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A look at the running game with Miller, Thomas

I've been saying for several weeks the Dolphins have not decided on a starting running back. Yesterday, Joe Philbin said it. And in my column for The Herald's print editions, I detailed how it is that perhaps Daniel Thomas is now ahead of Lamar Miller for the starting job, and how it is Miller hasn't snatched the opportunity that was presented to him.

Mike Sherman, Miami's offensive coordinator, believes if the regular-season started tomorrow, the Dolphins would basically have a platoon system because neither Miller nor Thomas has earned extra carries. 

"I think Lamar Miller and Daniel Thomas are competing neck and neck," Sherman said. "They both have their strengths. I think their competition has brought out the best of them on most occasions. I'm anxious to see how we play this season. Obviously, I think, if we were playing tomorrow, both guys would get plenty of snaps in the ball game."

So why is this running back competition so important in a pass-first, quarterback driven league?

Well, for the Dolphins, it's important because they want balance in the offense. It's important because the offensive line needs protection from rushers just teeing off, and it's important to help quarterback Ryan Tannehill do his job.

“It’s huge," Tannehill said. "It is a passing league but if you can run the football effectively, it takes so much pressure off a quarterback and an offense in general. If teams know you’re going to throw every down, they can throw their rush at you. They can tee off on our tackles and it kind of limits the deceptiveness of anything you can do. So it’s really important for us. And we’ve done a good job of it so far."

Really? They've done a good job?

I know both Miller and Thomas are averaging 4.1 yards per carry this preseason. But a couple of years ago, Reggie Bush averaged 5.0 yards per carry and last year he was at 4.3 yards per carry and the Dolphins still finished 7-9.

Miami needs to do better than 4.1 yards per carry which is just .1 yards above the traditional league average.

 “It could be better, just like the passing game could be better," Tannehill admitted. "But that’s something we’re practicing for. We’re going into preseason week three. It’s not going to be perfect right now. We’re working on it. It will continue to be better.”



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What is "SMH"?

@ me

Trust me, he'll find some flaw to complain about. It creates clicks, and therefore advertising revenue, and elevates his status with the paper.

If I were him, I'd like to be remembered as someone like Edwin Pope, his self proclaimed mentor, rather than lowering himself by schilling for the Herald.

I don't understand why Barry Jackson doesn't get more space. He strikes me as a real journalist. Thank God Salguero was on one of his 6 week "vacations" - I may not have read Jackson's articles otherwise.

salgueros miami herald.

Shaking My Head (SMH) - I wouldn't know either but I have two teenagers.


Muscle weighs more than fat. L.Miller must be a Solid 216.

Me@12:50. I Agree. It is always something with this guy. He can always find what to be negative about.

And This story about D.Thomas and L.Miller competing was posted by NFL.com yesterday.

Shake My Head ...

sounds so condescending. FU Omar, fukking journalist acting like the judge and jury ...

Everything Armando writes has a negative spin.
Armando = Negative Nancy.

Thomas looks pretty solid to me too. I don't know. Maybe he is, maybe he isn't. As long as he performs, I don't really care ...

Dashi, take Mando's tweet on the left here about an end zone INT. he doesn't tell the whole story. It was situational work - a drill if u will - the coaches intentionally amde it a 4th and 20 - i.e. end zone or bust drill....

And This story about D.Thomas and L.Miller competing was posted by NFL.com yesterday.

Posted by: Dashi | August 21, 2013 at 01:06 PM


Actually it was posted by me last week right here. You remember.

The Press Box at Dolphins Stadium is named after Ed Pope.

Funny thing is Mando and O.Kelly Desecrate it every Sunday.

If your gonna post, its the AFC east.

What's sickening is Omar saying you have to earn his respect before he answers your questions...no, you have to kiss his arse - the sad part is, lots of people do, which is why he has such an inflated ego...kind of like someone at this establishment.

