Lamar Miller has been under-utilized during his first four years in the NFL. The Miami Dolphins have never given him a chance to become a true featured running back, opting instead to treat him like a secondary weapon, much to the organization’s demise.
Widely known by football people as one of the most talented backs in the league, the soon-to-be free agent understandably wants to put himself in a position to finally become a household name, which could mean a departure from South Beach.
Speaking with Joe Rose of WAXY-AM on Friday morning, the talented running back made it clear he’s ready to take on a prominent role within an offense that wants him: “I want to be a featured back,” Miller said, per Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald. “… I want the recognition I deserve.”
When Rose asked Miller what that meant, the veteran said 20 touches per game is what he’s looking for. For reference, he averaged around 15 per game with the Dolphins.
What’s always been maddening about Miller’s usage in Miami is that he’s always made the most of his opportunities. In his four years with the Dolphins, he has averaged a hearty 4.6 yards per carry, and he scored eight touchdowns in each of the past two years on the ground.
Even better, Miller has proven to be quite an adept pass-catcher, hauling in at least 52 catches the past two seasons as well.
If he were to sign with a team that features the run and plans on using him almost exclusively, rather than as a member of a committee, then Miller could legitimately challenge the top backs in the NFL for the rushing title, barring injury.
It’s worth noting that in the same interview Miller said the Dolphins “picked the right guy” hiring Adam Gase to become the head coach. He also mentioned he’d “love to stay” in Miami but that it’s a business.
Reading between the lines, it seems like he’s saying he’d stay with the Dolphins if owner Stephen Ross opens up the check book with a big offer. Chances are, however, that he’s going to test free agency. And once that happens it’s anyone’s guess where he’ll land.