New England Patriots: Lamar Miller release greatly impacts running back depth

New England Patriots Lamar Miller (Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images)
New England Patriots Lamar Miller (Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images) /

The release of Lamar Miller by the New England Patriots takes them “back to the future” with a running back room that won’t make the grade.

The release of newly acquired running back Lamar Miller takes the New England Patriots right back to square one with their running back situation.

They are not good. It can’t be said any clearer than that. After all the hullabaloo in the draft, free agency, whatever, all the Patriots have managed to do to possibly upgrade a lackluster and inefficient running game is bring in an undrafted free agent runner from Arizona State, J.J. Taylor (if they keep him) to the mix.

That ain’t enough, folks. Not nearly.

More from Chowder and Champions

The addition of Lamar Miller who is a bigger back at 221 pounds or so at least gave a glimmer of hope that the running back room would actually have someone who just may be better than mediocre at the position.

Not happening.

The oft-injured Sony Michel is touted as the Patriots lead back. Unfortunately, he has neither the talent nor the ability to stay on the field necessary to hold that title. He’s just not good enough or dependable enough.

His backup Rex Burkhead is a decent middle-of-the-road back. He’s OK. But he has no real stand-out characteristic on the field if he can stay on it, which he has shown on multiple occasions that he can’t. Nothing special.

Next up was supposedly Damien Harris, a third-round pick last year and a product of Alabama. Harris couldn’t break into the poor Patriots’ backfield last season at all.

While he evidently looked decent in camp, he now has an injured wrist and who knows when/if he’ll be able to go. Injured, not very productive, Harris fits right into the Patriots’ backfield.

The New England Patriots once again have a big back issue

The New England Patriots sorely needed a big back last season to make key short-yardage situations. They didn’t have one and it cost them dearly all, season, long.

Acquiring Lamar Miller just might have helped to remedy that situation. But with his release, they are now back to a situation where they have essentially no one who can do that for the team, absent maybe Cam Newton. And that”s not a very good option. Not very good, indeed. It invites disaster. But don’t be surprised, if Newton, like Tom Brady was before him, is called upon to do just that.

It’s the Patriot way.

Quite simply, the Patriots’ personnel decision-making in the offseason on wide receivers was a complete failure. The same observation fits perfectly with the running backs. They have really done nothing to shore up another aspect of a pedestrian offense that frustrated even the great Tom Brady.

More from New England Patriots

No doubt, the running backs were not an incentive for Brady to remain in New England. Awful wide receivers (as always, an exception must be made for the inimitable Julian Edelman) and mediocre at best running backs, and almost no tight ends to speak of (a tip of the cap here to the now-retired Ben Watson) spelled an early exit for New England from the playoffs.

Let’s take a gander at the situation this season.

Poor at wide receiver: Check.

Poor at running back: Check.

Relying totally on untested rookies at tight end: Check.

Add up the “Checks”, and the club will pay dearly for the deficient, inferior offense with which Cam Newton, an anything BUT deficient quarterback has to work with (Julian Edelman excepted).

It’s a real shame, but it shouldn’t be unexpected. This club’s drafting and free agency activities have for the most part been deplorably awful, for years. Only the steadying hands of Tom Brady led them to greatness. He had far too little help much of the time.

The 2020 New England Patriots will depend a lot on Cam Newton

The failure of the New England Patriots to do anything whatsoever to shore up the wide receiver and running back positions (and nothing in free agency to add a top veteran tight end either), leads one to believe that this is a tanking situation.

Yet, the signing of Cam Newton belies that supposition. So what is this team and its personnel operation doing? Beats me.

They just continue to fumble and bumble their way through offseason after offseason and leave holes aplenty every single year.

For two decades, the Patriots had Tom Brady to bail them out of their own incompetence in personnel management.

Now, miraculously, they have Cam Newton who just might do the same if he can stay healthy. Yet, the larger question remains, why can’t his team get its personnel operation together and actually fill holes that exist in the club in the offseason that everyone except them seemingly can see?

New England Patriots: 5 players now the face of the organization in 2020. dark. Next

I hope that someone can find an answer to this mystery. It’s definitely not emanating from here. It’s bewildering and unfathomable in the first degree.

And, unfortunately, it cost New England multiple additional Super Bowl titles over the past 20 years, when they had the best quarterback of all-time at the helm of their offense. Frankly, it’s really a darn shame.