The addition of Lamar Miller to the Houston Texans creates a new era for the running back position with long time staple Arian Foster now in Miami. The Texans wanted to find a back who could flip the field in a hurry and, most importantly, take a majority of the snaps from he position.
Miller has had to learn an entirely new offense, one that is a challenge to all offensive players and even more for him after being in Miami the first four seasons of his career. O’Brien has liked the work his new feature back has put in over the preseason to learn the offense.
“He’s been good. He’s a very hardworking guy. He’s a smart guy. He’s quiet and he leads by example. He’s out there all the time,” O’Brien said of Miller. “I think that he’s come in here and picked up our offense well.”
Offensive coordinator George Godsey will be tasked to to make sure that Miller is utilized correctly in the offense. Mainly a zone runner with Miami, Miller will be asked to be a complete back running the power game, splitting out as a receiver, and becoming better in pass protection.
“We’ve added a couple parts there,” said Godsey of the running back group. “..and taken Lamar (Miller).”
Godsey knows he has his work cut out to get Miller ready for the season and the early returns have been positive.
“It’s them catching up to the system and then it’s also seeing how this goes as far as the amount of information with them. We’d like to use them both in the running game, obviously, and in the passing game,” said Godsey. “Really, each man has their own role that they fit with the team, and the running backs really within the passing and running game. They’re involved in everything.”
During the preseason, Miller only averaged 3.6 yards on 14 carries and a rushing touchdown. As the preseason went on, his stats took a nose dive and most of that was due to the offensive line shuffling. O’Brien kept the Texans offense vanilla and keeping Miller healthy was his top priority, getting him to the season in top condition.
“We limited his plays during the preseason, to me, for obvious reasons,” said O’Brien. “We want to keep him healthy, but also try to get him some work, so he may not have had the flashy stats during the preseason that maybe some other backs had but I don’t really care about that. I think that he’s ready to play and looking forward to seeing him play on Sunday.”