It seems to be a free-for-all competition at the Miami Dolphins training camp this season, with no clear favorite to win the starting running back position, possibly the only role not strenghened by an expensive free agency signing, although most would assume LaMar Miller is going to be the man to get the job.
Reggie Bush was the starter for the last couple of seasons, but the Dolphins decided to go with youth and a little less “star-power”, not pursuing Bush in free agency as the former number 2 overall pick found his way to Detroit. This leaves the Dolphins with Rookie Mike Gillislee, third-year Daniel Thomas and Lamar Miller, entering his second season in the NFL.
If everything would have gone according to plan, Thomas should have been the favorite to inherit Bush’s place in the backfield, but the second-round pick in 2011 hasn’t been very impressive South Florida, gaining only 906 yards on 256 carries during 2011 and 2012, averaging only 3.6 yards per rush. Miller, on the other had, is used to carrying the load of a rushing team, having 227 carries in his final collegiate season (Miami Hurricanes), and averaging 4.9 yards per carry last season.
Gillislee, who also went to school in the same state (Florida) has been surprisingly dominant in the Spring practices, and according to the Miami Herald has a chance to leap over Thomas in the depth chart, being considered as quite a wide pick in the fifth round, but for now, it’s Miller’s job to lose.
He has been receiving the bulk of the first-team work through the spring practices, and as we mentioned above – the work load of carrying the ball around 250 times, if not more, expected of a Miami running back isn’t something strange to him, and he handles it quite well during his college days, which should mean he is the one that will inherit Reggie Bush’s place. He is far from perfect in his route running and pass blocking, but his running ability, for now, makes up for it.