Well Miami Dolphins, we got our new coach. For a lot, it was not the guy they wanted. Owner Stephen Ross liked Adam Gase from the start, and the team took just six days to find their new head coach since the end of the regular season. Whether or not Gase pans out will not be answered for years to come, but I for one have changed my mind on Gase. I started off skeptical, he seemed like just another "hot coordinator" without previous head coaching experience, but now I think otherwise. I am starting to like this hire a lot.
And here's why.
Gase has learned underneath some of the game's best. He began as college assistant to Nick Saban as a member of the Michigan State Spartans almost twenty years ago. Saban had the following to say about Gase:
Nick Saban: When Saban left Michigan State for LSU in 2000, Gase was the only assistant coach that he brought with him. “It was a conceptual thing with Adam, he just understood how things worked and he was willing to work and start from ground zero,” Saban told The New York Times. (Via the Miami Herald)
This shows just how much Saban, one of the most winningest coaches in NCAA football, backs Gase and believes in him.
Peyton Manning called him "smartest guy I know. Adam is a lot like me in that he's always thinking of how we can do something better or different — or both. And he has an almost photographic memory. He can recall a defensive scheme we saw from eight games back and remember our exact formation and the play called." (Manning's offense set an NFL record for points with Gase calling the plays in 2013.) (via the Miami Herald)
Anytime Peyton Manning, a control freak who demands control of an offense, says something that positive about a coach, you know he has to at least have the knowledge of what he is talking about.
Finally, here is what Broncos executive and former Super Bowl winner John Elway said about Gase:
Broncos executive John Elway: "I wish I could have played for him. I think that he's so bright and he's working with Peyton and having been here with Josh (McDaniels) before that -- who is a very bright, young offensive mind -- he has just used all of that and learned from all that. With (Mike) McCoy here, then Peyton here and now him on his own, he's been able to put them all together and mold it as his personality and I think he's done a tremendous job. That shows up in the numbers we've put up." (Via the Miami Herald).
One thing already sticks out about Gase (something that never stood out about Philbin during his time in Miami), and that is that Gase is respected throughout the league and is ready to make the jump to head coach from coordinator. He is extremely bright, and knows the X's and O's better than anybody.
What's more, Gase has already announced that he will have a say in the team's personnel and 53 man roster, in addition to working closely with Mike Tannenbaum and new GM Chris Grier. This is something we haven't seen in Miami in years. A coach who has a say in personnel. This is a demand normall enforced by a veteran, proven coach.
That's a check in Gase's favorite.
In addition, Gase has announced he will call the offensive plays, seeing that he has done that since his days in Denver. Philbin never called the plays. He never took initiative to run the offense the way he wanted to. He sat on the sideline and observed. Gase already has a swagger about him, as if he knows exactly what he is doing already.
Gase has already promised and shown more in just a few hours than Joe Philbin ever did in his four years as the Dolphins head coach. Obviously, it will take time to tell if Gase will pan out as the head coach of the Miami Dolphins, but I already like the feeling I am getting when listening to him talk and watching his press conferences. He is the type of guy who won't take nonsense, but will also be open to listening to his players, something he has already promised.
Gase is not a guy with all the answers. But what he does have his an immense knowledge of the game, valuable experience running successful offenses with what he is given, and the ability to improve his QB's play.
And that, as of now, is something to be happy about.
Stay tuned for more information regarding this hire and Gase's staff as it unfolds in the oncoming days.