Discussion in 'Miami Dolphins Forum' started by DKphin, May 13, 2017.
I can see Ajayi running for a bit more yardage than last season but it being spread over all the games. I mean having 3 200yd games last year did skew his yards per game average. But with the moves on OL, Tannehill coming back, Parker stepping up (hopefully) and the additions of Thomas and Fasano, I can't see where he wouldn't at least hit what he ran for last season.
Another 90 carries up from his 260 last yr. Couple that with him being more involved in the passing game and that's a significant jump. Ajayi was pretty durable last yr tho. I like the idea of Drake and Williams getting more touches, particularly Drake.
Ajayi needs to rush for over 100+ yrd's a game this season...Add in some YAC yards for pass plays and the guy should account for at least 160 yrd's a game..As we make our move for the lead in the AFC East...This team can go far with a high output from Ajayi and other players...Through in some of those 200 yrd rushing games and a Defense that can get off the Dayum field and we got a shot.
I wouldn't choose this as the year you drive Ajayi into the ground, assuming you're fine doing that. If anything, I'd target 2018 as the year it might be worth it to increase his burden. It will be interesting to see how they use Drake. He looks like someone who can ease the workload, but he's probably not someone you should trust to pick up tough yards consistently. Williams is similar, but his issue is vision/decisiveness. I was hoping for Conner to fall to the 5th, because he is a RB who will grind out tough yards when Ajayi needs a break. But, the RB group is pretty good overall, and the staff should be able to preserve Ajayi a little by rotating him out, without losing too much efficiency.
I'm more excited to see Jay in 2017 than I have been to see any Dolphin player in a long time. 1200 yards. 8tds, and he barely played in the first 5 games, so I can't wait to see what he does with a full season. This season he has the the advantage of playing in the same offense for he 2nd year, another solid weapon to take the pressure off of him, a healthy Poumcey(fingers crossed), and what should be a better defense to help the offense get more snaps.
His knees were the reason he slipped to round 5, so hopefully he can stay on the field, but I'm not worried about it more than any other player. Jay showed great toughness last season playing through a bad shoulder. He could of rested in the Patriots game week 17, but he refused to sit. You have to love that.
Don't sleep on drake he's got the size speed and vision you want. Can't wait to see These two especially in the passing game
Totally agree!! We wouldn't have drafted Drake in the 3rd if we didn't think he was capable of being a starter.
Drake just happened to get unlucky with Jay coming along.
He reminds me of David Johnson tbh
outside knee history he seems like prototypical heavy workload back to me.
Gase has also said he needs to get him going in games to let him find his groove.
I mean he ran for 200 yards in back to back weeks. How much h heavier can workload get?
HE needs to focus on being a complete all-around back. If he continues to improve on his passing game skills (blocking, receiving. routes) he could be a deadly threat for the next 5-8 years. Barring any setback with his knee, which might possibly be a rumor fabricated by the media. We will see
I don't see where he can do more without risking him getting beat up and useless if we make the playoffs. Rather, the trio of running backs should have more carries together, more catches and hopefully more yardage, first downs and sustained drives with running plays.
I'd have to look at his carry per game average but last year he was already up near 25 carries a game. I don't think you want to go any heavier then that
True, but he did in under 25 carries both games IIRC.
I'd be happy w similar production. I'll take 3, 200 yard games w some clunkers in there. So long as other guys step up and as a team we can average 120 per game on the ground that's a good recipe for success. In this day and age I don't like the idea of a back handling the ball 300+ times a year - they wear out too fast. Run w good committee players w Jay leading the charge as the true no 1.
I've said this about Gase before and I'll repeat it here ... when he knows he has a mismatch in the run game, he exploits it. Our run game last year was defined by two very telling stats: Yards Before Contact (YBC) and Yards After Contact (YAC).
Our OL had the fewest Yards Before Contact of any OL in the NFL last year.
That means not only did we not open holes, but we also failed to keep run-blitzes out of the backfield. This is the worst possible statistic an OL can have at running the ball ... it simply means they were not doing a decent job on nearly enough plays. Consider that this statistic was also buttressed by the fact that when we did have a mismatch against a poor run defense (like vs. Timmons in Pittsburgh), we pushed it and had higher reps of success boosting our stats. So to have done this badly simply means our OL suuuuuuuuuuuuucks at run blocking. Our YBC was horrendous. The fact that we had success running the ball is a testament to Gase and Ajayi. Let's be clear ... Bushrod was one of the very worst run blocking guards in the league last year. I give him a bit of a pass since he played hurt a lot (something nobody else on the OL seemed to be willing to do) and adjusted to a new position. He did have a few good run blocking games ... but not many.
Ajayi had the most Yards After Contact of any RB in the league last year.
This guy had to fight through traffic in the backfield a lot. But his bruising style allowed him to lead the league in this vital statistic ... again. He is extremely adept at minimizing contact. He stays just far enough away that you can get a hand or arm on him but not a shoulder and can't get that elbow wrapped around him. That spacing, coupled with his sheer power, jump-cut ability to create space, exceptionally good downward stiff-arming, and light feet allow him to escape most sloppy tackling and drag most good tackling for extra effort yards. His YAC is the result of being a great back, and is the thing that breaks many of his plays open for chunk yardage. Yes, it also is a big part of the reason he gets 1st downs. Unfortunately, our OL's inability to open holes greatly brings down his yards per carry, leading many people to miss just how effective he has been.
Enter Isaac Asiata.
