Miami Dolphins: It's Time to Give Lamar Miller a Chance

Connor McKnightSenior Analyst INovember 22, 2012

GLENDALE, AZ - SEPTEMBER 30:  Quarterback Ryan Tannehill #17 of the Miami Dolphins hands off the football to running back Lamar Miller #26 during the NFL game against the Arizona Cardinals at the University of Phoenix Stadium on September 30, 2012 in Glendale, Arizona. The Carindals defeated the Dolphins 24-21 in overtime.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

There is no longer a way to avoid it: The running game for the Miami Dolphins has just hit a road bump.

Over the past three games, Reggie Bush's productivity has significantly declined. His benching for a first-half fumble against the Tennessee Titans was supposed to motivate him, but no such resurgence has come about.

Daniel Thomas has shown some promise, but he is inconsistent. His concussion problems are a giant red flag to begin with, but his goal-line presence and power-running abilities make him a capable secondary back.

That leaves third-stringer Lamar Miller. At times this season, Miller has looked like a very solid starting running back.

In garbage time in a blowout against the Oakland Raiders, Miller was given his first set of NFL carries. In 10 carries, he ran for 65 yards and a touchdown, eluding defenders along the way for an impressive score. Nine carries against the New York Jets produced 48 yards, an average of over five yards per carry.

But since then, Miller hasn't been getting enough carries. With the offense floundering, Miller must be given an opportunity.

Miller, who saw his own stock plummet on draft day this year, was a steal in the fourth round.

He has drawn comparisons to Bush because of his ability to race past defenders with similar elusiveness. And with Bush in his contract year, the Dolphins must decide if Miller is going to be their running back of the future.

Critics have pointed to his inexperience in the passing game and his inability to block at a similar level as Thomas, but he will only improve in these areas with more game time. Additionally, Having Thomas on the roster provides an opportunity to employ a two-back system (speed and power).

It is time for Miller to see the carries he needs to be a true difference-maker for the 'Fins.