As a rookie last year Marcus Thigpen made the Miami Dolphins' roster by proving himself versatile. Then he made an instant impact with a 72-yard punt return for a touchdown against the Texans in his first NFL regular-season game.

He provided another highlight later in the season with a 96-yard kickoff return for a touchdown against the Bills.

This year the reserve running back from Indiana University says he's intent on more than just providing a spark on special teams.

"Now that [coaches] have seen what I can do there my role is kind of expanding in the offense — at receiver and at running back" Thigpen said. "They want the ball in my hands. They feel like I can make a play and give this team a spark. That's my goal."

Due in part to injuries and uncertainty at the position the Dolphins have worked the 5-foot-9 195-pound Thigpen at slot receiver in training camp this week as well as his primary position. That's nothing new. Thigpen also played receiver throughout camp last fall.

But he wasn't used there at all during the regular season. Will that be different this season?

"I wouldn't rule it out" Dolphins coach Joe Philbin said.

"In fact I really like what he's doing this camp. I like everything he's doing because when you throw the film on whether he is playing running back receiver or return game he's doing everything fast. He's doing it with a lot of effort. He's doing the very best he can. That's all you can ask from for a player so I'm delighted for him."

Asked what he saw from Thigpen as a receiver in camp last year that led him to work the speedy return specialist there again this fall Philbin noted: "He's a skilled athlete. He's a football player. He has good hands he understands the game well. He can find a way to get open. So yeah we are excited about him."

Thigpen said he embraces the platoon at running back and slot receiver.