Barry Jackson

Gase mulls best approach at running back

With Arian Foster still sidelined by injury (what was previously called a groin problem is now being listed as a hamstring), Dolphins coach Adam Gase faces another decision Thursday in Cincinnati.

Should he again split carries among four backs or should he settle on two of them?

“I always debate this,” he said Monday. “You’d always love to be able to say, ‘Let’s get a guy in there and get 15, 20 touches and see how it goes.’ I think the issue that we have with our group is they’re all playing special teams and offense. I think (Kenyan) Drake played 20-some snaps of special teams and started at running back. When we started having those injuries at linebacker, it’s hard to start removing guys off special teams.

“We kind of got a little low in numbers yesterday. It was all hands on deck at one point. Would I like to get a guy in rhythm? Yes. But at the same, it’s like, who are our guys? I need somebody to step up and be consistent and do their job throughout the entire game, not just one good play here and then we screw up and then (have) another good play. We’re too up-and-down.”

In Sunday’s win against Cleveland, Drake was on the field for 27 of 67 offensive snaps, Jay Ajayi for 18, Isaiah Pead for 12 and Damien Williams 11.

Drake ran 9 times for 37 yards, Ajayi 7 for 28, Pead 5 for 17 and Williams 1 for 15.

Gase said he started Drake to “see how he would react to it. You can tell with a guy if it’s a little too big for him. You didn’t see that look for him. He was really the same guy he has always been – very confident, steady. He did well at times. We have to clean up some of these little minor mental errors we’re having, whether it be in the passing game or if we do something not smart as far as where we’re running the football. There are little tiny things that pop up that sometimes you don’t notice unless you know exactly what scheme we’re running, and that’s sometimes experience.”

Couple other items from Gase:

• With tight end Jordan Cameron ruled out with hamstring, Dion Sims will again have a major role Thursday.

“He did a very good job yesterday,” Gase said. “A couple of minor mistakes, but he is very effective, obviously, in the run game. I think we all know that. The thing that he keeps surprising me on is the way that he plays as far as in the passing game, he’s in the right spot. He plays way faster than what you would anticipate for a guy that size. He has made some big plays for us. He has made some good catches.

“There have been a couple of catches way outside of his frame that he’s seemed to come down with. It’s almost like we probably need to play him more. We probably need to get him and Jordan (Cameron) on the field more. It’s tough, because it’s like a fine line between balancing the three wideouts we have and those two (tight ends). We probably need to figure out a way to balance that up a little more between the wideouts and the tight ends.”

• On Jarvis Landry, who is tied with Antonio Brown for the NFL lead in receptions: “He’s everything you want, and he has not disappointed. He is as advertised. When I got here, I didn’t watch a whole bunch since he has been in the league, but he is exactly what everybody said he was, and he’s actually … He has made some strides, too, as far as getting better. I’ve seen him try to do some things different. His knowledge of the offense … He has realized, ‘If I know exactly where to be, that’s going to give me my best chance to be really effective.”

Please click here for links to my three stories from Heat media day tonight. And please follow me on Twitter: @flasportsbuzz

  Comments