Dolphins coach Adam Gase had a little fun with reporters earlier this week, listing veteran acquisition Frank Gore and promising third-year back Kenyan Drake as co-starters on the first official depth chart of training camp.
"I wouldn't look too much into this depth chart," Gase added.
While Gore is expected to carve out a steady role with his hometown team, he understands that Drake is the more explosive runner at this stage of their respective careers. Watching opponent's film for a game late last season, the 35-year-old was immediately struck by Drake's talent in a 120-yard performance versus Denver's daunting defense.
"I was like, 'Man, I kind of see why they traded Jay Ajayi,'" Gore said this week, via the Palm Beach Post. "He's very talented. Jay Ajayi was a great back, too, but Kenyan is a very talented guy. He's smart. He can do everything on the field. I think that me and him can really help this team be successful this year."
Drake's elusiveness was on full display down the stretch last year as he led the NFL with 444 rushing yards over the season's final five weeks.
Would Gase consider benching an obvious playmaker averaging 5.0 yards on 166 career carries out of deference to Gore's 14 NFL seasons? It's more likely the former Miami Hurricanes star has returned home to fulfill a mentoring role that will work to Drake's advantage.
Gase is already on record with a prediction that Drake is "really looking to bust out" in 2018.
"I think we've got a guy that can do multiple things," Gase explained in May. "You could put him in the slot if you wanted to. You can use him in empty, you can use him from the backfield. You just can create a lot of different matchups."
As a multi-dimensional weapon just entering the prime of his career, Drake offers the skill set to function as the focal point of Miami's offense. Depth-chart shenanigans aside, Gase isn't going to waste that breakout potential this season.