Will Adam Gase be a success in Miami?
By Michael Fink
After two polar opposite seasons, Adam Gase’s record stands at 16-16 and no one knows if either season was a fluke or a foreshadowing of things to come.
Who is Adam Gase? Is he the coach who had an inspired team that totally bought into his persona in 2016? A team that beat some long odds by winning a slew of one-score games down the stretch? Is he the guy who can adapt and overcome a team off to a poor start as he did that season?
Or is Adam Gase the, in the words of some fans, a stubborn coach with a huge ego who can’t intelligently call plays, and overall a failed experiment?
Let me begin by saying that 2016 team over-achieved big time. They were luckier than good. Players gave great effort down the stretch and when you have that good things tend to happen, but this team was playing over its talent level.
That’s a great reflection on Gase and exactly what you are looking for from the man in charge. Take the pieces that may not be great collectively, and turn out a good product. Gase was able to do that after a somewhat rocky start to the season.
Year two, this past season, just about every possible thing that could go wrong did. It was doomed from the start. Fans criticize Gase for going out and bringing in Jay Cutler. I get it. What I don’t get is why were there lofty expectations placed on this QB by the fans? What Cutler needed was the team around him to excel, much like Ryan Tannehill does.
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Vegas placed the teams’ over-under at -7.5 wins with Tannehill. Could we expect fairly Cutler to come in and exceed that with mediocre players around him, and an offensive line that still is a work in progress? Not if you were reasonable you couldn’t. It was the early part of August and over 100 QB’s were already on rosters somewhere. That’s the fact of the matter. The pickings were slim.
So why not just go with Moore and Fales and save $10 million dollars? Not sure why this is even a question, but I’ll give you the logic behind that decision.
Matt Moore is known to miss games, and Gase wanted to ensure he had two experienced QB’s on the roster in the event one of them was injured. Since Cutler knew the offense, and he worked with him before he was the logical choice.
So the two men spoke and struck a deal that both sides could live with. Gase got his man and Cutler was assured if healthy he’d be the starter. That relegated Matt Moore to remain the backup as he had been behind Ryan Tannehill. If that isn’t the agreement, Cutler would have chosen to go into broadcasting as was his intent before Gase came calling.
We all know the early season difficulties, beginning with the storm, losing a bye week, being displaced, the offensive line struggles, and the London trip, Topped off with their line coach, Chris Foerster making a fool of the organization, and himself.
Foerster ultimately spoke about his addictions, stating he began using cocaine in 2015 while with the 49ers but had been an alcoholic for 30 years. That’s a sickness folks. It’s pretty clear for him to have that problem for that long he had to be pretty good at hiding it, or at least functioning well enough to be considered among the top handful of line coaches in the NFL. I am not sure how Gase gets blamed for this, but according to some, he should have known. Maybe, but unless you were in the building I don’t know how you can make those kinds of accusations, especially with a man who kept employed in his profession of choice for so long.
Once the video was released, Foerster requested a leave of absence, and the team requested he resign instead. It was handled in the proper manner.
Going into last season everyone knew the weaknesses on this team. We all knew the offensive line was an issue, specifically at the guard spot, and the linebacker unit needed an overhaul outside of Alonso. The injury to McMillan set the team back at an area they really didn’t have adequate depth. So they went out and brought in a few veterans who both had seen better days. Timmons, and Mauluaga. Neither one of them lived up to their commitments. It happens, but it left Gase and Burke in a bad spot and the defense suffered because of it.
Band-aids don’t stop the bleeding, they cover the wounds. These players were band-aids, as was Julius Thomas.
This is a team in the process of ridding itself of Ireland’s mess. Until Chris Grier and Mike Tannenbaum can acquire long-term answers at several positions of great need it’s going to be tough to know what Gase is, and more importantly what he can be.
I know it’s been a very long time since this team was truly a force in the AFC, but now more than ever a little patience is required. Looking at the two last draft classes it appears we’re headed in the right direction. Everyone just needs to keep grinding and understand this is a process.
Ryan Tannehill should be back, McMillian should as well, and we’ll have another draft class. We’ll be that much closer to contending.
I do believe Adam Gase will be a good coach, but like any coach you need the talent to be successful.