INDIANAPOLIS -- Lamar Miller wanted to be a workhorse back when he left Miami for Houston last offseason. He got his wish, toting the ball 93 times in the first four games of 2016.
In hindsight, Texans coach Bill O'Brien said earlier this week from the NFL Scouting Combine he leaned on Miller a tad too much.
"I think he probably carried it a little bit too much early on," O'Brien said. "We were very, very dependent on him because he's that type of player. He's a guy that shows up every day, he's in excellent condition, plays through pain. Had an ankle, shoulder, ribs -- played through all of it, practiced through all of it. He's what you're looking for when you talk about a teammate and a guy in your locker room. But I think, you know, 30 carries in a couple games, thing like that, that's probably a little bit too much. We feel like we have a pretty diverse group of running backs so I think in order to get him at his best in January, we probably need to cut down on that early in the year."
Miller had a season-high 28 carries in the opening week of the season and earned 24-plus carries four times last season. His 268 totes in 14 games last year were 52 more than his previous career-high in four seasons in Miami.
The 220-pound running back also dealt with nagging injuries last season before being sidelined the final two games.
Miller owns speed to be a game-breaking talent and is a more willing between-the-tackles runner than his frame suggests. But finding a backfield mate to take some of the pressure off will come in handy down the road. While O'Brien spoke well of the gaggle of runners behind Miller, none is more than average. In a deep draft at the running back position, the Texans could be a prime candidate to add a mid-round banger to pair with Miller.