After the 2015 season, the Miami Dolphins let their starting RB, Lamar Miller leave in free agency. After several failed attempts by Miami to sign some big name veteran running backs, it was assumed that Jay Ajayi who had backed up Miller in 2015, would be looked at to be the starting RB. Ajayi was excited about the prospect, saying in March,
Going into the season right now I’m the starter, and I’m excited about that role, excited to prove myself and continually showcase what I can do out on the field”
Well, once again, the NFL has proven that a lot can change in just a few short months. Since that statement from Ajayi, the Dolphins signed veteran RB, Arian Foster and have been excited by some of what they have seen out of rookie RB, Kenyan Drake. Just this past week, Miami announced that Foster would be their starting running back and Ajayi would be the back up, with Drake, Isaiah Pead and Damien Williams also being retained.
With Adam Gase being a coach who likes to spread the ball around on offense and there still being concerns about Foster staying healthy the whole season, while not the best thing, the bump back to #2 still seemed potentially good for Jay Ajayi as he would likely see a good many touches. However all of that drastically changed this week, when it was reported that Ajayi was not happy with the bump back and that he was not hiding his unhappiness.
Reports from practices indicated that he was moving slow and overall all he did was ““sulk and struggle”. Because of this, Adam Gase made a “coach’s decision” and left Jay Ajayi at home when the team made their trip to Seattle. It seems that new head coach Gase, is not going to put with whining and players that think they are more important than the team itself. This should bode well for the direction the Dolphins are heading in.
Gase is more worried about teamwork and winning than individual players’ feelings, and winning is what he is focused on as he said to reporters this week,
It’s a big game for all of us, obviously….It’s the first game, but who we’re playing…..this is a critical game for us because Seattle has been winning for a long time.”
As the Adam Gase Era officially begins in Miami, it is time for players like Jay Ajayi to understand that the team winning is all that matters.