Dolphins Gore & Amendola lead by example for now

MIAMI GARDENS, FL - NOVEMBER 02: The Miami Dolphins cheerleaders perform during a game against the San Diego Chargers at Sun Life Stadium on November 2, 2014 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
MIAMI GARDENS, FL - NOVEMBER 02: The Miami Dolphins cheerleaders perform during a game against the San Diego Chargers at Sun Life Stadium on November 2, 2014 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) /

Newly acquired RB Frank Gore and WR Amendola will lead by example until they get acquainted with team. The newcomers also gave their inputs on two of the Miami Dolphins emerging players.

Leadership has been a focal point of this Miami Dolphins 2018 offseason.

The Dolphins have lost some notable players from their previous 2017 season including wide receiver Jarvis Landry, defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, and running back Jay Ajayi.

These players had Pro Bowls on their resume, but were perceived more as players who were more into themselves and their own personal success than by standing up in the locker room and setting an example for their fellow teammates.

Landry was an alpha male, but his success as a receiver for the team during his tenure was surpassed by his falling out of favor with the coaching staff. His yelling at head coach Adam Gase on the sidelines, his fight during the season’s home finale against the rival Buffalo Bills, and his desired high-priced contract for a slot receiver told the Dolphins that Landry was not the leadership model they were hoping he would develop into and his ego led him to believe he was worth a higher price than most NFL teams would be willing to pay.

Ndamukong Suh– still one of the best DT’s in the league, but severely overpriced starting from Day 1. He improved as a better teammate over the years, but still was seen as a man who went about his own business.

Jay Ajayi wanted to be more involved as a 3-down back, but his play didn’t match nor did his attitude. Even after wins, it was said the running back complained about his lack of carries. Gase saw this as player-first over team-first.

More from Phin Phanatic

After the departure of these players, the Dolphins hoped to attain players who would set the team-first model and had the work-ethic Gase sorely wanted for his locker room.

So the Dolphins signed wide receiver Danny Amendola and running back Frank Gore.

Amendola came from the Patriots where he sacrificed pay cut after pay cut since arriving in New England in order to stay on the team, help them create financial wiggle-room to acquire players, and reach the Superbowl.

— Team first.

Gore comes from the Indianapolis Colts, but knew coach Gase from his days on the 49ers. He may be on his way to Canton, Ohio someday as a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. His training has helped him stay durable throughout his career, and his love for the game and pedigree are aspects the Dolphins are hoping will translate to the rest of the team.

— Work ethic.

But the two new faces know they can’t just come onto a strange team and calling the shots. This is why they will be staying quiet until their play and example are noticed by the rest of their teammates.

“I’m not a talker,” Gore said. “But I will show in practice the way that I work and the way I love the game and the reason I’m still playing at a high level. So when training camp comes, all of my guys in my running back room will see how much and how hard I go every day. Once I start making plays here and playing good ball, then I’ll feel like I have the right to talk in the locker room. Right now, I’m a new face. I have to prove myself to the coaching staff and also my teammates. Right now I’m just standing in the back, doing what I have to do every day, working hard and getting ready for training camp and for the season.”

Amendola had a similar stance on the subject.

“When the time is to come for me to lead, then I’ll lead. Right now, I’m just trying to flow and get the playbook, trying to learn, trying to adapt to this organization, to this facility and the way things are going. It’s my second day in the building. Everything will work itself out.”

The two longtime offensive veterans also sang their praises for two young Dolphins players who are entering their 3rd seasons in the NFL — WR Jakeem Grant and RB Kenyan Drake.

As a fellow Red Raider, Amendola has kept an eye on Jakeem Grant who also played at Texas Tech in his college days. Grant is expected to have a grander role this upcoming season, but may continue to be buried beneath a quality depth of Dolphins wide receivers.

“I have known him and watched him play for a really long time,” Amendola said of Grant. “He’s a great player. He’s strong. I found out he’s an exceptional athlete these last two days. He’s fast. He can do a lot of great things. (He has) a lot of upside as a player.”

Gore had his remarks regarding Drake who arose as a playmaker for the Dolphins in 2017 after Ajayi was traded. Both will be splitting the backfield workload in 2018.

“I think he’s a great young man,” said Gore. “He’s got a lot of tools. I remember when they played Denver the week before they played us, I was watching tape. He kind of caught my eye. He’s got a lot of talent. I think me and him in the backfield, I think it can help this team with a different style, and it should be good.”