence from offensive coordinator Mike Sherman in terms of getting more chances.

“I think the opportunities he gets, we’ve started the season and I think he’s making the most of his opportunities right now and I’m excited to see that,” Sherman said. “I’m sure as we continue to go, if he keeps using those opportunities the way he’s used them here recently, other than putting the ball on the ground, which we have to clean that up a little bit, he had a great run. I thought he played very well in the last few ball games. Yes I think that’s a strong possibility that he could.”

Miller had his first career 100-yard rushing game last Thursday night at home against the Cincinnati Bengals (16 rushes for 105 yards) and racked up 89 of those in the first half. One of those runs went for 41 yards before the Bengals’ Carlos Dunlap jarred the ball loose from behind, but he’s had runs of 49 and 30 yards this season that showed off his speed once he reaches the second level.

Last year as a rookie, Miller carried the ball 51 times for 250 yards and a touchdown, averaging 4.9 yards per carry, and he added six catches for 45 yards. Sherman and the coaching staff wanted him to work on his pass blocking and pass catching out of the backfield

“We’ve just got to continue to prepare just knowing the guys that we are facing and just keep the running game going,” said Miller, who was drafted in the fourth round of last year’s NFL Draft. “The offensive line has been doing a great job so I give all the credit to them for the most part. We like to be a more balanced offense and we have to be successful in the running game and the passing game.”

With his speed and quickness, Miller is a mismatch for opposing linebackers as a receiver coming out of the backfield or even sometimes lining up in the slot. His skill set is similar to that of Darren Sproles in New Orleans and LeSean McCoy in Philadelphia, two multiple threat running backs that have combined for 66 catches for 688 yards and two touchdowns in the passing game.

As soft-spoken as Miller is, he exudes confidence when it comes to what he is capable of on the field and is comfortable with expanding his role on the offense. He’s

“The coaches, they’re just trying to do anything to get a playmaker the ball,” he said. “So I’m pretty sure we’ll have more of that coming throughout the course of the season but I’m just trying to do anything to help this team win.”

He’ll get his next chance on Monday night at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

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