Armando Salguero

Miami Dolphins RB Damien Williams on Bill Belichick: ‘He’s a cool dude’

Running back Jay Ajayi (23) and Damien Williams (26) between drills during Dolphins minicamp.
Running back Jay Ajayi (23) and Damien Williams (26) between drills during Dolphins minicamp.

Adam Gase appreciates Damien Williams and it’s fair to say the backup running back is one of his “guys.”

Gase likes the energy Williams brings to the running back room, likes the way he finds a way to make plays, likes the way he works. He also gets more annoyed at Williams than most players if ever the player makes a mistake because Gase expects more from one of his “guys.”

Well, this offseason Gase and Williams were staying in close contact as the player was deciding what to do as a restricted free agent. And during that time, one of Gase’s favorite players decided it served his interests to visit the division rival New England Patriots with the idea of possibly signing a tender there.

Gase didn’t love that idea, by the way.

“That’s the business,” Gase said Thursday. “It is what it is. You never want to lose your guy. He’s a guy that I really love being around. In the building, at practice, he gives you everything he has. And on game days if it’s possible to take it to another level, that’s what he does.

“And to lose a guy like that would be tough for me, because he energizes so many people on offense, defense and special teams that he impacts.”

Interestingly, one of Gase’s favorite players really like New England coach Bill Belichick after meeting with him during his visit.

“The boogie with the hoodie?” Williams asked with a smile.”He’s a cool dude. He’s a cool person. He’s quiet. He’s very observant.”

Williams said he made sure not to give up any Dolphins trade secrets while on the visit. The Patriots eventually decided to sign multiple other running backs instead of Williams.

“It’s just business,” Williams said with a shrug. “At the end of the day, everybody wants to see what’s out there.”

Williams eventually re-signed with the Dolphins -- accepting a restricted free agent tender of $1.8 million. But it took him a while to accept it because he was hoping the Dolphins would actually give him a new contract that would pay more for a longer period of time.

That didn’t happen.

“This is somewhere I want to be,” “Williams said. “This is where I’ve devoted all my time to. I love it. I love every guy that I play with and the coaching staff. I love every guy that is in the facility.”

Williams, by the way, said he expects to have a better season than he did a year ago. His role hasn’t changed. The Dolphins have him backing up Jay Ajayi, along with Kenyan Drake and either he or Drake are likely to handle third down duties.

The only way Williams gets more carries in a season the Dolphins expect to give Ajayi more carries is if an injury happens. And if that happens?

“It’s next man up,” Williams said. “I’m always ready.”

Follow Armando Salguero on Twitter: @ArmandoSalguero

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