Last year, former Miami Dolphins running back, Reggie Bush, stated that he wanted to lead the league in rushing yards. Unfortunately, Bush disappointed and couldn’t even break the 1,000 yard mark – Adrian Peterson led the league in rushing yards in case you live under a rock.
This offseason Bush left Miami for greener pastures and will be replaced by second-year tailback, Lamar Miller. Miller, like Bush, has set a lofty goal for himself this year. Gregg Rosenthal of NFL.com is reporting that Miller wants to rush for at least 1,500 yards this season.
Miller has been a hot topic as of late, mainly among fantasy football players and “experts”. In fact, many analysts from numerous sites and organizations believe Miller is the most likely player to break out this season.
Last season Miller saw limited time as a rookie receiving a mere 51 carries for 250 yards (4.9 ypc) and 1 touchdown in 13 games (1 start). Miller also caught 6 balls for 45 yards.
So can Miller actually reach his goal of 1,500 yards this season?
Miller’s goal seems out of reach at this point, to be honest. While it’s an excellent sign to see a young running back setting lofty goals, Miller will be splitting time in the back field with Daniel Thomas and rookie Mike Gillislee.
That being said, if Thomas and Gillislee both are unimpressive during the preseason and Miller impresses the coaching staff with his improved pass pro ability, Miller could actually become Miami’s new bell-cow. If Miller were to become Miami’s new full-time starter, the former Miami Hurricane could potentially reach his goal of 1,500 yards.
I mean, heck, he would only need to average 93.75 yards per game. That’s not hard, is it?
My realistic prediction is that Miller receives 210-230 carries for 1,100-1,200 yards and 8-12 touchdowns
Two huge factors in my reasoning:
- Miller has never really been a featured back. Please do not get me wrong, I believe Miller can be an every down back, but dating back to his Hurricane days he has always platooned with another running back (Mike James, Storm Johnson, Eduardo Clements, etc.). Both Thomas and Gillislee have potential also. If Miami would like to get the most out of their running game, OC Mike Sherman would be smart to utilize all three running backs throughout the game to keep all three backs fresh.
- Welcome to the new era in the NFL. This is a passing league, fellas. Miami has a young and budding quarterback in Ryan Tannehill who can air it out. GM Jeff Ireland did not go out and spend big bucks on Mike Wallace, Brandon Gibson, and Dustin Kellerfor nothing. Ireland brought those guys in to surround Tannehill with weapons for the young quarterback to succeed. Bottom line: Miami will be airing it out more than we are used to this season.