There has been a lot of talk about the relatively small role Kenyan Drake has played in the Miami Dolphins’ offense this season. I’m here to tell you, my fellow Dolphin fans, to relax. There is nothing wrong with it and to tell you the truth, I doubt Drake is complaining behind closed doors. He is not a primary back. With all that being said, that does not mean I don’t like him.
When Drake was drafted in 2016, I said from the very beginning, “He is not a primary back but he gives you a lot of versatility.” I’ve since come to realize that unless you followed Drake’s career at Alabama, you aren’t going to know that. Because of his speed, Alabama Head Coach Nick Saban had him on returning kicks and punts on special teams. He also had him set up as a receiver a lot of the time so the quarterbacks would throw it out to him on a screen pass and Drake, because of his speed, would turn it up field in open space to help the team out. That is what he excels at. That doesn’t make him a bad player. It just makes him a different kind of player. That is why at, Alabama, the bulk of the team’s carries went to TJ Yeldon and Derrick Henry.
Many fans will hear this and bring up 2017. It is time to let that go. In 2017, the situation was different. After Jay Ajayi was traded, there was no one else but Drake, so they had to use him. Now, I don’t know why this coaching staff elected to go with Damien Williams over Kenyan Drake from the start but that is same old Dolphins for you. In 2018, it’s a different scenario. We have more depth at the position this year: Frank Gore, Drake, and Kalen Ballage, not to mention Brandon Bolden.
Adam Gase likes to run the running backs by committee and the role of Drake is to score touchdowns deep in the red zone. I was probably the only Dolphins fan who wasn’t surprised in the Bears game that Gase elected to hand the ball off to Drake towards the end of regulation at the goal line. It’s unfortunate that he fumbled, but that is his role. He has scored nine touchdowns on the year, which is more than any other player on the team. Not to mention, he now also has what is probably one of the greatest plays, if not the greatest play in Miami Dolphins history on his resume. Do you really think he is crying about his yard stats?
Fear not. Gore is out for the year. That means most likely, Drake will get more opportunities.