Unsung Miller figures to carry load against Cowboys

Unsung Miller figures to carry load against Cowboys
August 9, 2012, 12:50 am
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NAPA -- With the Raiders essentially keeping Darren McFadden under bubble wrap in the exhibition season, Taiwan Jones being unable to practice due to a strained hamstring and Mike Goodson still receiving from Tuesday's nasty-looking neck injury that culminated with him being taken off the field by ambulance, the bulk of the running game will fall onto a fourth-string back.

Re-introducing, then, Lonyae Miller.

"I would expect," Raiders coach Dennis Allen said with a grin, "that he would be tired after Monday night's game."

And really, that's just fine with Miller, a long shot at best to make the final 53-man roster.

"Im just glad to have the opportunity, glad to be out here and being a Raider," Miller said. "Im coming in every day and working hard, pretty much showing what I can do out here.

"Its kind of, 'If you let it be,' and that's kind of where I stand now. Im trying to take what D.A. says in meetings'theres no light at the end of the tunnel' and 'just focus on the dayseize the day,' and thats pretty much been my philosophy throughout training camp. Just take everything day by day and let the chips fall where they may."

Miller, who said he patterns his game after former Denver running back Terrell Davis, played at the collegiate level at Fresno State and scored 20 touchdowns in 45 games for the Bulldogs.

He has appeared in four NFL games, all with Dallas in 2010, and was on the Raiders' practice squad for the last month of the 2011 season.

The irony is thick with the Raiders playing host to the Cowboys in both teams' exhibition opener Monday.

"Yeah, but it's just one of those things, you've got to live in the moment," Miller said. "There's no such thing, I feel, like experience, and you've kind of been there because anything can happen at any given time.

"You know you're always going to get different looks, so (I'm) just trying to take it one day at a time."

Thus far, he's opened some eyes on the coaching staff.

And with more carries, and more success, those eyes will get wider.

"Ive been impressed with what Lonyaes been able to do," Allen said. "Hes a different type of back than the other backs that weve got. Hes a little bit more of a downhill, pounder-type guy. He doesnt have quite the same explosiveness as those other guys but hes been a consistent runner.

"What Ive seen and what hes done in the zone scheme is, hes understood what his reads are, hes made the proper reads, got his pads downhill and made some yards."

And now he'll have an opportunity to prove it Monday against his former team.