In the world of hoaxes, the Miami Dolphins‘ running back “competition” and the Cleveland Browns‘ quarterback “battle” pale in comparison to England’s Piltdown Man and Cottingley Fairies.
They are football farces nonetheless.
The Browns have ceased with their charade, but the Dolphins have yet to reach the foregone conclusion that Lamar Miller is in control of their backfield.
Dolphins coach Joe Philbin said “not necessarily” Monday, via the Palm Beach Post, when asked if he’s made a decison.
As far as Miller is concerned, the job is his after outplaying an underwhelming Daniel Thomas in Saturday’s 17-16 preseason loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
“I do feel like I won the job,” Miller said, via The Miami Herald.
The Dolphins can insist the two backs remain “neck-and-neck” due to equal performances in practices, but Thomas never has come through once the lights go on.
We don’t begrudge general manager Jeff Ireland’s reluctance to concede Thomas isn’t the player the Dolphins thought they were getting when the team traded up to select him at No. 62 overall in the 2011 NFL Draft. The evidence is overwhelming, however.
Thomas has averaged a damning 3.5 yards on 256 career carries. If the play is blocked for three yards, Thomas will get three, whereas Miller has a chance at 40 or 50. No matter what Thomas shows in practice, the game tape reveals a tentative, soft runner with ball security issues.
Miller isn’t without his own weaknesses, but it’s only a matter of time before his obvious talent edge leads to the starting job he believes is already his.
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