What's next for Dolphins' running game?

ORLANDO, Fla. -- The Miami Dolphins like their running backs. Or do they?

It's difficult to read between the lines when it comes to the Dolphins and their much-maligned rushing attack. Miami was 26th in rushing last season and clearly needs to improve in that area.

Tailbacks Lamar Miller and Daniel Thomas were not productive enough. But Miami’s decision-makers have been strategically talking up both players.

“We like our guys,” Dolphins general manager Dennis Hickey said. “I think Lamar Miller has a lot of talent and has a lot of ability. I think the same with Mike Gillislee and Daniel Thomas.”

Hickey then finished by saying he’s always looking to upgrade talent on the roster. Do the Dolphins like their current running backs or not? It’s hard to tell.

What we do know is Miami played host to veteran free-agent and former first-round pick Knowshon Moreno for a visit last week. Moreno is coming off a career year with the Denver Broncos. There are also reports indicating Miami has preliminary interest in free-agent tailback Maurice Jones-Drew.

If Hickey and the Dolphins were confident in their running backs, why kick the tires of two of the top running backs on the market?

Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin explained that he wanted to see more explosive plays from Miller. But he wouldn’t say whether Miami’s starting running back is currently on the roster.

Hickey provided his blueprint of what he likes in a running back on Tuesday.

“You want toughness,” Hickey explained. “You want guys with vision who break tackles, but also can make things happen in the open space and play on third down and pass protect.”

The Dolphins must decide if Miller or Thomas fits most or all of those qualities. If not, it's time for the Dolphins to find an upgrade.