Adam Gase has that type of astute focus and intensity that keeps his audience hanging on every word. And just when you fear this might be the second coming of Bill Belichick (from a personality stand-point) he cracks that wry smile that permeates his attitude of “just another one of the guys.”
It isn’t a mystery that I’m a massive believer in everything that Adam Gase is selling as the face of the Miami Dolphins organization.
Going from the Nicktator, to a flubbering bafoof, to an old school antiquated coach and finally to a guy more concerned with bed checks, littering and the Christian faith (or lack thereof) of his players, Dolphins fans have been conditioned to ignore the head coach’s media availability.
From the pierced lips of Nick Saban and Tony Sparano to the presentation of an unprepared, milquetoast figure in Cam Cameron or Joe Philbin, Adam Gase is a breath of fresh air for those seeking transparency and substance from the man in charge.
Adam Gase spoke in front of a panel of journalists at the owner’s meetings Tuesday morning in Phoenix. His honesty, intensity and dedication to building a winner in South Florida were all on display.
Here are the takeaways from that pseudo-press conference:
– The team plans on having Ryan Tannehill available from day one of the off-season program and that he’s been cleared to do any type of workout this off-season.
– Chris Grier and his scouting staff are in charge of that draft. Gase made it clear that he wasn’t lumping Mike Tannenbaum’s name into that group. There is clear direction and outline for everyone’s job within the organization for the first time in a long time.
– The run defense was an issue for a number of reasons. Run fits were poor, tackling was poor. Additions of Lawrence Timmons, Nate Allen and William Hayes helps overall tackling. Veteran guys injected on a young defense should go a long way.
– The offense has to shoulder its blame for the poor defensive effort too. You need three phases playing in harmony because when the defense is on the field for 81 snaps, getting multiple three and outs can go unnoticed. The offense needs to execute better and stay on the field.
– Mike Pouncey and Jermon Bushrod graded out as the top two offensive linemen on the team. Keeping Pouncey healthy is imperative because he’s an elite player in this league.
– Alshon Jeffery was the only WR he ever coached that, when he sent a play into the huddle, he told the QB to ignore coverage and just throw it up because Jeffery is gifted enough to make a play. He looks 6-5 on tape but he’s really only 6-2. We need Devante Parker to play that above the rim style.
– He put too much on some of the young guy’s plates – notably, Leonte Carroo. Being the 4th wide receiver, he has to be able to back up all positions and he wasn’t suited to do that.
– What he looks for in a corner. Can he tackle? Play man? Football knowledge. Getting Xavien Howard acclimated coming from the BIG 12 where it’s all spread out and now he’s facing stacked formations and route combinations he hasn’t seen before. The off-season injury really slowed his progress. “Big spring for X,” said Gase.
– In Denver, they had Chris Harris, Bradley Roby and Aqib Talib and we’re playing man-to-man all game.
The above jives with some of the things we’ve heard from Mike Tannenbaum this off-season. We have to get better at challenging routes early, at the line of scrimmage, and at all three corner positions. The Patriots offense is equipped to destroy zones with their intimate knowledge of their own play book. They’ve also got man-beaters that destroy teams that don’t match-up well.
– Gase made a mention of drafting a defender in the first round, particularly front 7.
– Nate Allen gives us two safeties that can both do everything. Reshad Jones is the best safety in the league.
– He knows what they’ve got to do to get the most out of Jordan Phillips. Phillips’s job is to stay in the scheme because it affects the guys behind him. Suh stays within the scheme 99% of the time and get his job done. But when he does go outside of the scheme he makes a play – but not everyone is that gifted. But their job is to allow other guys to make plays and Phillips needs to realize that.
Again, these are the answers from an organization that is in lockstep every single step of the way. They are on the same page in that the team must:
1.) Develop the young players on the roster and continue to put more on their plates.
2.) The offense needs to stay on the field longer and give the run defense a rest.
3.) They need to get better on run defense as well as get more physical on the edge both with tackling and the ability to play tight, man-coverage.
The 10-6 playoff run may have had some luck sprinkled in as the Dolphins edged out some far inferior opponents in the waning minutes of football games. Even if the team progresses, it may not show up in the win column.
But that doesn’t change the fact that, for the first time in nearly two decades, the Dolphins have the organizational stability and direction the fan-base has longed for.
All right, Miami!