When Adam Gase become the new Miami Dolphins head coach this past off-season, some fans loved the idea, others hated the idea, and some had their reservations. Adam Gase is winning over his detractors within the Dolphins fanbase.
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In years past I have had an opportunity to meet each of the Dolphins coaches. Cam Cameron, Tony Sparano, Joe Philbin, even Dan Campbell. This year I was looking forward to meeting and speaking with Adam Gase, just as I have the other coaches over the past 10 seasons.
That didn’t happen and while I was disappointed at first I understood later.
2016 has been an interesting season for the first year head coach. He started 1-4 and many believe that the Dolphins should have beaten both the Seahawks and the Patriots but there is no question they should not have beaten the Cleveland Browns. After the loss to Tennessee the Dolphins began a six game winning streak.
Without being able to talk with this new head coach how could I formulate an opinion on him? Well if you really want to know my opinion of Gase from a personal experience level, then keep reading because while I didn’t get to ask him any questions or listen to him talk to our group, I did get to see him in action nonetheless, off the game day field.
Before I go into that it’s important that I lay a foundation of previous first and even second and third impressions. When I first met Cam Cameron I was surprised by how casual he was. He came off far more as a guy who really didn’t know what direction he wanted to go in, only that he wanted to “convince” you he knew what he was doing.
The first time I met Tony Sparano was actually unforgettable and funny. He was all business. He arrived in the teams auditorium wearing a goldish yellow suit and came off far more as a New York mob boss than an NFL head coach. A good friend of mine from Newfoundland, Paul Brothers, raised his hand and simply said, “you scare me.”
Sparano didn’t laugh, didn’t even crack a smile. He simply replied, “Good, then i’m doing my job. Any other comments or questions from you?”. He was a very gracious guest and took the time to answer all of our questions. In his final season he was far more agitated and showed even with us. When asked about the Wild Cat being a problem for his offense, Sparano simply quipped, “you loved it when it was working right now you want to criticize it.”
If Cameron was aloof, and Sparano was more disciplined, then Joe Philbin was far too laid back. Philbin was soft spoken and at times you had to strain to hear him. He was also very monotone and one note. Pleasant for sure and no one would say he wasn’t easy to respect. But Philbin had some issues.
For starters, Philbin didn’t always seem to know the answers to the questions, sometimes simple questions and he and Jeff Ireland were not always on the same page which could have created issues but luckily didn’t. At times it was hard to believe Philbin because frankly, it was hard to know if Philbin believed himself sometimes.
Dan Campbell was fun. He was brooding, strong, and towering. I sat in the very front row and when I asked him about changing the culture and getting the players to change how they play after Philbin, he took offense to it.
"“I’m tired of people trying to throw Philbin under the bus” he said directly at me, about two to three feet away."
This is a seriously big guy and you could see the Oklahoma Drill style of coaching when he talked. There was an old school-new school vibe about him that was infectious. When Campbell left the room, everyone in the room wanted to suit up and play on Sunday.
And then came Adam Gase.