Why Ajayi Move Was Best For The Dolphins TEAM
Ajayi has it all… but a healthy knee and a nature that puts team first
Jimmy Bourbon emailed me asking, ” Is it true Miami traded Jay Ajayi to the Eagles for a 4th round pick?”
Sometimes I get bizarre emails from him, especially when he’s had a few on Game Day. I’ve learned that a grain of salt goes a long way. When I checked the news, I swear I could hear the Twilight Zone music.
“HOLY $#^*,” was my reply.
After an extra-large coffee and a bit of contemplation and research, I began to weigh out the move.
Here’s some facts to set up the conversation:
- Ajayi is a fantastic physical runner with power, speed, and agility.
- He was had with only a 5th Round Pick and had a relatively low price tag going into next year.
- Gase has built the offense around him and added the Stretch Zone run scheme due to his preference over Inside Zone.
- This Offensive Line isn’t built for a power game that can smash its way through stacked boxes.
- Only one receiver of all the Wideouts and Tightends can block, so if Fasano went down, this scheme was dead in the water.
- Ajayi didn’t like to do homework, was only a decent receiver, and had meh pass-blocking skills.
- Ajayi was a selfish me oriented guy. Multiple reports are out how even in wins he’d storm out of the locker, if he didn’t get his. He was also having attitudes with other players, and complaining to his position coach… yet he never sat down and spoke to Gase about it.
- Ajayi possible has a degenerative knee issue, and for much of this season, he needed a day of the week off to rest it.
- Football isn’t Fantasy Football or Madden. You don’t plug in numbers into a sterile environment. Anyone who has ever been on a team whether it’s a sport, military, or in a job or school knows first hand what it’s like to work with someone who is all about themselves. Character and chemistry are real, and in the NFL it will help or hinder you for plays, downs, games, and a season.
- Teams must rally around each other when adversity hits, and the NFL is all about how you handle the tough times. You can’t have your most selfish player be THE player you have built your offense around.
- And let’s no forget how the 2016 began. I did the video below at the time… juvenile–a bit. But the word on the street when he came out of Boise was he was immature. In the end, this behavior wasn’t a phase, it was his character. And it was character that got Ajayi shipped.
Ajayi has talent, but talent isn’t the end-all-be-all
Alright, from a talent standpoint, Miami has been reduced. You can’t slice it any other way. But a team must have chemistry, cohesion, and unity to succeed… even at the cost of talent. And I have stated over and over this season, 2017’s offensive issues have been mostly about the mental side of the game.
You don’t need pay per head sites to know that Damien Williams, Kenyan Drake, and Senorise Perry aren’t even close to Ajayi in talent, but they are more rounded… and seemingly are willing to play a lesser role… because well, that’s what the coach says. Complex stuff, huh?
With Ajayi in the backfield as a feature back, backed by the rest of the players on Offense, was trying to stick a square peg in a round hole. Miami can now actually play 3 Wides, Inside Zone, feel confident (at least in Williams) to keep 1 back in on 3 downs, expand the playbook, and not feel obligated to feed one player, which will hinder defenses, who so far have seemed to know exactly what Miami is doing on Offense.
Will this translate to more or equal rushing yards? Hell no! Will it even make the offense better? We’ll find out in a few days. But it has certainly sent a message, will create less friction among players and coaches, and allows the implementation of a better scheme with which the rest of the Dolphins offensive players can be more correctly used. In Gase we trust or bust time… again. Say whatever you want about this season, but you can’t say it doesn’t have drama. Go Fins!!!