Doug Pederson: Jay Ajayi has “made us better”

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The Dolphins felt they were better off without running back Jay Ajayi, prompting his trade to the Eagles. The Eagles believe they are a better football team with Ajayi.

Another team’s discard can turn into another team’s treasure.

“I didn’t know a ton about Jay,” Eagles coach Doug Pederson said Tuesday. “. . . But when he arrived, he and I had a conversation and really I just explained to him the environment, the locker room he was joining. Part of my message this year to our team, to our players is about ownership. We’re always looking to better our roster obviously, and Jay has made us better. Our guys embraced him. Our guys have said, ‘Listen, this is the way we practice; this is the way we do things.’ We haven’t had any problems out of Jay. He’s been awesome to work with. He’s part of that running back group that has been real successful for us this year so it’s fun to watch him perform.”

The Eagles gave up a fourth-round draft pick for Ajayi at the trade deadline October 31.

Reports he was a locker room cancer in Miami left Ajayi seeking to prove to his new teammates he wasn’t who the Dolphins thought he was.

“It was more of just slowly showing who I was and just trying to feel it out,” Ajayi said. “It’s a touchy situation, because at the end of the day, I didn’t come with this clean story line. Obviously, there was a story line of me being a bad teammate and all that stuff. So obviously some people may think that, so it was kind of let me just be myself, show who I am, be true to myself and everything will all work itself out, and it did.”

Ajayi has fit right in with the Eagles, rushing for 408 yards in seven regular-season games and gaining 197 yards from scrimmage on 38 postseason touches.

36 responses to “Doug Pederson: Jay Ajayi has “made us better”

  1. Great pickup by Howie. He will have to play big for Philly on Sunday. Eagles have to take advantage of the pats run D giving up 4.7 yards per carry, ranked 31st in the league.

  2. He fits better with what the Eagles are doing, but it’s pretty clear that Kenyan Drake is the more skilled and better RB.

    Dolphins got a better player and got a 4th rd pick out of it as well. Eagles got another RB to help that backfield.

  3. Really a story about the Dolphins. Their scouts could walk into the world’s biggest diamond store and somehow buy the one cubic zirconia dumped in the back.

  4. He had a bad attitude this year and had far too many negative runs but Gase is partly to blame- Ajayi thrives in the outside zone but Gase kept sending him up the middle and the blocking wasn’t there. He also didn’t like Ajayi as a 3-down player. I’m glad he’s gone somewhere good- he deserves that after the season he put in last year (although the fact that 1/2 of his yards were accumulated in 3 games should have sent signals re his consistency).

  5. Really a story about the Dolphins. Their scouts could walk into the world’s biggest diamond store and somehow buy the one cubic zirconia dumped in the back.
    ___________________________

    You do realize the Dolphins were the ones who drafted Ajayi…after the Eagles passed on him how many times?

    Miami used a 5th rd pick on Ajayi, the Eagles gave up a 4th and the Dolphins still have the better RB….so who’s scouts are shopping for zarconia’s?

  6. He runs hard and he runs angry. I love how he finishes a run off as long as that ball stays in his hands. He has fumbled to much for my liking and NE is smart enough to force one if given the opportunity. I hope Doug and Duce have worked this issue out with him for the Super Bowl. If he fumbles early they might decide to run with Blount more which would hurt the Eagles overall. If he runs hard and doesn’t put the ball on the ground he could help generate 10-12 play 7 minites drives which is a much against Brady.

    Honest eagles fan

  7. Hey scmems07, did you realize that Jay and the Eagles get to play in the Superbowl this year? I am glad your happy about the Phins getting a draft steal few years back, moving a pick one round up in a trade, after a few years later, but the prize is winning the big one. This year Jay>Gase

  8. Oh Please! He’s not complaining in Philly like he was doing in Miami. Just wait, the tantrums are coming.

  9. He will be a cancer !!! Right now they are winning etc, wait until he puts a ball or 2 on the ground and he isn’t winning. You will then see what Gase and the rest of the locker room in Miami saw. Right now all is well. Give it time folks.. Give it time.
    Miami still got a 4th out of it and have the better RB in Drake.

  10. Ajayi was not a good fit in Miami. He had attitude (was left at home on a road trip before he ever started a game) and had poor results in way too many games. He had more games with less than 25 yards than he did with 100+. I liked how he ran angry and that works well in Philly because he can rest. In Miami, he wanted the ball every play and then didn’t bother to block sometimes on pass plays. The guy was mad on the sidelines if he didn’t get the ball in Games the Dolphins won. The trade worked out for both teams. I hope he can remain this way in Philly. If he gets too comfortable with himself, that’s when the potential for attitude could show up…again.

  11. Hey sgtr0c, you do realize we’re talking about a single player and not a team? Nobody ever said the Dolphins were better than the Eagles with or without Ajayi. The Eagles were good before Ajayi, the Dolphins were better after Ajayi. Clearly the Dolphins have more issues other than RB but now they know they have a guy who can work in the offense and is more versatile than Ajayi, and will probably last longer.

    Good luck to the Eagles in the SB, I’m rooting for them.

