Sept 23, 2012; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Dolphins Lamar Miller (26) runs against the New York Jets during the second half at Sun Life Stadium. THe Jets won 23-20 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
Lamar Miller, a Miami man since birth. Growing up in the city of Miami Florida, it was almost guaranteed that football would have an impact on Lamar’s life, whether it was growing up playing football on the street, or all geared up in front of a live audience, football was going to be in his life. For those of you who don’t know, football in Miami is almost a way of life. Most children, who grow up in Miami, are most likely going to play football at some point in their lives. While some might go on to become huge college or NFL stars, others might not make it due to the large pool of crime, poverty, or lack of education that exists throughout the neighborhoods of Miami. The lucky few who do make it, know that the opportunity to play at a higher level might only come once, because if they mess up, there will always be someone right behind them to take their place. For Lamar Miller, once he had his opportunity he took it, and never let it go.
Personally, Lamar Miller is one of my favorite players in the NFL. Since I am a Miami Hurricane fan, I had the opportunity of watching Lamar play a little more than some of the other Dolphin fans. As you can tell, I have a huge passion for sports. Because of this, before Lamar came to Miami I would see him on different highlight tapes as a high school player at Miami Killian High. Once he signed his letter of intent to play for the Hurricanes, I began following him even more. After a good freshman year as a Cane, Lamar came back for his sophomore season hungrier than ever. This attitude allowed him to earn the starting running back spot ahead of Mike James. In his first year as a starter in college Lamar was an absolute beast. On just 227 carries, he gained a total of 1272 rushing yards (5.6 yard per carry average) and also scored nine rushing touchdowns. Despite only playing two seasons in college, Lamar decided to enter the NFL Draft. Although he was rated as one of the best running backs in the draft, I believe that he should’ve stayed at least one more year. If he stayed for another year I believe his draft stock would have rose tremendously and he could’ve been a first round pick. I also wanted him to stay for selfish reasons, but that is beyond the point!
After falling to the 4th round, the Miami Dolphins decided to take the young running back with the 97th pick in the draft. Coming into the season, the expectations for Miller weren’t high at all. He, along with everyone else knew that Reggie Bush was the guaranteed starter, while Daniel Thomas was most likely going to be the second string running back barring a major injury. Even though Miller was the third string back, he stayed humble and continued to work as if he was the starting back. His hard work paid off as Daniel Thomas received multiple concussions early on in the season. Due to the injury of Thomas, Miller saw a much increased work load. In his NFL debut, Lamar Miller carried the ball ten times and ran for a total of 65 yards, while also scoring his first NFL touchdown. The very next week Lamar continued to rush hard as he totaled 48 rushing yards in a 23-20 overtime loss against the New York Jets. Despite a good first few games, Miller’s role slowly began to diminish again, getting only five carries from the September 30th game against the Cardinals, till the December 9th game against San Francisco; however, Miller’s role increased yet again as the season was slowly coming to a close.
Even though Miller didn’t have a huge rookie year statistically, he did a lot of good things. Although his rushing total wasn’t high, his average was. Over the course of 13 games, Miller averaged 4.9 yards per rushing attempt. Despite not playing a huge role this year, I believe that next year he will earn a lot more snaps. Miller showed us all that there is potential there and with questions about whether Reggie Bush will return next year, Miller could show us even more of what he could do next season. It’s tough for me to grade Miller for his work this past season. He is my favorite player on the Dolphins, so I want to give him a good grade; however, he didn’t exactly do a lot. Even with limited snaps, Miller showed us that he could play in this league. He is only 21 years of age, so there is some time for him to mature as a player. With that being said I’ll give Miller a B- on his performance from last season. He didn’t get a lot of carries, but he made the most of what he got. His high yard per carry average is the reason why I am giving him a B- as opposed to a C+.
Season Grade: B-
Lamar Miller and I
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