Can Drake Change Gase’s Mind On Importance Of A Featured Running Back?

MIAMI GARDENS – Leading up to the Dolphins Week 13 contest against the Denver Broncos, Dolphins coach Adam Gase made it clear that he prefers the a running-back-by-committee approach.

“I don’t know if I’m ever going to have feature back-type situations,” Gase said. “I like using multiple guys. I like guys moving in and out and I like having guys that can do multiple things and really put pressure on the defense where they can’t focus on one thing. I don’t know. We might be out of that game.”

Twenty-three carries and 120 yards and one rushing touchdown later, second-year running back Kenyan Drake might have very well changed Gase’s mind.

The road to Drake’s career day wasn’t easy. He had just 55 yards on 14 carries at the half, but he exploded in the second half when he made a defender miss in the hole, and sprinted 42 yards down the field for a touchdown.


Drake is tied with Kansas City Chiefs running back Kareem Hunt and Chicago Bears running back Jordan Howard for the league lead in runs of 40 yards or greater with three. Both Hunt and Howard have over 100 carries this season, Drake has just 65.

Drake averaged 5.2 yards per carry against the Broncos and is averaging 4.9 yards per carry on the season. If he continues to produce at a high level, Gase will have a difficult time turning back to a two-headed rushing attack with Drake and Damien Williams.

Drake can do it all. He can run, he can catch and he continues to improve in pass protection. While Williams is talented and should certainly have a role in the offense, it is clear that Drake is the Dolphins’ best back.

Gase might have thought he was done with having a featured running back on his team when the Dolphins dealt Jay Ajayi to the Eagles for a fourth-round pick. However, it would behoove him to continue getting Drake double-digit touches in order to consistently move the football on the ground.

Drake’s speed, versatility and vision could be an essential part of the Dolphins offense for years to come – as long as Gase gives him carries commensurate with a feature back.


Brandon Howard joined the Sports Talk Florida team to cover the Miami Dolphins in April 2017 and will work diligently to provide daily Dolphins content and give accurate analysis of the roster, coaching and front office. Last season, Howard was the curator of content for Miami Dolphins Wire/ USA Today while aggregating high school sports results in Broward and Palm Beach counties for the Sun Sentinel. Prior to moving to South Florida Howard developed NFL content for Pro Player Insiders while covering the Cleveland Browns from 2014-2015. Howard, a Columbus, Ohio native graduated from West Virginia in 2004 in Athletic Coaching and Education. He also was a scholarship track and field athlete and walk-on football player. Howard was the 2003 Big East Long and IC4A long jump Champion and was a provisional national qualifier in the event. He also maintained his status as a member of the Athletic Director Academic Honor Roll during his time as a Mountaineer.