Dolphins running back Kenyan Drake took to the airwaves yesterday, hopping on SiriusXM radio to talk about Miami’s start to the off-season program and head coach Brian Flores.
The early returns are glowing. Drake was quite liberal with his praise of coach Brian Flores when asked what first impressions were like inside the Dolphins’ organization. With players now in the building, this initial “getting to know you” phase can go a long way in setting the tone of which Dolphins players will be here after the rebuild is complete.
“It hasn’t been necessarily him saying much, because he didn’t necessarily say much. He just kind of has this air about him where people are already ready to run through a wall for him.”
That certainly aligns with what everyone in the front office has had to say about Flores. There’s an intangible factor to Flores’ personality that seems to get everyone aligned.
With that said, no matter what your individual coaching style is, winning is the only thing that keeps things sustainable in the NFL.
So while it’s great to hear Drake, who butted heads with Adam Gase after being hand-selected by Gase as the heir to Jay Ajayi, heap praise on Brian Flores, it is important to remember that this is the honeymoon phase.
We won’t know for sure just how good Flores is until this team gets on the field and loses a few football games. If this team responds well and stays positive, then Miami might be on to something.
Miami started its first offseason program under Flores’ direction last week.
“He’s very personable, but he’s a very serious guy about the game of football,” Dolphins running back Kenyan Drake said about his new coach during a Monday appearance on SiriusXM NFL Radio’s “SiriusXM Blitz.” “One thing that I definitely noticed the first week being in the building is just the respect that he commands from the players, the staff, everybody around the building and the respect that he kind of gives at the same time.
“Meetings start at 8 o’clock every morning. Everybody’s already in their seats at 7:55, ready to go.”
Flores’ team has only two running backs on its roster — Drake and Kalen Ballage.
Drake is preparing for his fourth NFL season since joining the Dolphins as a third-round draft choice from Alabama’s 2015 CFP national-championship team. Ballage was a fourth-round selection from Arizona State last year and recorded 191 yards and one touchdown on 36 rushing attempts and nine receptions for 56 yards as a rookie.
Drake is Miami’s leading returning rusher and passer. In 2018, Drake ran for 535 yards and four touchdowns on 120 carries and caught 53 passes for 477 yards and five touchdowns. Frank Gore, who led the Dolphins with 722 yards on 156 rushing attempts, joined the Buffalo Bills in free agency last month, and wide receiver Danny Amendola is now with the Detroit Lions after catching 59 passes for 575 yards and one TD for Miami in 2018.
In 2017, when Drake led the NFL in rushing yards over the final month of the season, he netted 114 yards on 25 carries in Miami’s 27-20 victory over New England on Dec. 11. Last season, Drake ran the final 52 yards of the 69-yard Miami Miracle as the Dolphins beat the Patriots 34-33 on the last play of a Dec. 9 game.
“I think Drake is an explosive player,” Flores said while attending the NFL’s annual meeting in March. “I’ve seen it first-hand, unfortunately. He’s a talented player. He catches the ball well, good runner, runs hard, does a lot of really good things.”
The NFL’s efforts to make the NFL Draft a bigger fan experience than ever have reached new heights. Having special guests on to announce picks isn’t a new concept for the event, but the league has fully embraced it at part of the production for this year’s event in Nashville.
Not only will Dolphins legend Richmond Webb announce the team’s 2nd-round pick, current Dolphin running back Kenyan Drake will be live in attendance to announce the team’s 3rd-round pick, currently slated at 78 overall.