The Miami Dolphins are trying to pretend like they have a running back competition on their hands between Lamar Miller and Daniel Thomas, but it would be ridiculous for the Dolphins to start Thomas over Miller. Whereas Miller has a world of potential in this league as a three-down back, we’ve already seen what Thomas can do, which is, quite frankly, not much. Thomas’s yards per carry average was, as usual, paltry last season, and he essentially offers no upside and isn’t as good of an all-around back or nearly as explosive as Miller. No matter what you hear, there is no competition for the starting RB gig in Miami. There is an RB competition, but I say that it’s for the No. 2 gig, as Mike Gillislee should press Thomas for backup duties.
Miami Dolphins defensive end Olivier Vernon (50) during a game against the Buffalo Bills at Sun Life Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
Lamar Miller has been praised by Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin for his pass protection and improvements in that regard several times this offseason, but now it was time for Daniel Thomas to get some praise his way for pass pro. Philbin said, via the Miami Herald, “I like what he’s doing this camp. I’m very happy with the way he’s practicing. He’s running the ball hard. He’s been doing a good job in pass protection.”
All Thomas can fall back on right now is a strong camp thus far, because he averaged just 3.6 yards per carry last season and has very little playmaking ability.
But you know who has playmaking ability? Defensive end Olivier Vernon, who has been battering Jonathan Martin in pass pro all training camp, thus making Martin look worse than he is. Vernon, according to Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald, will “likely” start at right end for the Miami Dolphins over highly touted rookie Dion Jordan, who has even more potential than Vernon due to his athleticism and explosiveness. But Jordan is dealing with a shoulder injury that may have been a setback from his pre-draft shoulders surgery, and he’s missed too much time in camp due to injuries to be viewed as the likely starter despite his talent. Olivier Vernon certainly isn’t bereft of talent either, and he should be a good starter for the ‘Fins. This is a team with an elite pass rush that is clearly three deep, and that’s scary for even teams with great offensive lines like the New England Patriots.