Is it too much to ask Herald to just have someone write about the Dolphins without trying to create a riot? More Barry Jackson (no, I'm not related, I just respect a non sensationalistic journalist)

I do not believe one second in this platoon thing. To me it looks like a way to put pressure on Miller with the hope he can rise to the occasion and grasp the starting job.
Daniel Thomas carrying half of the load? Impossible. He got plenty of chances in the past and failed.
Don't forget Ireland's job is on the line this season. No way he puts part of his future in Thomas'hands.

honestly, if thomas avoids fumbling or getting hurt i prefer him as the starter and miller to come in more in the second half when defenders are tired from tackling the more powerful and big thomas. then miller will be fresh and able to rip some big runs.

plus i'd rather have two guys who are doing equally well and can rotate and stay fresh over relying on one guy.

I think we can all agree, Barry Jackson is the Best Sportswriter at the Herald.

The bosses at the Herald probably know this also. Reason, they usually make the new guys shadow Barry. Barry knows Sports. Barry knows how to be objective.

Mark did yu hit me on facebook, I did not see it yet.

The said truth is that Thomas gets hit down low a lot & because he's taller, when he senses contact he lowers his head & takes head shots.

His first 2 years have been marred by fumbles, lower leg injuries & concussions.

Thomas isn't going to last very long as he has proven to be unreliable. This isn't negativity btw, it's a fact. The first 2 years are evidence of that.

Miller has a history of nagging injuries as well. I prefer to see Miller start. More explosiveness.

With that said, Miami better be 4 deep on the depth chart. Gray & Gillislee should make the team considering the injury history of the top 2 on the depth chart.

ESPN FIRST TAKE ran the Icognito / Smith foul like 20 times.

Tannehill sure looks fast..




go finsssssssssss come on clay step up

jaison, I agree and have been thinking the same thing about Thomas. So few carries for both of them but Thomas actually looks stronger. If he can just hold onto the ball.

It's really hard to judge right now because a lot of RBs get into a rhythm as the game goes on and these guys have so few carries. I definitely like Thomas for helping block, but like Miller more for the quick slant pass catching. Also Thomas is a bruiser, which we need and he doesn't seem to dance much, while Miller will get caught behind the lines sometimes dancing, like Reggie did last year, but also has the potential to make that special run.

I say we need running back by committee, and I don't know that it is necessary, certainly at this point to say this has to be the guy.

Throw in what the other backups have done, albeit against lower string players, and my feelings are we will be just fine at RB even though no starter has been named

miller better win job, much faster than other guys. all rbs need carries to get going. preseason has shown nothing

Poizen, I sent a message a few days back to the band page. Won't be under my name tho, under a dude named Hugh with a pic of a chick in a bikini. That's my fake FB page.

Ahmen Green had the same problem the 1st two years in Seattle that Thomas did. How did that pan out? There is not "proof" DT will not pan out until it happens again...


I couldn't agree more. Great assessment. I think Thomas has great ability, but I wouldn't be surprised at all if he gets another concussion soon that keeps him out for awhile, if not ending his career.

I get the feeling we will, at some point, see a lot of Gillislee and Gray this season....and I wouldn't discount Thigpen either.

Ed Pope played a huge role in bringing greatness to the Miami Dolphins by acting as a liason in bringing Don Shula to Miami. You ever picture Mando doing anything even half that great or anything to help project a positive image of the franchise and help put them in a positive light when the situation calls for it?

neither do i.

I just went to it, I do not have a pending message, Can you give me the FB last name, I will try and find you?

Hugh J Reckshun...

haha, get it???

I'm so funny ...

Seriously tho, that's my fake page for online chats and posts as required.

My band site logo is 2 Green Eyes, did you see them? Sorry about this Mark.

mark,bro strange cat u r

Is the profile pick a plug in the wall?? :)

Sorry, forgot the J, found it... I am sending you my email now... :)

OK Is this really their fault or yet another issue on the offensive line.
Lets face it this offensive line is not good at protecting the QB or creating running lanes for the RB's. Let face it, the o-line is likely going to really, really hurt this team in all fazes this year.

