News from a surprisingly low-key Adam Gase news conference, just 12 hours after the Dolphins’ biggest win of the season.
▪ Just a few weeks after Gase said he doesn’t really like using a featured back, Kenyan Drake has become one (perhaps out of necessity). He carried the ball 48 times in nine days, going over 100 yards rushing against both the Broncos and Patriots.
Gase said he is “not really” surprised by Drake’s workload because “that’s why we drafted him.”
“We liked that combination of him and Damien [Williams], it really caused a lot of problems because both of those guys can do everything you want them to do. We’ve just got to keep working on cleaning up the ball security making sure he hangs on to that thing, keeps putting two hands on it in traffic.
▪ Speaking of Williams, he missed the last two games with a shoulder injury. He wore what appeared to be a harness shortly after getting hurt, but seemed to make progress late last week.
Will he play Sunday against the Bills?
“I don’t know,” Gase said. “I’ll meet with the trainers later today and figure out what our plan is this week.”
He added: “We’re going to keep trying to get him ready to go, strengthen him up as much as we can. I know this has been frustrating for him. He wants to get out there, he wants to help us. We need him. He’s a valuable piece of this team, not only on the team but his attitude. We just gotta keep getting him stronger and then when the trainers say he’s ready to go on the field, we’ll put him on the field.”
▪ Is DeVante Parker’s confidence shot? He has had arguably the worst three-game stretch of his career, catching six passes for 50 yards since Nov. 26.
He had two more drops Monday night, including one on the first play from scrimmage.
“There was some good stuff; there was a couple of them I wish we could have back that I thought were gonna be some big plays,” Gase said. “I think he’s kind of knowing — I can see him understanding the concepts so well to where he knows he has a lot of green grass and he wants to go, but he’s gotta catch the ball first. And that’s really what happened on that first play. He knew he had a chance for a big one, and we just need him to focus on catching the ball first and run after that. He’s gotta trust his speed. There was some good technique things he did on his routes. We just need the consistency. We have to keep trying to get him going. He can be such a huge piece of the puzzle for us.”
▪ A low — and arguably dirty hit — on Jordan Phillips by Patriots lineman David Andrews briefly knocked Phillips from the game and left him a little gimpy.
“Yeah, I mean, it’s hard to comment on anything like that,” Gase said, when asked about the dubious play. “We’ll see how he is [physically] when I get with those guys today. It’s always one of those ones you get a little nervous about like, how’s he going to be the next day? He seemed all right last night, but we’ll kind of see as we go through the week.”
Phillips was not so delicate, calling Andrews a “#dirtyplayer” on Instagram Tuesday.
▪ Center Mike Pouncey is on track to play all 16 games for the first time since 2012. Just don’t tell Gase about that. He chafed when a reporter mentioned it to him Tuesday.
“I'm glad you're bringing it up,” Gase said, with sarcasm. “... He's just worked extremely hard everyday. I don't remember the last time I haven't seen him here trying to do something. He doesn't need anybody to tell him what to do. He's going to be in here on his own. This means a lot to him. He wants to be out there for his teammates every snap. He's had the right mindset this year -- not that he hasn't in the past, but I know he's really locked in, focusing in on one game at a time, one play at a time, trying to be a guy we can count on every week. I'm sure he hasn't felt 100 percent on great all the time. He just keeps plugging along and trying to do everything he can to try to help us win.”