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Miami Dolphins

Dolphins Ajayi goes from suspended to 200 yard day

Florida Football Insiders

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Photo by JCS/Icon Sportswire

Sunday was a great turnaround overall for the Dolphins on the field and for RB Jay Ajayi individually, it was redemption to the tune of a 204 yard rushing performance that has Miami buzzing this a.m.

The story has turned 180 degrees since week one, when Ajayi was “left home” from the Seattle road game, essentially suspended with pay by first year coach Adam Gase. The issue was reportedly with Ajayi’s attitude and Gase sending a message to his new team.

But, due to injury with free agent acquisition RB Arian Foster in game two, and the lack of an established back up, Ajayi has gradually found himself back in Gase and the offense’s good graces getting the bulk of the carries.

He made the most of it Sunday with a fantastic 8.2 yard per carry average and seemed to get better as the day wore on, and the Steeler D wilted in the South Florida sun. Ajay’s clinching 62 yard run sealed the game in the closing minutes and has been on the highlights everywhere. He’s the first back to eclipse 200 yards this season.

What makes it more remarkable, is that the former Boise State star’s highest rushing total in the NFL up until Sunday was mere 48 yards. He zoomed by 100 yards in the third quarter and then became the first Miami running back to register a 200 yard game, since Ricky Williams in 2002.

It’s unknown if Foster will be able to become the feature back that Miami hoped he would be when they brought him in. But in five short weeks Jay Ajayi has suddenly gone from the outside looking in, to a feature back that Gase and the Dolphins can count on.

That’s almost as impressive as the day on the field Ajayi had Sunday.

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Miami Dolphins

“Ludicrous Speed?”

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Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

You need to have some levity to get through rigors of training camp, and Tuesday coach Adam Gase provided some in the form of 1980’s “B Comedies” and his team’s no-huddle offense.

The Dolphins showed part of that up tempo offense on the first series of their preseason opening game with the Bucs last Thursday night. And, QB Ryan Tannehill was effective running it on that opening drive.

However, we haven’t seen the fastest version of the Fins hurry up….it’s known in their lingo as “Ludicrous Speed.”

Now, unless you are a huge fan of the Sci-fi “spoof” movie from 1987, “Spaceballs,” that reference is likely lost on you. The movie stars Mel Brooks, Rick Moranis, John Candy, Bill Pullman and Daphne Zuniga, and is primarily mocking the the ultra popular “Star Wars” series of the late 70’s and early 80’s.

The reference to “Ludicrous Speed” comes from this scene, where Moranis, as the faux Darth Vader, is ordering his ship to chase after the “good guys.” Whether you’ve seen it or haven’t here goes:

It’s one of several memorable silly slapstick humorous scenes in the flick.

And that brings us to more humor with head coach Adam Gase being asked about “Ludicrous Speed” at his Tuesday post practice press conference.

Gase, laughed and knew that QB Ryan Tannehill had described that version to the media of the no huddle, where the team races to the line to run the same play, and try to catch the defense off guard or substituting, etc.

He was then, asked if it actually came from the movie?

“You know it? (Gase to a reporter)…. Yeah. There’s a lot of 80’s terms. You gotta remember, when we started this thing, who the quarterback was. The only problem was no one else knew what we were talking about. So it was good between me and him, but nobody else.”

The “who the quarterback was” is reference to soon to be Hall of Famer Peyton Manning, and the terms from when they were together in Denver a few years ago.

Manning, a child of the mid-late 80’s, obviously would use some of these terms or references as code words in the terminology for teams.

Our colleague, Chris Fischer of NBC-TV in Miami, put together his little feature involving Tannehill’s comments, the movie clips and Dolphins “speed, and posted it.

We say, Bravo to that.

And, Bravo to keeping guys and gals like Moranis, Pullman, Zuniga, and of course the late John Candy relevant a little longer.

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Miami Dolphins

Dolphins RB Kalen Ballage dealing with concussion

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Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

The good news for Fins fans is that veteran running back Frank Gore was back on the practice field Tuesday morning after getting a “veteran rest day” on Monday. The bad news? Rookie running back Kalen Ballage is in the concussion protocol and now, not likely to play in their second preseason game Friday night at the Panthers.

Ballage apparently suffered the concussion in Monday morning’s workout and was being held out Tuesday with the media having been notified that he’s now in the league mandated protocol.

 

That means Ballage, Miami’s fourth round pick out of Arizona State, will have to clear several phases to be cleared to return to practices, much less a game.

We wrote about “growing pains” for the rookie after he fumbled in the opener last Thursday, and then was chewed out by QB Ryan Tannehill for missing his pass blocking assignment in Sunday’s practice. A missed assignment that would have led to a blindside smash to Tannehill had it been a regular season game.

While it’s a setback, it doesn’t mean Ballage’s preseason development and reps are finished. It means that it’s all on hold for him

One of the beneficiaries of that is fellow backup running back Senorise Perry. Perry ran well, especially in the second half, of Miami’s 26-24 loss to Tampa Bay last week. He finished with four carries for 35 yards and a TD. He also had two receptions for 10 yards, too.

And the fourth year back out of Louisville is now getting some attention for his play early in camp, as well. This includes offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains praising after Monday’s practice.

Obviously, Miami has their two main backs set in Gore and Kenyan Drake. However, there is now true competition for which back will be in the mix to be third string and active for most games come the regular season.

A competition that, for now has swung in Perry’s favor, as he will likely see significant playing time in the second half on Friday night.

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Miami Dolphins

Dolphins release reserve DT who fought Kenyan Drake Monday

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Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

It’s that time of year in training camp, where the days are hot and after awhile, the tempers get hot, too.

It happened in Jaguars camp involving Dante Fowler, as he and fellow defensive lineman Yannick Ngakoue got into a near fight and had to be separated by teammates. Eventually, Fowler was suspended for the rest of this week, because of his actions.

Well, on Monday a reserve defensive tackle, Gabe Wright, did wrong. And the wrong he did has caused the team to get rid of him:

Wright made the mistake of throwing a punch at starting running back Kenyan Drake and a scuffle that involved multiple teammates trying to break it up ensued. And the media even perked up watching it unfold:

And now, the fourth year vet, who was with his third team, is being made an example out of for his actions.

Head coach Adam Gase wasn’t scheduled to talk with the media on Monday. Instead it was an opportunity for the coordinators, Dowell Loggains on offense and Matt Burke on defense, to answer questions.

Loggains talked in general terms about the “dust up” that happened with Wright and Drake,

“Everyone is getting tired of hitting each other. In camp, that’s what happens in the NFL about this time every year, every team.”

Meanwhile, at Bucs camp Monday, their coach Dirk Koetter already sounded a warning to his team, as they prepare to head to Nashville and practice this week with the Titans.

Koetter told the media that he’s already been over certain players on his roster with Titans new coach Mike Vrabel, who did the same, and if there’s trouble, those players will be sent off the field to the locker room.

It remains to be seen if, which players, will have that punishment put on them come Tuesday and Wednesday.

The same applies here with the Dolphins. Had this been Cam Wake, Robert Quinn, etc. who got into with Drake, they may have been sent to the locker room. But, not to the waiver wire.

That’s where someone like Gabe Wright has to know their place.

He does now.

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