Should the “QB whisper” Adam Gase give up play calling?

MIAMI, FL - NOVEMBER 04: Head coach Adam Gase of the Miami Dolphins looks on ahead of their game against the New York Jets at Hard Rock Stadium on November 4, 2018 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FL - NOVEMBER 04: Head coach Adam Gase of the Miami Dolphins looks on ahead of their game against the New York Jets at Hard Rock Stadium on November 4, 2018 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

After the Dolphins close loss to the Colts most media and fans alike were pointing fingers at the play calling of Adam Gase.

What was in question was having a ten point lead in the fourth quarter of the game over the Colts and not seeming to (depending on which camp) tack on more points or not running and using the clock bringing into question Adam Gase’s ability to call plays.

I guess both would have been ideal having ideal conditions which the Dolphins weren’t even close to with their injuries (yes excuse factor) but lets look at it.

Center Travis Swanson played 1 snap on special teams and 14 on offense before being done for the day. It is a much bigger ordeal to have a player especially on the OL go out in this fashion as opposed to having a whole week to prepare as the Colts did with their starting center. Also Jake Brendel had practiced to play left guard in place of slumping Ted Larsen but had to play center and Larsen at left guard where his play had many pointing the finger of blame at him. However it looks like the two of them were expecting the other to block the rushing defender on many review films with the end result a rushing defender in the backfield disrupting most plays called when this happened.

This to me is the bigger factor than any play calling. That old adage of the game is won in the trenches rings true here. The long-held notion that guards don’t matter needs to die a fast death if high-octane offense are to be a thing that the NFL seems to promote. To play the what if game: had Josh Sitton not have gotten hurt so very early in the season none of this happens.

Back on the point of play calling: in the fourth quarter we have a two pass and one run exchange three and out for the tack on the score crowd. The last next drive was flipped around to two runs and one pass three and out for run the clock crowd. And to reiterate none of it mattered with porous line play.

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The big deal with those two last runs is it was third and ten but they were also on their own six for the last one and 25 for the second to last. There was also one on the second drive of the game on the Colts 49 that gained six yards by Drake.

Pass it on 4th and short, run it on 3rd and long. I tried to see the thinking behind this strategy but only found analytic stats that seem to back the third and ten draw play but mainly (in my opinion) because of the field position near the goal line. Here are those stats which don’t factor field position which I would like to see.

” On 3rd & 10 the NFL ran the ball only 10% of the time over the last decade, BUT the conversion rate on runs (29%) is same as on passes (29%), with a lower turnover rate (3.9% vs. 5.3%), and lower risk of significant (5+) lost yardage (0.7% vs. 7.9%).”
This is care of Chris Kouffman’s thread on twitter found here.

Some of Gase’s explanations as I tried to interpret his play calls is making it easier on third down situations to get the pickup. This also has to do with favoring Frank Gore a straight up more power type running back than Kenyan Drake a slashing, cutting back with speed and home run risk rewards. However this all became useless when Brock Osweiler played out his last few games with the scoring average plummeting, in fact no touchdowns were scored at all.

There is a risk reward factor that has to play with what personnel are on the field if you want to keep your QB and what playmakers are left in one piece but the bottom line is scoring and winning games and it’s easy to second guess that Gase should have done something differently.

Some overall things to ponder that stem for certain rumors that will be left out as far as bringing on coaching staff for Gase and a speculative stop on doing so from higher up the front office. Also ponder whether legitimate coordinator coaches were hired in backing positions for OC or DC. Is this a lack of Gase not having clout and pedigree? Or is it a concern that those predominate coaches could be a risk to take his job if he faltered? And where does it stem from if there is any truth to it at all?

I am slightly leaning toward having Gase hand over play calling but have been influenced by so much media and social media opinion on it and would like to see other views as well. However the Miami Dolphins coaching situation and the season pans out happy holidays to all.