Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin told reporters Tuesday that the team is open to giving running back Lamar Miller more carries in 2015 according to James Walker of ESPN.com.
We will believe it when we see it. It was shocking to see Miller never reach 20 carries in any game last season despite averaging an explosive 5.09 yards per carry in what is a very efficient Dolphins running game. (Miller did receive 19 carries in each of the team’s final two games in 2014.) Miller also set new personal bests in rushing yards (1,099) and touchdown (nine) last year.
“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. “I’ve never heard that. That’s never come out of my mouth.” Philbin explained that, at times, Miami’s offensive scheme also played a factor in Miller’s low carries. “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,” Philbin said. “But I think sometimes it’s not taken into account what our run game is all about. The run game is really about the runner, the screens and the quarterback keeping the ball primarily. We have some plays where we toss the ball to Lamar and that’s it. But a lot of them are [options], the highest percentage by far. I think that cuts into the carries a little bit.”
Miller has added 15 pounds of muscle this offseason, which should also help him bear up to a heavier workload. Miller is all for receiving more carries as he is entering the final year of his rookie contract and is hoping to cash in big-time in 2016.