  12. “Eagles have to take advantage of the pats run D giving up 4.7 yards per carry, ranked 31st in the league.”

    Pats are happy to give up yards, just not points. #5 scoring D overall, and #1 the last 10 weeks of the season. Belichick has always had the bend don’t break philosophy for his defenses.

    That said, not giving up a lot of long runs on 1st down would be a big help.

  13. Obviously a horrible return for the Dolphins, but Drake looks like a player, so it may still work out, kind of like the horrible trade they made with the Eagles two years ago and still had the best player in the draft call to them at #13.

  14. Worth noting Ajayi was not a good blocker in Miami, and his run production blew hot and cold. And his career performance (3 games: 25yds/gm, 2.6ypa) versus Patriots wasn’t great – his last of those 3 games looks ok (59yds 3.6ypa + 20yds rec) but that was last Jan when the Pats jumped to a 20-0 lead by late Q2, and let the Phins play garbage yards rest of the game, Pats finishing 35-14.

  15. scmems07 says:
    January 30, 2018 at 5:32 pm
    ….so who’s scouts are shopping for zarconia’s?
    _______________________________

    For all we know they might both be and if they are then Philly’s are doing it in MN and miami’s are doing it in the SoFlo swamp lands.

  16. To the guy talking about scouting as an eagles fan I just want to say thank you for helping us get Carson Wentz. We REALLY appreciate it. We hope you enjoyed Kiko Alonso and Byron Maxwell.

  17. The Fins are my team and I hated the trade. What I don’t like about Gases age is that he is too young to have the experience and wisdom needed to take a “Locker room problem” and coach him into a mature team guy. Gase just says, “You’re gone.”
    You can’t do that with every player Gase.

  18. As a Dolphin fan I’m still pissed off at Kiko Alonso, cornerback Byron Maxwell trade
    The Eagles must see Tannenbaum and say, “Here comes that fool again”

  19. Miami get criticized a lot for this trade, but it was a good trade for both teams. The Eagles got a top flight back who’s still on his rookie deal. Miami recoups the 5th round draft pick they spent on him with a 4th rounder and makes room for a guy who fits their system a little better in Kenyan Drake. I liked the running backs we had in Philly, but I’m a heck of a lot more comfortable moving forward with Ajayi in the picture.

  20. I was worried how Jay would fit with Blount already there. It turns out, Jay is a much better receiver than I knew. Blount isn’t getting younger, and Jays knees apparently terrific. They feed off each other well, and Clement is a great 3rd down change of pace.

    We will see what happens next season though. If Blount comes back, or if Sproles returns. Should be interesting for the Eagles.

  21. Lifelong Dolphins fan here.
    Glad to see Ajayi do well in Philly. And I hope he helps Philly beat NE.

    His story is telling of the Phins.
    Yes, he threw a hissy fit last year after Gase handed the starting job to Arian Foster.
    But as we saw – Foster wasn’t the better RB, nor did he have the heart to even stay for a whole season.

    Yes, Ajayi’s departure gave Drake more time. But it also gave Damien Williams more time.
    D Will is a favorite of Gase. Because of his work ethic & special teams play – not because of is production at RB.

    A good offensive coach will get the best out of the weapons on his roster.
    The two guys on offense (Ajayi, Landry) who gave us the most production and effort in 2016
    were in Gase’s doghouse throughout the following season.
    Yet, cronies like Cutler, Thomas, Bushrod falter and high draft picks Tunsil, Carroo & Isiata remain disappointments.
    And even though not one of Gase draft picks – Parker is the former #1 pick that stands in good standing with the coach. SMH

    With all the changes to the coaching staff – 2018 will be a make or break year for Gase.

    As for Philly – ride that J-Train!
    Plays hard – talented and angry runner. Definitely a good fit.
    This trade may have been a personal wake up call for him,
    but he seems to have landed in Philly, in stride and accepted by his new team.

  22. harrisonhits2 says:
    January 30, 2018 at 7:38 pm
    “Eagles have to take advantage of the pats run D giving up 4.7 yards per carry, ranked 31st in the league.”

    Pats are happy to give up yards, just not points. #5 scoring D overall, and #1 the last 10 weeks of the season. Belichick has always had the bend don’t break philosophy for his defenses.

    That said, not giving up a lot of long runs on 1st down would be a big help
    ———-

    I see what you mean, but it’s not just the long runs the pats need to worry about. I believe the eagles led the league in runs of 10 yards or more and also time of possession so it’s not just a big run here and there. They constantly get decent chunks of yardage and ware down their opponent. I’m hoping eagles can do the same to the pats on sunday and keep the ball out of Brady’s hands.

  23. To the guy thanking the Dolphins for Wentz, the Browns had more to do with that deal than the Dolphins. The Dolphins were able to fill two roster spots and still get a guy who was considered the best player in the draft and a big need. Not to mention that Alonso has played better in Miami and Maxwell was rated the 15th best Cb by PFF in 16′ before he got injured and lost his spot to youngsters. Obviously Wentz is awesome but don’t act like Miami got hosed in that deal, the Browns did.

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