Originally posted on Phins Phocus  |  Last updated 7/25/13
After an offseason spending spree, expectations are aplenty for the Miami Dolphins. Expectations to finish the regular season with a winning record for the first time in five years, to end the playoff drought and to win their first playoff game since 2000. Despite the high standards set for this team as a whole, the greatest individual expectaions arguably rest on the shoulders of second year tailback Lamar Miller. A fourth round pick in 2012, Miller will likely be counted on to carry the load out of the Dolphins backfield. However, after a small sample size as a backup last season, are the expectations for Miller warranted? While Reggie Bush was the featured back, it was Lamar Miller who led the team with an average of 4.9 yards per attempt. The Dolphins coaching staff will be hoping for this to continue to in 2013, but this number is deceiving considering that Miller only carried the ball 51 times a year ago. No second year back has been hyped more than Lamar Miller even though he only ranked 10 amongst rookies in rushing yards last season. Despite his mediocre stats, in limited playing time, Miller flashed explosiveness and big-play potential. As a result, he has been the subject of praise from his coaching staff, players, as well as the national media. Although the talent and skill set appear to be there for Miller, it is yet to be seen if he can handle the work load of a featured back at the highest level in professional football. His new role will mean a significant increase from the 3.2 carries per game he recieved as a rookie. Miller's college stats indicate that he will be able to handle this increase with ease. In 2011, he rushed for 1272 yards on 227 attempts, something very similar to what he will see as a starter in the NFL. However, basing expectations solely on college stats is risky, therefore, waiting until Miller has a year under his belt as the Dolphins work horse is the only way to get a better idea of his true potential. Still, the Dolphins moved on from Reggie Bush for a reason and head coach Joe Philbin has already expressed confidence in Miller. Earning confience from Philbin isn't easy especially when considering that a running back in his offense must also be an exceptional pass blocker and have an impact as a reciever, in addition to being effective in the ground game. Ensuring he meets these requirements is a big reason why Miller spent the offseason working with Frank Gore, a tailback with a similar skill set and a fellow University of Miami alumni. The 22 year old has remained humble throughout the hype but has also set high standards for himself as he strives for 1500 yards rushing in his sophomore season. Miller has the physical traits - size and speed - needed to be a star tailback on paper, not it must be proven on the field. Due to the hype from various outlets, its fair to have expectations for Miller but its crucial to keep them realistic. While the Dolphins made several free agent additions in order to take the next step, it might be a familiar face that holds the key to their success.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Tim Tebow: ‘I’m in the best shape I’ve ever been in’

Olympic athletes warned about Rio's 'human crap' waters

T.J. Ward: Broncos defense doesn’t care who’s playing QB

Tokyo already dealing with rising costs for 2020 Olympics

Bears first-round pick Leonard Floyd carted off practice field

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Bills and Tyrod Taylor continue to talk extension

Report: Title contender planning to poach Curry from Warriors

Fitzpatrick on negotiations: I wouldn’t wish it on anybody

NBA players to fund health insurance for former players

Report: Geno Smith 'intent' on beating out Ryan Fitzpatrick

Greg Jennings: Ryan Tannehill has had his hands tied by coaches

Royals want to package Ian Kennedy, Wade Davis in trades

Vlade Divac: Cousins ‘most dominant player in the world’

Wild offer to make Prince's 'Let's Go Crazy' new goal song

Amar'e Stoudemire's presence (and absence) changed the NBA

Canucks don't dismiss acquiring player with past issues

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar ordered to pay $900K to auction house

Six potential landing spots for Nick Foles

Jack Nicklaus puzzled by Tiger Woods' woes, golf absence

Brown responds to Marshall's high-stakes challenge

Seven most mind-boggling NFL contracts of 2016

Is Jackie Bradley Jr. the Red Sox’s MVP?

Did Joey Votto reject kid who asked for his batting gloves?

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Amar'e Stoudemire's presence (and absence) changed the NBA

We asked Team USA: What other Olympic sport would you play?

Why Gary Bettman's CTE denial is cause for concern for NHL

WATCH: Inside the Nike SNKRS BOX in SF for Golden Air Celebration

WATCH: Five other uniforms Chris Sale should cut up

QUIZ: Name every Olympic event in which the USA has never won a gold medal

Five U.S. Olympians favored to win multiple gold medals

WATCH: What teams should join the Big 12?

One Gotta Go: Do NBA players really love NBA2K?

One Gotta Go: NBA players hate Facebook too

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker