Quarterbacks aren't the only footballers competing for a starting job in Miami this summer. The running backs are getting in on the action, too.
Drake is Miami's leading returning rusher (535 yards in 2018) with Frank Gore out the door and was thought to be the starter coming into 2019. But the second-year Ballage, who averaged 5.3 yards per carry last year, has played with the first team through two days of training camp practice, per multiple reports.
It's still early in the summer and things can change, but starting Ballage ahead of Drake, who's entering a contract year, would be surprising. It's more likely the two split snaps come September. For what it's worth, neither back is worried about his status as the starter at this point in the season.
"I'm not worried about it," Ballage told reporters Thursday, per the Miami Herald. "I think at the end of the day, like I said, if we're a winning team, both of us are going to be able to make a whole bunch of plays and get a lot of individual stats."
Said Drake, per the Herald, "I know who I am and what I can control. It's all about controlling the controllables. There's only one ball. I try to go out there and put my team in the best position to win games. That's all I can do."
For first-year head coach Brian Flores, playing Ballage with the first team to begin training camp isn't about sending a message, rather seeing who fits in which roles.
"You can expect us to put guys in positions to do things that they do well," Flores said, per the Herald. "If we've got a guy who can do everything well, then you might see that guy on every day. If we have guys that are better at one role and not as good at another, we'll try to put those guys in those positions. Sometimes guys get tired. We need all of our guys to be versatile."
For Fin-atics and fantasy owners alike, this will be a position battle of interest.