With Reggie Bush giving the Lions visions of a revved-up offense, the Dolphins are handing the running back job to the combination of Lamar Miller, Daniel Thomas and Mike Gillislee.
Miller, a fourth-round pick last year, has been installed as the favorite to lead any rotation in the Miami backfield, but he’s coming off a rookie year that saw him used sparingly on third downs. Part of that was Bush’s presence, of course, but there was also a question of whether he could handle the pass protection responsibilities needed on passing downs. Based on word out of Miami, that issue is fading from view.
Coach Joe Philbin praised Miller’s improvement as a pass blocker earlier this month and quarterback Ryan Tannehill has also hopped aboard that train. Tannehill cited the same thing when asked what impresses him the most about Miller.
“He’s picking up pass protections a lot better,” Tannehill said, via Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald. “Now that he’s got that, he’s going to be a great player.”
He’s also going to be a player that can stay on the field for all three downs, giving him a much better chance of becoming the feature back in a Miami offense that should be improved this season with the arrival of wide receiver Mike Wallace and tight end Dustin Keller.