New Dolphins RB coach Studesville impressed with Kalen Ballage
By Brian Miller
The Miami Dolphins have to love their running back group and coach Eric Studesville is already impressed with rookie Kalen Ballage.
The Dolphins have been finding mid-round gems for years now. Lamar Miller, Jay Ajayi, Kenyan Drake, and now Kalen Ballage may be the next in line to impress. He is already impressed one man. New running back coach Eric Studesville.
Studesville has been impressed with what he has seen from Ballage and credits the running backs determination during OTA’s and off-season work. According to the coach, Ballage is competing because he has already done the mental work.
"(How have you been impressed with RB Kalen Ballage so far?) – “Kalen has done a nice job. For a rookie, it’s a lot. What really helped him is that he did a good job in the spring during OTAs of really grinding and learning and trying to get caught up on everything. What that allows him to do now is to come and really compete. The learning curve is not quite as steep, and he can get in there and just compete because he knows what to do. He’s done a great job so far.” – MiamiDolphins.com via released press transcripts."
Ballage didn’t have the statistical numbers while at ASU. He shared the back-field since his rookie season and often found himself carrying less than the other back. It wasn’t much but it was enough to cause him to fall in the draft.
For the Dolphins Ballage isn’t expected to become a lead back this year, barring injury he will rotate behind Frank Gore and Kenyan Drake. That does not mean he wont’ make an impact. Ballage is very good out of the back-field as a receiver, maybe the best on the unit. He saw action like that at ASU as well.
In his rookie season however, Ballage is likely to see more time returning punts and kicks. He is fast and has a great combination of size and speed but running the ball is what he, like other backs, wants to do. He is getting reps and will see a lot of pre-season action to assist in his drive.
For now, at least he has the eye of the coach.