One of the more surprising numbers from the Miami Dolphins' 2014 season has to do with running back Lamar Miller. It's not his 1,099 rushing yards, or nine total touchdowns. It's the fact that he never topped 20 carries in a game. Not once.
Miller averaged 5.1 yards per carry last season, but never appeared to be the Dolphins' "workhorse back." It's not that Miller can't handle the workload, he just hasn't gotten the opportunity to do so in his NFL career. However, that could change.
Head coach Joe Philbin eluded to the idea that Miller could be in line for more carries next season, which bodes well for the free agent-to-be running back.
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"I would tell you I've never been in a meeting where I've said to [offensive coordinator] Bill [Lazor]or [running backs coach] Jeff Nixon or the offensive line coaches have said 'Lamar can't carry the ball 20 times a game, he can't do it.'" Philbin said to ESPN. "I would tell you, if he's cranking and he got it 24 times a game and he's healthy and he's fast and he's explosive, it doesn't bother me one bit."
For Miller, who's entering the final year of his contract, that's good news. Whether it's the Dolphins or another team making him an offer this offseason, Miller wants to showcase his skill as often as possible this year. He'd like to prove he can handle 20-plus carries per game with the goal of getting a lucrative, long-term deal in 2016.