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What's wrong with the run attack? Everything, apparently

The Miami Dolphins running game is bad right now. And by bad, I mean 69.3 rushing yards per game, which is 31st among 32 NFL teams.


So who shall we blame for this?

Well, interim coach Dan Campbell blamed just about everybody on Wednesday. He failed to blame the playcaller Bill Lazor, who doesn't seem to have nearly enough desire to run the football as he needs and that dates back to last year when the run game averaged 4.7 yards per carry (second best in the NFL) but had only 399 attempts (22nd in the NFL).

Everyone else got blamed, including running back Lamar Miller who took it on the proverbial chin as Campbell spoke in fond terms of how Knowshon Moreno ran the football last year, leaving unsaid that Miller needs to pick up his game and perhaps some of Moreno's attitude to do that.

"When you’re upfront and you’re blocking for a running back, when you see a running back who sticks his foot into the ground and goes north-and-south, breaks some tackles and runs over people and gets up, I think of it like this, for me, I always think of Knowshon Moreno last year and when saw Knowshon and the way that he ran, those guys fed off of it upfront," Campbell said. "They just do because they’re like, ‘Oh my God, this guy is running hard, I cannot let him keep taking hits, I will block for this guy until the end because he is pouring out his heart and soul for this run.' "

So Campbell obviously wants more decisiveness or planting of the foot and heading north and south, from Miller. And he wants more hard-running and attitude from Miller.

Of course, the offensive line and tight ends have to do their part up front and that hasn't been consistently good enough so far this season, either.

"First of all, we’re trying to change the attitude of those guys up front," Campbell said. "It’s about finish, we need a little bit nastier attitude, we need a lot nastier attitude."

Campbell said it is up to the offensive front to get the running back to the secondary and then the perimeter people have to do their job and block downfield. That's not been the Dolphins' major problem much this season because, frankly, not a lot of runs have broken downfield.

Miller, Miami's leading rusher, has gained a modest 131 yards on 37 carries in four games. He's averaging 3.5 yards per rush. He's averaging 32.8 yards per game.

His longest run of the season is 17 yards.

So, I guess, the short version of this post is the Dolphins running game is on a sick bed. The coordinator doesn't use it enough dating to last season. When it gets used, the offensive line isn't nasty enough to make it work, the running back isn't decisive or physical enough, and the perimeter people have to do better downfield to get longer runs.

That's a lot to fix.