Adam Gase needs time…from Dolphins fans


Stephen Ross is going to give Miami Dolphins head coach Adam Gase time. Miami fans may not be so willing. We need to. I need to.

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Unimpressed would not be a word I would use to describe how I feel about the hiring of Gase or his staff. Underwhelmed might be. I expected more but maybe that’s because Stephen Ross has led us to believe that we should expect more. Why? In his time with Miami, Ross has gone or tried to go with flash. He has brought the team Ndamukong Suh, tried to land Jeff Fisher, tried to land Peyton Manning, tried to land Jim Harbaugh. We expect flash, we thought we would get flash. We got Adam Gase.

Gase isn’t flash, he was just the hottest prospect in coaching so in a way, we got sparkle. It’s easy to criticize the move because frankly we are all tired of the losing. We are tired of the jokes and we are tired of watching the Patriots win the division. But it’s not like Mike Shanahan, Hue Jackson, Tom Coughlin or any other candidate would have turned this team into an instant winner. They would have been the flash.

I can be critical sometimes when it comes to this team. I support staff when there is no real reason to support them, Jeff Ireland, simply because I like them. As a person. But I don’t have a hidden agenda. I don’t write to simply get “page views” or to sell a paper. I don’t write to win friends or accolades or win awards. I write my opinion which sometimes is well thought out and at other times, as is the case with Vance Joseph, based on a lack real knowledge. I admit that and I’m not afraid to admit that.

What I try to do, most of the time, is to give a formulated, researched opinion and sometimes I hit and sometimes I don’t. We all do. It’s nature but it’s also a reason that sites like this have more venom. We are after all fans and we have one common thread between us all and it’s not selling the news. It’s watching the Dolphins win championships. Or at the very least trying to.

Gase is a unique hire because he has potential to be great. He is smart and innovative and works very well with others. He carries no ego into this job and as a result he is hiring staff that carry no ego with them either. He is building his staff as a team. Something we haven’t seen very often. Under Tony Sparano, the staff was part Bill Parcells, part Jeff Ireland, and part Sparano. He failed because his coaches were not necessarily his coaches.

With Joe Philbin we saw much of the same thing and when the executives couldn’t agree on who should be coaching, a mile wide rift was created that sunk the team. I never root for the Dolphins to lose. Ever. But I will admit that after watching the way the team played in the first three games, I wasn’t overly upset that they lost to the Jets in London. Especially knowing that Philbin may lose his job. I don’t root for people to be fired but I will root for the Dolphins and if rooting for change to better this team is in order, than so be it.

Enter Adam Gase. The fan base is split, almost literally on this hire. In a simple “yes” or “no” poll we conducted on Monday, 1,198 votes were cast. The tally? 50 yes and 50 no. Split. 100% split. That has not happened before with any of our polls.

Miami fans want a winner and we tend to want it now. There is no let’s build this team mentality. We have grown tired of watching this team fail each year. Whether that failure comes from an overwhelming losing season or in the final weeks of the season. Losing is losing and it’s grown tiresome and embarrassing. We see Adam Gase as not the savior of this franchise. Very few view him as a coach who will turn this around. I’m guilty of that because I don’t see him as a coach who will turn this around.

When I think of this hire I think back to Cam Cameron. An up and coming head coach with offensive genius written all over his name. I saw a guy who worked well with quarterbacks and was going to call his own plays. But Cam Cameron couldn’t. He lacked something that everyone says Gase has. An ability to work well with others for a common goal. Cameron worked well with his people but he didn’t have a vision or a plan. We don’t know if Gase does or doesn’t. But comparing the two of them is as unfair as comparing Gase to Joe Philbin or even Dan Campbell.

I don’t expect this team to win the division next year. In fact I don’t expect this team to really compete for the division. I do expect to see changes on both sides of the ball. I expect to see coaches actually developing players and making them better. When I hear Gase say he designs schemes to fit the personnel, I want to see it before I believe it. So do you. We have heard this for far too long to simply buy into the lemonade stand.

The problem is we don’t have time. Or at least we don’t want to give it. We want to win now. We want to be competitive like we were against New England in the final week of the 2015 season. But we want that all season long. Yet it’s time that we have to give here. Gase is going to struggle for a myriad of reasons. His lack of experience will lead to a learning curve as a head coach but with him calling plays, he at least stays in a comfort zone. A zone he likes to be in. See Adam Gase loves calling the offensive plays. He doesn’t just do it because it’s his job. He literally loves that part of the chess match.

Gase is also going to struggle because the Dolphins simply don’t have enough playmaking talent or depth and they won’t get that in one off-season. They won’t get that in two off-seasons. We should start seeing what Adam Gase is and can do in year three when the team is made over into what he wants it to be. When the contracts start to free up cap space and the players who are not developing are phased out and replaced.

And that is time.

As fans we have to be more supportive. Not because it’s the right thing to do in terms of supporting the team it’s because we simply don’t know what this is going to lead to. Ross hasn’t had a great deal of success finding people who work well together but for the first time since his arrival he has an executive staff that is managed as one group. Mike Tannenbaum catches a lot of flack from fans and the media but he has assembled a staff that work together that have no ego’s to upset. Chris Grier isn’t flash but he has been around this dysfunction longer than any other person on that staff. He has been through all of the changes, even the change in ownership.

What Grier lacks in experience he makes up for in knowledge. Knowledge of that very dysfunction that he mentioned in his press conference. He knows that infighting doesn’t work. So does Tannenbaum. So does Adam Gase.

No one can predict the future for this team. The local media may have you on your heels wondering what the hell is going on in Davie but they don’t really know. They may be more informed about issues behind the curtain but they don’t really know any more than you or I how this will work out. Unlike them, I and you are not trying to keep our jobs by driving readers to their site to sell their papers or their stories. We can be fans and we can sit back and hope that this turns out the way we want. That takes patience. On your part, and especially on mine.

As a writer, or a hack writer, I try to stay professional when voicing my concerns or voicing things I don’t like but at times my patience can wear thin. This is not to say that I am going to start glossing over my articles with flurries of positive quotes and opinions. I won’t. I will keep it as real as I can and informed as I can but perhaps with a little more patience giving this staff “time” to show us all what they can bring to this organization. And you know what, it may not last long.

Three years. That is my expectation. Three years to see real progress in this team. In an article last week I said I would be willing to give someone like Mike Shanahan three years to turn the culture around even if it meant losing. I have to afford Gase the same. We all do. And we can take comfort in knowing that win or lose, we still have a team to root for.

Time. Patience. Two very strong words with a lot of implications in them. And yet they are so easy to say and so hard to stand by.