The Dolphins have been doing their homework. Their players on offense have been anyway. So says headmaster Adam Gase, who clearly will not hesitate to expel a player for failing to do his.
Gase made that rather obvious a few weeks back when he expelled running back Jay Ajayi, ostensibly for failing to do his homework on pass protection, route running and pass catching.
It seems a lesson has been learned. The Dolphins have lost each of the two games they’ve played since they traded Ajayi to the Eagles three weeks ago, but the offense appears to have taken a step forward.
That unit produced more than 21 points just once in the seven games prior to Gase letting go of Ajayi and blasting his players for their lack of commitment. In the two games since they’ve scored 24 and 21 respectively.
They’re moving the ball better, too. The Dolphins racked up 300 or more total yards just twice in the first seven weeks of the season. They’ve topped that mark in both games since.
The difference, Gase said, is the players are paying much better attention to the details, and that in turn has resulted in better execution of the overall game plan.
“Not only are they doing a better job of knowing what to do, they’re doing a better job of executing it,’’ Gase said. “There’s some plays here and there where I wish we’d be able to make, whether it be get a block made, get a throw made, get a catch made – be a little more detailed on a route.
“But a lot of times those are heat-of-the-moment type actions that that happens in. You’re not going to be 100-percent across the board every play as far as winning one-on-one battles. If that was the case, this game would be a lot easier. For the most part though, I do see guys that made big strides since a couple of weeks ago.’’
All Gase has to do now is get his defense back on track. The trick there, Gase said, is for everyone to go back to doing his job and his executing the fundamentals.
“I think we’re probably overcompensating in certain spots where guys are trying to cover for other guys,’’ Gase said. “It’s biting us a little bit, where we’ve just got to get back to the basics and fundamentals.
“Every guy do their job. That’s the hardest thing about defense is when you do have as many playmakers as we have … and things start getting a little leaky, somebody’s going to try to step up and make a play.
“That’s the good and part of defense. When you make the play it’s a good thing, and then you make the correction; but when they miss a play then it’s an explosive (play).
“So we’ve just got to get back to guys doing their job, everybody staying on the same page and understanding that it takes 11 of them to do it right.’’