Earlier this week we prayed at the gold statue that is Lamar Miller, noting that he has a very real chance to provide you with something sacred: good running back value, the kind that doesn’t cost you several limbs. That slobbering was prompted by Ryan Tannehill saying some nice things about our boy Lamar, namely that he’s risen to pretty much become the Dolphins’ unquestioned starting running back ahead of Daniel Thomas.
Now we can attach a number to the production Miller expects to give us, and it’s a beautiful thing to gaze upon and worship.
Sean Logan from Dolphins.com asked Miller to set a goal for himself. And to the surprise of absolutely no one, he aimed his crosshairs quite high, especially when we remember that 2013 will (presumably) be his first year as a starter, and as a rookie he received a minimal workload with only 51 carries.
So what say you then, Lamar?
“My goal is to rush over 1,500 (yards),” Miller said, “and just help this organization get back to where it used to be.”
Your first reaction may be a bit of a shoulder shrug since we just witnessed a season in which Adrian Peterson came just shy of setting a new single-season rushing record with his 2,097 yards on the ground. And although he was well behind Peterson, Doug Martin still blew a lot of minds as a rookie with his 1,613 yards.
Those eruptions have perhaps led to the perception that 1,500 yards is nice and all, but it’s a less notable accomplishment. That’s simply not true.
Let’s go back to the beginning of the last decade, which seems like a good starting point since, I dunno, a decade started. When we do that, we note that since the year 2000 there’s been 37 running backs who have rushed for 1,500 yards or more in a season. That’s an average of only three per season.
As Logan notes, Miller’s workload could be a problem, as he’ll share some carries with Daniel Thomas and Mike Gillislee even if he is named the starter. The four running backs who rushed for over 1,500 yards in 2012 (Adrian Peterson, Doug Martin, Jamaal Charles, and Marshawn Lynch) combined to carry the ball on an average of 32.2 percent of their team’s offensive plays.
Much like Martin last year, Miller would immediately join an elite group if he reaches the 1,500-yard mark, and with the support of a now deep passing attack assembled through free agency (Mike Wallace, Brandon Gibson, and Dustin Keller were signed, while Brian Hartline was retained), that goal seems very attainable.
Jump on his 38.3 ADP while you can, because it’ll rise quickly.