The Miami Dolphins have not yet announced who will be their starting tailback for the opener against New England but according to Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald, it very well could and should be Knowshon Moreno.
Earlier today the Dolphins coaches took to the media podium to answer questions as they head into week one preparations. Joe Philbin told the group that the team was “excited” about the start of the season and that the team needed to work “together” to play well against the Patriots. When asked about the revelation by the Patriots that TE Rob Gronkowski would indeed play, Philbin said “he is on the 53 so we prepared”.
Kevin Coyle took to the podium and said that “Louis Delmas is a great addition” to the team. Insert crickets chirping here. The truth is no one is going to say anything remotely bad about their starters, not ahead of week one against a powerful division rival. No one that is except offensive coordinator Bill Lazor.
Lazor has been quite literal this off-season when asked about players. He has said that Ryan Tannehill had a lot of work to do within the system and today he was asked about the running backs and specifically about Lamar Miller’s production.
“I thnk, I think, I think we’re expecting to have more production,” Lazor said. “I’ve seen lots on the practice field that tells me where we’re headed with Lamar and I feel very good about his ability to be productive, but if you’re talking about the preseason games his production needs to improve.”
Yes there is no question that his production needs to improve and he has this year to do it. Miller is not a Dennis Hickey guy, he is a Jeff Ireland guy and if Miller can’t step up in 2014 he very well could be stepping out in 2015. Miller doesn’t need to improve much. He averaged just over three yards per carry this pre-season but his decision making and aggressiveness to the holes seems to be where he is lacking. As Lazor points out production need to improve.
For now Miller will stay atop the depth chart but that will not remain the case beyond this week. Miller must put yardage on the field every time he touches the ball or he will remain the number two “change of pace” back as Salguero points out. At this point it really doesn’t matter who gets introduced with the first team on Sunday, it’s Moreno’s job apparently to lose.