Houston (CBS HOUSTON) – Lamar Miller had a pretty tough first season as the lead back for the Houston Texans, through nagging injuries, and defenses keying in on him nearly every play because of bad quarterback play, it kept him from breaking out.
On the year, Miller rushed for just over 1,000 yards, averaging 4 yards a carry on a career high 21.3 touches a game.
While that is a pretty good season for just about anyone, Miller could have had much more, he slowed down towards the end of the season, and in the playoffs, he was barely a factor.
In Miller’s final seven games, he rushed for 3.73 yards a carry and in the Texans two playoff games, his average fall even more to 2.94 yards a carry.
While the Texans are a “game plan” offense, running the ball is something they always try to do.
Wheather it’s working or not, head coach Bill O’Brien loves to utilize the run game. Last season in the snow in Lambeau Field, Miller rushed the ball 14 times, for 22 total yards against the Green Bay Packers defense.
In the offseason, general manager Rick Smith added another back to the team’s rotation, drafting D’Onta Foreman a big and physical running back in the third round out of the Universtiy of Texas.
With the addition, O’Brien now has a pretty big stable of running backs that he can go to if need be.
“I think it will help me out a lot, just keep me fresh throughout the whole season,” Lamar Miller said when asked if Foreman will help ease his workload. “Once I get the opportunity, I got to make plays when my number is called, (but) I’m pretty sure (Alfred) Blue, Foreman, Tyler (Ervin), all the other guys, I think they’ll do a great job of taking advantage of their opportunity as well.”
Miller was brought in as a blazing speedster who can flip the game at the drop of a dime, but for whatever reason, the long run’s he’s been accustomed to busting in the past, he wasn’t able to do consistently for the Texans, in his first season.
Now with bruisers Alfred Blue, and Foreman, O’Brien could be tempted to using Miller a little bit less, and by leaning on the group more instead of just one guy, the Texans could have themselves a nice thunder, thunder, lighting combo.