MIAMI -- When the Miami Dolphins signed veteran running back Arian Foster one week before training camp, one of the first players to reach out to Jay Ajayi was friend and former teammate Lamar Miller of the Houston Texans.
"I was telling him just stay focused, keep working hard," said Miller, who was in South Florida for the University of Miami's pro day. "Once he got that opportunity, he had that mindset he wasn't going to be denied."
Miller was correct. Despite a rocky start to the season, which included not making the trip in Week 1 against the Seattle Seahawks, Ajayi began to get more opportunities in Week 3 after Foster was injured.
It was the start of an expected Pro Bowl season as Ajayi rushed for 1,272 yards and eight touchdowns. It also included three 200-yard rushing performances.
"Jay, I think he did a great job running the ball hard, being decisive, making plays," Miller said. "He took advantage of his opportunities."
Miller, who left the Dolphins in free agency and led the Texans in rushing and to the playoffs last year, said he's happy for his former team's success. Miami made the playoffs for first time since 2008 and made a four-win improvement in the standings.
Speaking of improvement, Miller also has new goals for next season. He is training in both Miami and Houston this offseason and is currently working on slimming down after bulking up last season for the Texans.
"What's next is just staying healthy, taking care of my body, and building off last year to take that next step," Miller said. "Last year was the heaviest I played at. Last year I was playing at about 224. I was 216, 217 [with the Dolphins]. I gained some weight but during this offseason I've been losing some weight."