Top News: Williams' Contribution, Praise For Phillips

Posted Oct 18, 2017

While Jay Ajayi rushed for a season-high 130 yards in the victory against the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday, fellow running back Damien Williams also made a valuable contribution on offense.

It was the type of thing the Dolphins have seen from Williams for a few years now.

Williams had modest numbers (9 rushing yards, three receptions for 14 yards), but he came up with two big plays on the Dolphins’ first touchdown drive of the game. The biggest, of course, was his 3-yard reception on fourth-and-1. That came four plays after Williams converted a third-and-4 with a 7-yard catch.

“We put him in more so we can try to give Jay a little bit of a rest,” Head Coach Adam Gase said Wednesday before practice. “Even last game, Damien had a lot of impact plays. I think Damien’s percentage of making good plays when his number is called, it’s up there.”

Gase said he wanted to make a concerted effort to get Williams more involved in the offense, and the play counts served as evidence.

Williams played a season-high 18 offensive snaps against the Falcons, seven more than his previous high of 11 against the New Orleans Saints.

Phillips getting it done: Gase had high praise Wednesday for defensive tackle Jordan Phillips, not only for his performance against the Falcons in his first game back from an ankle injury but also for the way he has been practice since the middle of the preseason. “He’s doing his job,” Gase said. “Every snap he’s out there he’s playing hard. It was very impressive. He’s been doing it since that Philly week, good job of practice day in and day out. He’s just doing everything right.” In his first game after being out three weeks with an ankle injury, Phillips was credited with one tackle and one assist.

Rashawn report: Wide receiver Rashawn Scott was back at practice Wednesday for the first time since the spring. He has been on the Physically Unable to Perform list since the start of training camp after being injured in the spring. The Dolphins will have three weeks to decide on one of three options for the former University of Miami player — activate him; keep him on PUP for the rest of the season; or release him. Guard Ted Larsen also is eligible to start practicing, but he was not present during the portion open to the media. Larsen cannot be activated until after Week 8 and, as with Scott, the Dolphins will have three weeks to decide on his status once he does start practicing.

Down on drops: Expect the Dolphins to be spending extra practice time catching passes this week. After pointing out league stats showing the Dolphins leading the league in that unenviable category, Gase said the only remedy is repetition. “I don’t know (why it’s happening),” Gase said. “They haven’t caught the passes. It’s an area that we’re really stressing. We need to obviously improve. We have to improve on that right away.”

Showing emotion: Gase said one key to the offensive line having a solid game against the Falcons was intensity. The challenge to the offensive linemen was to go all out, all the time and overcome mistakes with extra effort. That’s what we saw against Atlanta, even on the play when tackle Ja’Wuan James was flagged for unnecessary roughness. That penalty was merely an example of James trying to protect running back Jay Ajayi. “Ja’Wuan is always around the ball,” Gase said. “I said something to him (like), ‘Hey, lead the charge.’ He’s one of those guys that just has a motor that doesn’t stop and he’s down the field and he’s trying to throw blocks, he’s trying to protect our ball carriers. All those guys (were) just trying to do the same thing.”

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