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Gase: Kenyan Drake 'really looking to bust out' in 2018

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Now that leading receiver Jarvis Landry is in Cleveland, the Dolphins' offense is in search of a new focal point.

After leading the NFL with 444 rushing yards over the final five weeks of last season, third-year running back Kenyan Drake is a prime candidate for a featured role in 2018.

"I think we just have a guy that's really looking to bust out," coach Adam Gase said recently of Drake, per the Palm Beach Post.

A third-round pick out of Alabama, Drake was slow to endear himself to Miami's coaching staff while touching the ball just 42 times as a rookie. Beginning last summer, though, Gase noticed a more mature approach that has helped Drake develop into a three-down back.

As well as he ran the ball in the second half of last season, his receiving ability was perhaps overlooked. Gase is itching to get the ball in Drake's hands as a mismatch in the passing game.

"I think we've got a guy that can do multiple things," Gase explained. "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.

"He has a really good feel for a lot of different types of routes, which there's a lot of value there, because now linebackers, when they cover him, they're not really sure what he's going to do. He's not tied into one thing or two things."

That sounds like the type of multi-dimensional weapon Gase won't want wasted on the sidelines in a committee attack.

Drake's primary competition for snaps is Frank Gore, who turned 35 on Monday. Whereas a declining Gore managed just 3.77 yards per carry in three seasons with the Colts, Drake has averaged an impressive 5.0 yards on 166 rushes with the Dolphins.

With demonstrated productivity down the stretch and a plum opportunity in Gase's backfield, Drake is among the most obvious candidates to make the leap this season.

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