Before he was a back-to-back 200-yard rusher, Jay Ajayi felt he was something of a mystery to his own head coach.
The Miami Dolphins running back had not yet turned the corner on this season -- indeed, he couldn’t even claim to own the starting running back position -- and one of his concerns was that Adam Gase, the team’s head coach and playcaller, didn’t really have a feel for what suited him best.
So Ajayi took it upon himself to tell Gase. He went to the coach’s office and told Gase the three runs he loves most.
And he promised if Gase called those plays for him, he would make them work.
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“I felt like he didn’t really understand what I was best at yet,” Ajayi said Wednesday. “We were still getting to know how we would work in this offense during the preseason and everyone was kind of getting in the groove of things. I kind of felt he still didn’t really know what my favorite kind of runs in the scheme are and how I could be productive.
“I wanted to let him know, given an opportunity, whenever you decide, if you decide to put me in, these are the plays I’ll be most successful at.”
Those plays are the core plays Ajayi is getting when he’s in the game. And obviously they are a big reason he’s gained over 200 yards rushing in each of the past two games.
“He was very receptive and took notes down,” Ajayi said of Gase. “That’s one thing about coach Gase when it comes to our offense, he’s always receptive to advice on things we’re seeing because we’re out there on the field and we know what’s going on. So I made an effort to reach out to him and let him know.
It’s working ...
“Yeah,” Ajayi agreed. “It’s pretty good.”