Lamar Miller Is Your Doug Martin of 2013, Thanks to Daniel Thomas and Joe Philbin
“I think they played well,” Philbin said of Lamar Miller and Daniel Thomas. “I thought both of them. Lamar had one of his better days in pass protection. His awareness was excellent. I thought Daniel Thomas had a good game as well. Lamar had a couple of cleaner run opportunities but I thought they both played well.”
Daniel Thomas played well? Really?
Thomas, vying with Miller for the starting running back job, basically delivered an unimpressive performance that should have knocked him from the competition. He rushed for 3 yards on seven carries. He caught two passes for 12 yards. Two of his seven carries lost yardage, including a 3 yard loss on first-and-goal.
He didn’t break a tackle. He didn’t turn a bad play into a positive play. He didn’t seem to do anything that suggested the Dolphins running back job is in good hands.
And so that’s playing well?
The above quote is lifted from the same article by Dolphins beat writer Armando Salguero that generated the Rotoworld.com blurb speculating that Daniel Thomas being used as a motivational tool to keep Lamar Miller from feeling “comfortable” as the featured tailback. To be fair, Salguero admits in the article that using Thomas as a proverbial carrot in front of Miller’s mule…
…would be so unPhilbinlike that it sounds improbable to me. The coach may not say much, but he rarely blows smoke.
But personally, I think Salguero is onto something. I won’t speculate why the Dolphins would need to motivate Miller that way, but based on the way the two running backs have looked in the preseason, the competition isn’t even close. The Dolphins beat writers seem to agree with me:
I never thought the Dolphins would SERIOUSLY give Daniel Thomas a chance to unseat Lamar Miller. And he’s not taking it so far. — Omar Kelly (@OmarKelly) August 25, 2013And in another Salguero article from August 25th where he recaps the 3rd preseason game against the Bucs:
“I do feel like I won the job,” [Miller] said.
Miller gained 35 yards on eight carries. That’s a 4.4 average. It included a 20-yard run. With Daniel Thomas gaining 3 yards on seven carries — a 0.4 yard per carry average — I do not disagree.Lamar Miller is your starting running back.
While all of the “wide open competition” and “it’s neck-and-neck” comments coming out of Miami are making fantasy football drafters wring their collective hands with anxiety, you shouldn’t be a bit nervous about it.