With all the work a player puts into an NFL season, the final loss of the season is never easy to deal with. That pill is even tougher to swallow when you lose 30-12 like the Miami Dolphins did in their Wildcard round game against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday. Dolphins running back Jay Ajayi talked about the sour taste in his mouth after Pittsburgh on The Jim Rome Show on Tuesday, but also said he plans on using it as motivation for the 2017 season.
“Everything you work for all off-season on through the pre-season to the regular season, up to this point, that’s what you work for, is to try to make it to the Super Bowl. So us not reaching that goal, it hurts,” Ajayi said about the blowout in Pittsburgh. “You just try to remember that feeling and let it motivate it you, so that you can make it all the way to the Super Bowl and reach your goals.”
From an individual standpoint, Ajayi’s 2016 season was highly productive, finishing with over 1,272 yards rushing and 8 touchdowns. That came off a rookie season where he carried the ball only 49 times. The Boise State product spoke about staying ready for when his number was called.
“I always had the confidence to know I could go in an perform at a high level, it was just kind of waiting for my opportunity,” Ajayi said. “I was grateful for what our o-line did all year for me, and I just wanted to run hard every time I touched the ball and to have performances I had this year, I feel it’s a great start for me. I just got to keep improving.”
After back-to-back 200-yard rushing games in October, Ajayi didn’t let the success go to his head, and talked about staying humble when things are going great and building upon those performances.
“I know the moment you think you got it, you can lose it real easily, so I always want to keep getting better,” Ajayi said. “I feel like I have a long ways to go, but I still think the skies the limit for myself. I just got to keep pushing myself to get better.”
The 23-year-old also talked about his physical throwback running style. “I would describe myself as a violent runner who has a lot of tools in his tool box to use against any defender,” he said. “I always try to keep it interesting and be able to make people miss and break tackles and just always running hard trying to do whatever I can do to put the team in great situations and scoring touchdowns for the team, that’s what I’m always trying to do.”