Lamar Miller has taken on a bigger role with the running backs this offseason. Coming off a 2016 performance of 1,073 rushing yards and career highs in carries (268) and 100-yard games (4), Miller has quietly become a leader among his position group, which includes rookies like D'Onta Foreman and Dare Ogunbowale.
"They can learn a lot," running backs coach Charles London said. "Lamar's been great for the group. Lamar's going into his sixth season now and he talks to the guys a lot about things he's doing to take care of his body and maybe some of the struggles he went through when he was a young player. He's a great sounding board for those guys and I've really seen him kind of take a leadership role this year."
Miller's experience is even more vital because of the limitation of running backs during the offseason training program. OTAs and minicamp, often described as a passing camp, don't allow pads or hitting making game-time carries impossible to replicate.
"We ask the guys that do a lot in this system," London said. "Maybe more than some other systems as far as protection and route running and stuff, so they all have a good understanding of that. They all catch the ball well and it's what we've been working on mostly during these OTAs and they've done a good job doing it."
The Texans wrapped up their nine-week offseason workout program last week. When players report to camp next month, the running back group will be one to watch in West Virginia. The return of Alfred Blue, Akeem Hunt, and Tyler Ervin, with the additions of Foreman and Ogunbowale, should provide key roster battles during training camp.
"It's probably the most competitive group that we've had since we've been here, and it's a really diverse group," London said. "You have guys that we consider three-down backs, we have some first- and second- down backs, we've got guys that can really help in the passing game. So, it's a really diverse group that as coaches we have to find a way to maximize each other's skillsets."
The Houston Texans Training Camp presented by XFINITY will begin on Wednesday, July 26 at The Greenbrier in West Virginia. The 2017 training camp marks the first time in franchise history that the Texans will hold camp outside of the city of Houston.
Check out some of the best shots from the second day of veteran minicamp.