The Dolphins have already played three preseason games, but it’s still not clear who will be Miami’s starting running back come September 8th, when the team travels up to Cleveland to open the regular season.
For a while, the belief was that second-year back Lamar Miller held a significant advantage over veteran Daniel Thomas for the starting job. However, according to former Dolphins tight end and current radio analyst Joe Rose, all of that has changed.
“Of everything that the coaches told us the last time we talked to them at the hotel the thing that probably surprised me the most to find out that Lamar Miller and Daniel Thomas are neck-and-neck right now to see who’s going to be the starter,” Rose said before Saturday’s game against Houston. “They’ll both play probably when the season starts, but right now, it’s too close to call and will take more preseason football to figure out who the starter is going to be.”
Through three games, Thomas currently has 49 yards on 12 carries, but has also shown improvement as a pass-blocker. He had arguably the most impressive moment of any Dolphins’ running back this preseason, when he turned Ryan Tannehill‘s shovel pass into a 27-yard gain on 3rd-and-long in the second quarter against Texans.
Miller, on the other hand, has displayed glimpses of his quickness in his nine carries for 37 yards and one touchdown.
Offensive coordinator Mike Sherman would like to see increased consistency from both Miller and Thomas as he contemplates who to name his starter in week one. In the past, Sherman has repeatedly stated he’s looking for a “complete back” when it comes to his starting running back.
Either way, regardless of who ends up winning the battle, it’s clear that both Miller and Thomas will earn a fair amount of carries this year, as each back provides Miami with different dynamics to add to its offense.
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