Miami Dolphins’ rookie running back Jay Ajayi has told Double Coverage that he isn’t feeling any added pressure to produce ahead of Sunday’s NFL Wildcard game against Pittsburgh Steelers.
Ajayi has become the powerhouse behind the Dolphins run to the play-offs since quarterback Ryan Tannehill went down with a bad knee sprain in Week 14, but Ajayi insists that the Dolphins will be able to put up scores on the Steelers.
Speaking on Friday afternoon, Ajayi said: “I wouldn’t say there’s more onus on the running game. Matt (Moore) has played the last three games and has scored touchdowns through the air and showcased what he can do. I don’t feel there’s added pressure on me to produce. I know what my role is on this team.”
“If I’m productive on the ground and our O-Line is coming off the ball, then we have good games, so it’s about everyone doing their job,” continued Ajayi, “It’s going to come down to a whole team effort – it’s the play-offs and everyone has to come with their A-game.”
The London-born back also dismissed fears that the Steelers may stack the box against him, despite his impressive two-touchdown, 208 yard showing against them in the regular season.
“They will respect what we did earlier in the year and they understand it wasn’t a fluke. Their defence will probably make some adjustments, but whatever they do doesn’t really matter to me or to us as a team.”
– Ajayi on the Pittsburgh defence
“The Dolphins have got to go out there and no matter what the Steelers decide to do and execute our plays, our scheme and our details,” said Ajayi. “If we do that, we’ll be fine – no matter what those guys decide to do.”
The game will be Ajayi’s first experience of the play-offs, but the 23-year old seemed unflustered by the prospect of a frigid Heinz Field and the Terrible Towel.
“Even though it is win-or-go-home, it’s still football. You have to go and play your game – you can’t go in there thinking the moment is too big otherwise you won’t succeed,” said Ajayi. “I’m ready for that atmosphere. I haven’t experienced it yet but I’ve played in big games throughout my life”
“I’m confident in myself and that the moment won’t be too big for me.”