Despite worries that Frank Gore will steal half of Kenyan Drake's touches, the Dolphins are aware of Drake's talents and will allow him to be the lead back if he proves he can handle it. Dolphins coach Adam Gase's breakdown of an ideal workload for Drake should be music to the ears of Drake, Dolphins fans and smart fantasy football owners.
“You’d love to get in that 70-75 plays per game [range] as a unit. If that happens, then you’re looking at hopefully anywhere from 15-20 carries and 6-8 targets," Gase said of Drake.
Gase might be a little optimistic on play count. Even with an expected increase of no-huddle under Ryan Tannehill, no team has averaged 70-plus offensive plays per game since Philadelphia in 2014. The Dolphins averaged a little over 62 plays in 2017.
But even looking at numbers just outside of Gase's low-end projection, Drake getting 18-20 touches a game -- which would be a workload similar to what Jay Ajayi had in his breakout 2016 season -- would allow him to expand upon what he flashed last season. Ajayi had 287 touches in 15 games in 2016, a little more than 19 per game, for 1,423 total yards. Plus, Drake is a better receiver than Ajayi ever was.
After the Dolphins traded Jay Ajayi away, Drake split time with Damien Williams, but once Williams was shut down in Week 12, Drake turned 21.6 touches into 119 total yards and 0.40 touchdowns per game in his last five games. The Dolphins signed Frank Gore, who looks best suited for backup duty at this point in his career, though there were reports earlier in camp that the two would split the work. This report directly contradicts the notion that Drake won't be the lead back in 2018.