In his debut for the Philadelphia Eagles, Jay Ajayi played 27 snaps, a much higher number than was expected.
The Eagles couldn’t keep Ajayi off the field in Philadelphia’s victory over the Denver Broncos, not after he had eight carries for 77 yards (leading the team in rushing), including a 46-yard touchdown run.
There are no more limitation for Ajayi. After a bye week he had extra week to learn the Eagles playbook. There isn’t a package Ajayi doesn’t know in the Eagles game plan.
Philadelphia is set to unchain Ajayi against the biggest NFC rival, Dallas Cowboys.
“When I look at our game plan for this week, I honestly look at it, and there’s probably not a play on there that I wouldn’t feel comfortable putting his number on as far as him learning it and knowing what to do,” said Eagles offensive coordinator Frank Reich. “So I just think that speaks a lot about him as a player.”
Ajayi won’t have a set package designed for him, but the Eagles will have the full arsenal of the playbook at their disposal for him Sunday. That’s film the Dallas Cowboys won’t have until after the game.
“I was impressed with Jay right off the bat in the first week how quickly he grasped it,” Reich said. “Particularly in the protections. And we’ve talked about that a lot in here, how important that is. And you just know. We’ve been around this game long enough as coaches, when a guy gets it, and Jay gets it. You can feel it right from the start. It didn’t hurt to get a vote of confidence when Duce (Staley) tells me after the first day that Jay’s here, and he goes down in the meeting room with him for several hours just to have a crash course, and Duce has been around the block a few times, and for Duce to walk out of that meeting and say, ‘We’re good. We’re good. This guy’s going to be fine mentally.’
“That’s what we’ve seen. So I think the best thing to say about it is: it’s not an issue. It’s not a distraction. It’s not prohibiting us because we do things the way we do with our backs and it’s by committee, we’re not hampered by the fact that he’s relatively new. We’d have a small package anyway, the way we do it. He’s able to handle whatever we give him at this point.”
Full steam ahead for the “Jay Train.”