The Miami Dolphins will look to Jay Ajayi for leadership


It has been a tumultuous week for the Miami Dolphins to say the least. With the injury to Ryan Tannehill prompting Miami to sign Jay Cutler, Miami will need Jay Ajayi to step up and lead them.

Encouraging news emerged from Dolphins camp in Davie, as Jay Ajayi returned to practice in a non-contact setting on Tuesday.

This is a great bit of news for the Dolphins and all indications are that Ajayi is progressing through the NFL concussion protocols on schedule. Miami will likely hold Ajayi out of their first pre-season game on Thursday versus Atlanta, at this point there is no reason to subject him to unnecessary contact.

With the signing of Jay Cutler Miami filled a need at quarterback, although opinions on the signing have been mixed. Matt Moore is very popular among teammates and a lot of fans wanted him to get the opportunity to lead the team. However, Adam Gase felt that he could recapture some of the success he and Cutler shared together in 2015 with the Bears.

Typically teams look to the quarterback position for leadership, however that is not a characteristic Jay Cutler has displayed consistently in his career. Miami will have to look elsewhere for leadership, and Jay Ajayi is a likely candidate to step in.

Ajayi showed last year that he has the makings of a great player. He overcame adversity in the beginning of the season and kept getting stronger as the year wore on. It was behind the running of Ajayi that Miami went on a tear and made the playoffs for the first time since 2008. He is expected to shoulder an even bigger workload once the season begins.

When the Dolphins need to close out a game in the fourth quarter, or punch it in from the one yard line, Ajayi will get the call. He will be utilized more on third downs, especially in the passing game. These situations will give him the opportunity to shine, and when he is successful that will in turn give his team added confidence.

Next: Matt Moore looking to compete for Dolphins starting QB role

There are other stars on the Dolphins, including Jarvis Landry. The difference is that Landry has a different makeup than Ajayi and has not been looked upon as a strong leader to date. Cameron Wake is an amazing presence on the defense and will also be a major force of stability on the entire team. Since Miami has endured so much turmoil before the season even begins, Ajayi’s return will hopefully be a steadying influence on the entire team.