NFL

Lamar Miller Is Patriots HC Bill Belichick’s Latest Reclamation Project

Lamar Miller has a chance to revive his career under arguably the greatest head coach in modern NFL history.

Miller, a veteran NFL running back, agreed to terms with the Patriots.

So long as Miller, who missed last season with a torn ACL, passes his physical, he’ll trade Bill O’Brien for Bill Belichick. Miller could also compete with former first-round pick Sony Michel for starting reps.

And not only does Miller provide the New England Patriots with proven depth, but he instantly becomes Belichick’s newest reclamation project.

Lamar Miller is New England-bound

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Somehow, Lamar Miller is still only 29 years old. That, coupled with last year’s injury, may have been why he remained a free agent through August.

Still, Bill Belichick and the Patriots are no strangers to taking risks. The two sides reached an agreement on a one-year deal, so long as Miller passes his physical.

The move is an interesting one for both sides. If Miller makes the team — and without a preseason, his chances to impress may be limited — he’ll likely play the backup role to talented but criticized running back Sony Michel.

If he doesn’t make the team, this is a move the Patriots will forget happened by October. Assuming, of course, that the season happens as intended.

Miller has had an inconsistent NFL career so far

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A quick glance at Lamar Miller’s NFL stats don’t tell the full story. A former star running back at Miami, the 5-foot-210, 221-pound Miller has mostly been inconsistent since entering the pros as a fourth-round pick in 2014.

Miller’s 4.3 yards per carry in his first seven seasons looks nice, but he never grew into the dangerous running back Houston thought he’d become.

Although Miller earned Pro Bowl honors in 2018 when he averaged 4.7 yards per carry and finished the year with 973 rushing yards, he was slightly above average in Houston.

Considering the financial obligation Houston made to him and the fact the Texans won one playoff game in the three seasons he was active, that doesn’t say much about his time there.

In his defense, Miller’s career totals of 5,864 yards, 32 rushing touchdowns (plus another eight receiving), and a 4.3 yards per carry average are far from awful. But Miller never became the game-changing running back in Houston that others around the league, from talented youngsters like Christian McCaffrey to the veteran Frank Gore, were in recent years.

Lamar Miller is Bill Belichick’s newest reclamation project

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Lamar Miller is a slightly above-average running back coming off a knee injury. He turned 29 earlier this year, an age which is often the beginning of the end for running backs.

That’s exactly the type of player who is perfect for Bill Belichick. Expectations for Miller are low, especially with Sony Michel in a prove-it year. Miller is far from guaranteed to open the season in a Patriots uniform.

Belichick’s recent track record with those types of players, in fairness, isn’t great. Chad Johnson flamed out in 2011 and Albert Haynesworth didn’t make it through the full year. New England traded Demaryius Thomas to the Jets, of all teams, after the 2019 preseason.

But, Lamar Miller could be the next Corey Dillon. It’d surprise everyone along the way, but Bill Belichick is the master at surprising people. That’s what’s allowed him to win six Super Bowls — and counting.

All stats courtesy of Pro-Football-Reference.