Damien Williams Should Be Brought Back In 2018
Williams is a perfect compliment to Drake
The Miami Dolphins had a whirlwind of unexpected developments this season. Of them all, the changes at Running Back could well have the biggest impact. Not even the most sophisticated betting software solutions website could have predicted how it turned out.
First, Miami traded their young franchise Running Back Jay Ajayi. The last minute trade resulted in a chorus of catcalls from unhappy fans. And then, almost out of nowhere, Gase found another franchise RB waiting in the wings. Who’d a thunk it?
Coach Adam Gase got the dunce hat from fans when he traded Ajayi for a 4th round pick to the Eagles. Suddenly, the Dolphins were left with only unproven youngsters in Damien Williams and Kenyan Drake.
Williams and Drake added a much needed new dimension
Whatever you think about the trade itself, Gase proved dead right about the youngsters. Both Williams and Drake seized the opportunity, showing they weren’t just chopped liver. Not only were they able to fill the void left by Ajayi, they added an invaluable new dimension to our offense.
Drake and Williams showed far superior receiving and pass blocking skills to Ajayi, not only opening up the passing game, but making defenses much more tentative. Gase learned his lesson with the one dimensional Ajayi. The flexibility a two man rotational backfield provided was greatly preferred. Gase’s game planning quickly reflected that flexibility. Both RBs were now able to block effectively, catch reliably, and run the ball.
Just look at the Patriots and Saints offenses for RBs that are not known bruisers. Their RBs have the ability to run between the tackles, and are dangerous in the passing game as well. That is exactly the type of running backs and offenses that Coach Gase now has.
Drake led the NFL in rushing over the last 4 games
After Williams was injured, Drake stepped up. He led the NFL in rushing over the last 4 games of the season, ending the questions about if he could carry the load alone.
However, that’s not what Coach Gase will ask of Drake next season. Gase wants the added flexibility Williams provided before the injury.
In the 4 games that Williams played after Ajayi was traded, he tallied 149 rushing yards on 34 carries (a 4.4 yards per carry average). He also added 105 receiving yards on 12 catches (an 8.8 yards per reception average) with 1 touchdown. Those are pretty productive numbers on their own. When paired with those of an RB like Drake, the offense’s flexibility soars.
Bring the man back please.
Williams is an Unrestricted Free Agent in 2018
The problem is, Williams is now an unrestricted free agent. The Dolphins CAP room is unfortunately very tight. Despite initially holding out last season, Williams says he is very happy in Miami. He wants nothing more than to remain a Dolphin in 2018. If true, Miami can likely resign Williams for a team friendly price. Miami will almost certainly try very hard to resign him. Sure, Miami could get another very low cost RB in the draft. But with all our other needs in this draft, resigning Williams may be the smartest play in the book. Miami can look to a UDFA to find another RB, where they found Williams in 2014.
Also, Senorise Perry, who is signed till 2018, looked productive enough for the 3rd or 4th RB on the roster.
One thing Miami has shown they are capable of doing over the last few years is actually drafting quality running backs later in the draft. They drafted Lamar Millar in the 4th round of 2012, found undrafted Damien Williams in 2014, Jay Ajayi in the 5th round of 2015, and Kenyan Drake in the 3rd round of 2016.
If only they had tried something similar at the QB position. What are the rest of the Miami Dolphins News fans thoughts about what the phins should do at RB this off-season?