In the past, the Miami Dolphins were very significant in the running game with a strong tandem of Ricky Williams and Ronnie Brown. But since the Ricky and Ronnie era, they have struggled to find a strong one-two punch.
The answer to that long drought has come to a halt with the signing of Knowshon Moreno and third-year pro Lamar Miller.
Miami's 2013 struggles was due to three main reasons: poor offensive line, a pass-heavy offensive scheme and an inconsistency of sustaining an every-down back. The Dolphins' running game was so trivial that it landed them 90.0 rushing yards per game, which was ranked 26th in the NFL.
Moreno will step into Bill Lazor's offense immediately and will present something to the table. In Denver, he did have some conflicts on and off the field early in his career. But at age 26 and with two years of experience alongside Peyton Manning, Moreno has progressed impressively -- raising a lot of eyebrows.
The former Georgia Bulldog recorded 241 carries for 1,038 yards and 10 touchdowns, and added 60 receptions for 548 receiving yards and three touchdowns in 2013. Mind you, the Denver Broncos had an elite quarterback with numerous viable recipients on the other side of those throws. But his production was huge moving the chains and protecting his fragile quarterback.
The true question, aside from the rebuilding offensive line and linebacker situation, is which Lamar Miller will show up in 2014? In 2012, he was overshadowed by the pouring production of Reggie Bush, and in 2013, he had flashes of productivity. Miller posted 177 carries for 709 yards and two touchdowns last season, but didn't receive a steady number of carries with Daniel Thomas receiving some playing time.
With the addition of Moreno and decent resurgence of Miller, it leaves Thomas behind the curtain and out of the picture this upcoming season. Mike Gillislee will stay due to his potential in special teams and in possible schemes that Lazor and head coach Joe Philbin build.
Now, the new tandem of M&M could have Miami in great position offensively. Tannehill would another weapon in Moreno and with the projected starting offensive line (with help in the draft), could allow the Dolphins to make their irrelevant running game into the best running game in the AFC East. That's right. They could be stronger than Bills' C.J. Spiller and Fred Jackson and Pats' Stevan Ridley and Shane Vereen.
As reported, Miami will be looking for Miller to break more tackles, but it seems as though, Moreno is the ground and pound back alongside Tannehill. That's not to say Miller can't become stronger and be the versatile and dynamic back. But Moreno can be the machine -- protecting Tannehill and drawing attention inside and outside the tackles.
Miami has two good running backs in their hands, and they can either break the streak of losing seasons in run production, or become one of the best running games in all of football.