The Miami Dolphins hold their final offseason workout program event, the veteran minicamp, this week, and there are a lot of things that will be interesting to watch. The practices will still be without pads, so we are not going to get much of an answer to some of the top questions, but it will at least set up the storylines for July's training camp.
One of those questions is going to be the starting running back position. When the team signed free agent running back Knowshon Moreno, the assumption was the Dolphins had just added their starting running back, pushing Lamar Miller to second string. Daniel Thomas was expected to be out of a job, and the team had upgraded the running game and pass blocking in one move.
Moreno was coming off a career year with the Denver Broncos, running for 1,038 yards on 241 carries, giving him a 4.3 yards per carry average, with 10 touchdowns. He also had 60 receptions for 548 yards and three scores. Miller, meanwhile, tallied 709 yards on 177 attempts, giving him a 4.0 yards per carry, with just two touchdowns. He had 16 receptions for 170 yards, never finding the endzone. Thomas, with whom Miller split snaps, added 406 yards on 109 carries, giving him a 3.7 yards per carry average, with four touchdowns, as well as 15 receptions for 63 yards and two scores.
Moreno recorded 1,586 combined rushing/receiving yards in 2013, while the combined Miller and Thomas attack reached just 1,348 yards.
Clearly, Moreno was brought in to Miami to upgrade the Dolphins production out of the running back position.
Something funny happened during the early portion of the offseason workout. No one told Miller that Moreno was supposed to be the starter. Since the team's Organized Team Activities started three weeks ago, Miller has been the running back working with the first team. For a portion, at least, he was also the running back working with the second team. Moreno, at least at one OTA in front of the media, was relegated to working with the third- and fourth-teams, spending time with the rookies, rather than on top of the depth chart.
A lot can change between now and the start of the regular season. When the pads come on in training camp, Moreno could supplant Miller on the depth chart. The "pudgy" description of Moreno could be gone when the team hits the field in the July South Florida heat.
Miller, on the other hand, could come out and fight to keep his job. He could use this week's minicamp to cement his lead on Moreno, and make it nearly impossible for the former Broncos runner to catch him.
Do you think Miller will hold on to the job? Will Moreno ultimately claim the top spot? Vote in the poll below, and feel free to discuss in the comments.