Dolphins’ Adam Gase retains 9 of Philbin’s staff


The Miami Dolphins fired Joe Philbin after the fourth week of the season. They fired the defensive coordinator and a month later the offensive coordinator. The rest of the season saw Miami win five more games. It was thought that a complete overhaul was in order but that wasn’t the case.

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Adam Gase for what ever reason couldn’t bring in the top names in coaching when he arrived in Miami. He hired first time defensive coordinator Vance Joseph despite former head coaches Mike Smith and Jim Schwartz on the market. He hired a long time offensive guy to run the offense but has opted to call his own plays. Of the 21 staff members hired by Gase, nine of them return from Joe Philbins staff.

So why so many? It’s a common question being asked on social media, mainstream media, and on fan forums. Why so many from a regime that failed? Lou Anarumo the teams interim defensive coordinator is returning to his natural defensive backs position and Darren Rizzi is returning as an assistant head coach/special teams coordinator. Something just doesn’t fit here. Something doesn’t feel right.

Many believe that Gase simply never had the resources to pull from. That was a concern regarding the retention of Dan Campbell as head coach. It was believed that Gase would be able to use his popularity and the respect from other coaches and players to build a formidable coaching staff but that hasn’t been the case and won’t be the case. There is no history of success with these coaches at a high NFL level.

On Tuesday, Mike Tannenbaum discussed the coaching hires with media at this weeks Senior Bowl practices.

"“The coaching staff in particular reports to Adam and certainly Chris and I made some suggestions, but they [all] went through and were vetted through a pretty rigorous process. They wouldn’t be on our staff if Adam didn’t feel good about them.” – via Adam Beasley of the Miami Herald.(retaining 9 coaches) “was the right decision, not the easy one.”"

This is a bit of a concern for me in the sense that if Tannenbaum and Grier got involved with the coaching hires, does that mean Gase couldn’t find his own staff? Is this nothing more than a combined effort between all parties to get the right people in the right places to make the team better? I doubt a coach like Mike Shanahan would have felt the need to get Tannenbaum’s recommendations.

Tannenbaum followed up the question of the nine returning coaches but it almost comes across more or less trying to convince everyone else.

"“I think to add to that, two other things come to mind. He’s a very authentic person. And to go back to the previous question, nine coaches staying, it would be easy to come in and say, ‘Hey, this team was 6-10, they’re all gone.’ I thought he was very methodical. I thought he was very fair, very critical, and I think we got a great result.”"

I am trying to get back to a positive state with this new staff but it’s difficult to believe that yet another first time head coach is going to succeed where the last three failed. Given the mess the team is in on the field, the problems with the salary cap, poor draft history, and despite what the Dolphins will say, internal questions with the executive front office staff, I’m simply not buying into it yet. I’ve drunk that kool-aid before.

Whether the nine coaches make a difference or not there is a likely benefit for Gase as a result of the retention. If everything goes south next season, he has nine scapegoats on his coaching staff he can point his finger at.