Found it, Sent you a message on your site.


agree the oline def the weakness of this team

Hey NJ, do you go the the bar at the Ramada East Hanover to watch games? I'm in AZ now, but used to live in Long Valley...

Here is a Hint.

Most of those on the D.Thomas bandwagon are the same ones that have been calling him a Bust the last 2 Season.

L.Miller dancing?

Can we please not make stuff up to help our argument. That statement is the farthest thing from the truth.

I'm with those that say Philbin is using this as a ploy to get both of his RBs to work harder.

Dashi, That is probably half true. however Daniel Thomas is a good back that can be very good. Ahmen Green had the same problems the first 2 years. Miller can be great, Thomas can be great, I think we should be happy with BOTH, unless the injury or fumble bug introduce themselves into games.

I am actually in south Jersey. I have directv so i have not been to the bars to watch in several years.

Miller will be fine. He did not forget the speed he showed last year. Dumb drop though.

Thomas worked his butt off in the offseason just like OV, Odrick, Martin, Miller and others. These coaches did their jobs and inspired the players and taught them how to prepare their bodies..

How anyone could watch Thomas on that shovel pass and not be impressed is beyond me. His cuts, speed and the way he followed his blocking were impressive.

Either one of these backs is better than what we had last year. And, our running game was great last year until everyone figured out we could not throw deep. Hopefully Wallace and Gibson will fix that problem.

Dave (@ 1:50 PM)

There's supposedly a big Dolphins bar in Florham Park...

I have been there yet but plan to go sometime this season.

Nice Dave!!!! I will be in LBI soon!

Just got a new Wake jersey, The limited version in the mail. I got the Aqua, the color is much nicer than I thought!

Dashi, if we had taken Lacey we probably would not be having this conversation. But I must admit I did not know Thomas would be as strong as he looks.

I hope it works out for the best anyway.

Dusty, it takes all kinds, brother!

No prob Poizen got the message will send the invite now

Dave, will be in LBI soon!

I do not see the lack of a named starting RB as troubling; only people like Negative Nancy see it as troubling. I see two good backs with upside. With three more behind them on the depth chart. And, Lamar Miller doesn't dance in the backfield!

This site is acting weird, not posting, posting twice... Silly Mando

Its OK Dolphin fans....You are allowed to like Thomas and Miller....You dont have to have favorites....They still play for the only team that matters!

Nice Poizen, I got the new Orange polo as advertised up top and fitted orange cap to match. Supposed to arrive via mail today ... the wait is killing me ...

tell em rdubs...

loved that quote you wrote this morning ...

what was it?

Cuz they are my team, son!

Going to be bittersweet defeating you in week one of the pool cause I honestly like your posts ...

Whats the big deal who carries the title of starter, they will both be used regularly in game situations.

mark come on dude, an orange polo and hat, really?

mmmmmmmmmmmm new jersey smell

not the state!!


Some people criticize just to hate on Dashi. But E.Lacy is a Beast. I'm Happy with L.Miller and D.Thomas. But E.Lacy is a Beast.

People think cause M.Ingram and T.Richardson struggle as Pros, E.Lacy will struggle.

E.Lacy is a Beast. He is a Real RB. That averaged more than both of those chumps at Alabama. Even as a Freshman.

I'm not saying Lacy will be Ricky, but he will be the closest thing to Ricky I have ever seen. People don't like to tackle Lacy.


I'm not gonna dispute the other things you talked about during the game....

But lets be clear....

The hit on Keller was CLEAN....

It's the new NFL.....you can't hit the ball carrier above the waist....if you do,....he may duck...and your helmet may touch his....then it's a penalty....

Don't blame swearinger.....


Mark, Im in.

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