TAMPA – Dolphins coach Adam Gase admits he wasn’t sure what he was going to get when he opted to dump Jay Ajayi and go with the tag team of Damien Williams and Kenyan Drake at the running back position.
So far, though, the results have exceeded Gase’s expectations. They’ve also exceeded anything the Dolphins got from Ajayi before they traded him to the Eagles three weeks ago.
In the two games they’ve played in their new role, Drake and Williams have combined for more total yards (165 and 131 respectively) than Ajayi produced in any game he played before the trade this year.
It’s no wonder then that Gase likes the way the new committee approach has been working and therefor has no plans to change up the way he’s been alternating the two backs.
“I think they’ve done a good job,’’ Gase said during a conference call with Buccaneers reporters on Thursday. “They’ve really exceeded my expectations with how easy the transition has gone.
“One guy takes a series and then the other guy comes in. I wasn’t 100-percent sure of how smooth that was going to go but those guys have really done a good job of playing off each other form series to series.’’
Though Williams has started both games, Drake has been the more productive back, gaining a total of 104 yards (69 rushing) in the first game and 93 (66 rushing) in the second.
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The second-year Alabama product has also had two breakaway runs in those games, a 42-yarder during the Dolphins 27-24 loss to the Raiders and a 66-yarder for a touchdown during their 45-21 loss to the Panthers on Monday night.
Despite Drake’s success, though, Gase said he has no plans to change the way he’s using the two backs, in part because both still have some special teams responsibilities and still new to their expanded role.
“We still have a long ways to go, and neither of these guys has had this kind of work as a running back the NFL, so I’m just looking at this stage, we’re probably just going to see them both to stay involved.’’