Home » Unlabelled » Credit to Gase for Bringing Out the Best in Ajayi
Sunday, October 23, 2016
Posted by Jay Lopez
A wise person said on this Blog that he was withholding judgement on this team until he saw a healthy O-line playing together. That wise person wasn't me- I was too busy standing on the ledge to see that particular strand of reason. It was Carl- hats off, sir.
So as this particular football team shows signs of life and recovery even as many of us were shoveling dirt into the hole, it is time to reassess:
1) The loss to Tennessee at home- pathetic as it was- did come with extenuating circumstances. The Dolphins players and coaches were handling a major life disruption in the form of a property (and potentially) life-threatening storm. Perhaps we should have expected some chaos- even before ankle gate.
2) The win over Pittsburgh may not have been entirely due to desperation on one sideline and looking ahead on the other. The Dolphins have beaten two hot teams two weeks in a row.
3) There may be life for this team after losing arguably its best defensive player. This was a very solid defensive effort without our All-Pro safety.
And most importantly:
4) Jay Ajayi may be a superstar in the making.
This last is the hardest for me to believe I am typing. I recently thought Ajayi (after his week one attitude problems) was not long for the team. When Gase left him home for the season opener, I thought another fifth round flier had gone by the boards. I was sad about it, because he seemed like such a smart risk for us to take late in the draft, with tremendous upside and small-conference sleeper potential. When he missed the opening roster for poor attitude, I thought the door was closing.
As with so much about this year's Dolphins, I was stark, raving wrong. A young coach was simply sending a still younger player a message: attitude counts. The player was listening. By all accounts, Ajayi has attacked his opportunities since that early misstep, and the results are a historic two game run.
Does it help that the line he was always meant to run behind finally started two games? Does it also help to have a coach who calls your crap and runs mediocrity out of town? It gets interesting now. For another week, Lazarus walks.