Miami Dolphins Should Stop Playing Games and Name Lamar Miller Starting RB
Few things have really irked me during Miami Dolphins training camp and preseason in 2013.
Ryan Tannehill being an up-and-down quarterback? That hasn't bothered me too much.
The pessimism and optimism roller coaster the fans have me on every day on Twitter? Nope, that hasn't bothered me much either.
It's more than just an inkling though, as Miller and Thomas have been alternating with the first team throughout training camp, and even Jeff Ireland expects Thomas to have a big year (per the Miami Herald).
Yeah, we need someone who does it all...You hate to just substitute, he’s this guy, he’s that guy, we want complete players back there. I’m not a believer in the third-down back necessarily, I think you tip your hand.
Daniel Thomas is a far worse runner than Lamar Miller is a blocker. Could Miller use help in that instance? Yes, but that doesn't mean he should be shunned in obvious pass-blocking situations for Thomas.
I'll let Bleacher Report's newest Dolphins Featured Columnist Chris Kouffman explain the fallacy in this:
If Daniel Thomas primary qualification for playing is he can block, that's admitting he is easily replaceable by someone better.— Chris Kouffman (@ckparrot) August 15, 2013
Now if your argument is that Daniel Thomas should be Miller's backup, I might accept that, except another very intelligent Dolphins Featured Columnist said this:
Which is exactly why this shouldn't be a battle. Daniel Thomas is only better at blocking than the other running backs, but overall, I will take Gillislee and Gray over him in the running and catching department.
The #Dolphins do need an RB to spell Lamar Miller; which is why they drafted Mike Gillislee and have been developing Jonas Gray— Thomas Galicia (@thomasgalicia) August 15, 2013
They should be the ones to spell Miller, and Miller should be the starter. Thomas has been in Miami for two years and has been injury-prone and turnover-prone. Not exactly good.
Then there's Pro Football Focus, which during its preview of the Dolphins claimed that having Lamar Miller in their running game was a reason for hope. However, Nathaniel Peters-Kroll also said this about Daniel Thomas:
The Miami Herald reported just days ago that “Dolphins officials are much higher on Thomas’ potential than some fans are.” After disappointing as a second-round pick for the last two seasons, my only question is why? Thomas has put the ball on the ground, picked up a number of injuries including the dreaded c-word (concussion), and has underwhelmed on about 250 total carries. The Philbin regime drafted Lamar Miller in the fourth round of the 2012 draft, as well as Mike Gillislee in the fifth round of the 2013 draft. While Lamar Miller is poised for a breakout year, entrusting Daniel Thomas with any crucial part of the offense may prove to be a massive mistake.
So as you can see, I'm not the only one who thinks that any semblance of a Daniel Thomas-Lamar Miller competition at running back is obtuse, and neither do the fans.
Daniel Thomas may be having a good camp and might have gained some of the trust of the coaching staff, but before I'm ready to even think that he's ready to be a No. 1 running back, I need to see it in a game.
So far, he's only shown that to me in one game, against the Houston Texans in Week 2 of 2011 when he rushed for 107 yards on 18 attempts, averaging 5.9 yards per carry. Keep in mind, this was a Texans team that was (and still is) great against the run, and Daniel Thomas carved them up.
Of course he did fumble, a problem he has had since entering the NFL.
There should be no competition—Lamar Miller should be the starter.
Be sure to listen to Dolphins Central Radio, hosted by Thomas Galicia and Ryan Yousefi. New episodes every Monday on iTunes, Stitcher Radio and YouTube.
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