I'm a bona fide fan of Isaac Asiata. This guy has everything I'm looking for in a guard. He has the power, with enough sand in his pants to withstand bull rushes and enough push to blow open holes. He has good technique to play with leverage and positioning, which is most of the battle. He also happens to have very quick feet to get into position, and enough speed to pull effectively. He's not Mike Pouncey at striking his target on the move, but when Asiata hits 'em, they're shocked and locked at that point of the play. IMHO, if the Dolphins improve the YBC this year, it will be on the back of an Isaac Asiata dominant charge. Like a rhino, he will need to blow open holes and spring Ajayi into the secondary. If he can do that, we'll be half-way to having good guards. If for some unseen and disappointing reason he cannot even win the starting job ... I see our run game falling backwards in 2017. I'm not convinced with Larsen, and while I'm happy to have Bushrod, IMHO, he's not a starter. All of my faith in our interior line improvement rests with Isaac Asiata. We have the skill position people ... we just need the OL to work well as a unit in both the run and pass games.
Ajayi surprised the NFL last year after the first 4 games and carried this team into the playoffs last year. When we arrived in the first playoff game he had a bum shoulder. Soo first we should expect that Ajayi will not be a surprise this year and the yards will be tougher to come by and thus the passing attack plus the reserve running backs will have to contribute in a different way this year for Ajayi to get his yards and stay healthy.
I also expect better oline play this year not because of better players as loosing Albert and Pouncy dilutes the talent pool quite alot. Generally it takes two years for a offensive lineman to show their potential. Think of James comments this year when he admitted to playing poorly during the beginning of last year before learning the new system. I expect much improved play this year from even fringe players from last year.
So happy Isaac is 335 and powerful. These nimble finesse guards always killed us in the draft. If you can't anchor you're pretty useless in this league. It's why I was high on Cam Robinson for a split second. He looked to be a better guard prospect to me than Lamp. Only problem was he's a plodder. Stoked we got Asiata in the fifth.
Pretty sure Miami didn't draft Drake to be a starter. He's not durable enough. He was hurt his Junior and Senior seasons at Bama. He's a nice change of pace back who I like a lot, but carrying 10-12 times a game tops. No way could he replace Ajayi and carry 20+ times a game.
Drake CAN be a starter in this league....scheme and persistence is what is needed...if the run blocking scheme fits his style he CAN be a difference maker in this league...I look back at Denver years ago being able to plug and play whoever at running back...the hogs of Washington...Tim? Davis in the super bowl??? wow...never heard of again really....game planning ...scheme...coaching...makes the difference...once in awhile you uncover a back that is a play maker but they are few and far between....GASE will be the difference...
Timmy Smith was the SB one hit wonder for Washington. Drake didn't even start at Bama. He backed up Derrick Henry his Senior season. He can be a game changer and he's a nice complimentary back....but he cant't take the pounding a featured back takes. And he's not starting ahead of Ajayi, baring some unforeseen injury.
I know he won't be a starter ahead of ajayi.....but he has the talent and skills to be a starter in this league....giving our team a dangerous backfield....give him the blocking assignments and offensive game plan that is tailored to his strength and he will flourish...we just need to agree to disagree and leave it at that...thank you for your reply..
I agree with a lot said here.
We all have to remember a truism of football. And that is when a player has a great year, often the next season is not as good. So while we would like to expect Ajayi to have the same or better year this season, it might not happen. And Ajayi is not Ricky Williams, and I do not want to ride him into the ground. I was hoping to add a bigger back in the draft but we simply did not have the draft picks and I think we used ours well (Good teams draft for NEED and that is what we did).
I was hoping for even a ....Fullback in the draft or as an UDFA or in free agency someone like a Rex Burkhead, a running back that is unknown now but the Patriots will make him an important piece of their offense. Or I'd take a chance on an older player like LeGarrette Blount who is listed at 6 foot, 250 pounds. I believe that Ajayi has a decent size Ego which is a good thing but it also means that we do not want to bring in anyone that threatens him, but someone that can help him.
We did sign De'Veon Le'trell Smith who is 5'11" and 225 pounds as a UDFA and he can be that guy or even a Fullback. I understand that that knock on him is that he does not have really good speed.
That all said, Ajayi could have a monster year this season. We expect our OL to be better And he is going to be fired up knowing he is the man. I also want to see Drake play more but for me, the thing is do we stick with the running game?
We did not begin with it last year. But I hope we do this season. Barring any injuries, this is and could be the best offense we have had in some years. I'm excited.
I'm hoping that Asiata will start quickly, and soon earn the face paint he wore in college.
Me too and hopefully we get a healthy Pouncey this year
Ajayi is a lunatic... Just read a fluff piece on Deveon Smith. They touted his having 16 TD's over two years shows he has a nose for the end zone.
Ajayi had 28 TD's in one season, lol. Ajayi is so used to being the workhorse. If he's hot let him take as many reps as he wants.
I think our offense will be very balanced this year, and it will be dependent upon the matchup. I could see Ajayi with 25+ carries one week, and 15'ish the next. We are going to air it out a lot. Think it'll help keep him fresh in the long run.
Ajayi had the 9th most carries in the league last year with 260. Zeke Elliot was #1 with 322 carries. Ajayi did not play in week 1 and only had carries of 5, 7, 6 & 13 over the next 4 weeks. He averaged 17.3 carries per game (15 games) but I could see that easily going up to 20. I would not want to see him get much more than that as 25 carries per game would put him at 400 for the season. That's too much for any RB and usually leads to a significant decrease in production in the following year.
320 carries is plenty. We have some good RB's behind him that should be able to contribute nicely. Drake looks ready for an increased load as well. The Dolphins ranked 18th in rushing attempts (405). The Cowboys were #1 with 499 attempts.
It should look something like this IMO....
Ajayi 320 (x 4.9 ypc=1568 yards)
Drake 120 (x 5.4 ypc = 648 yards)
Williams 50 (x 3.3 ypc = 165 yards)
We need to stay on the field much more this year to eat the clock.