Is New Dolphins Head Coach Adam Gase the Answer to Dolfans’ Prayers?

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On January 8, the Miami Dolphins signed former Bears offensive coordinator Adam Gase as their new head coach. The spot was made available after the Dolphins decided to not retain interim head coach Dan Campbell who replaced the fired Joe Philbin midseason. The signing makes Gase, 37 years old, the youngest head coach in the NFL.

Gase earned publicity with the Broncos in 2011-2012, when he turned an injury-riddled Peyton Manning into an elite quarterback once again, even at Manning’s advanced age. The following year, Manning’s success continued when Gase was promoted to offensive coordinator. When the Broncos fired their head coach John Fox, Fox went to the Chicago Bears, bringing Gase with him. This past season, Gase turned Jay Cutler from a quarterback who had the clumsiness of Patrick Star into a quarterback who resembled his old Denver self: cool, calm and collected. He lessened Cutler’s turnovers in Chicago, while in Denver, Manning went through serious regression without the tutoring of Gase.

After the Dolphins came away from an interview with Campbell looking to be hired on a permanent basis, Gase was placed atop their wish list, as he was with many other teams.

At Gase’s introductory press conference, he was hammered with questions about how he would turn the Dolphin’s offense, who were an anemic 27th in the league in points scored and 26th in average yards per game, into the fine-tuned machine he is expected to make them. His response (courtesy of MiamiDolphins.com): “We are going to look at the roster we have right now and build our schemes around our players…we are a very fluid offense…we are really going to base this thing around the guys that we have on the roster and what we add on there…”

The new coach will have a lot on his plate, as he will have to show a disgruntled fan base that the “Gase Effect” will work on quarterback Ryan Tannehill, who they signed to a five-year, $96 million contract this past offseason. He will also have to turn the Dolphins defense into the destructive force it’s meant to be, while dealing with expectations from the front office and having limited future cap space.

However, Gase will have flexibility. He has been given full control of the 53-man starting roster, allowing him to sign and release players as much as his young heart desires. Plus, due to the Dolphin’s massive midseason coaching exodus, where the head coach, offensive coordinator and defense coordinator were fired, Gase will have the ability to fully retool his coaching staff.

Since his hiring, Gase has added a rather impressive list of names to his coaching staff: offensive coordinator Clyde Christensen (former offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Indianapolis); defensive coordinator Vance Joseph (former defensive backs coach at Cincinnati); offensive line coach Chris Foerster (former offensive line coach at Washington); linebackers coach Matt Burke (former linebackers coach at Cincinnati); wide receivers coach Shawn Jefferson (former wide receivers coach at Tennessee); and tight ends coach Shane Day (former assistant offensive line coach at Washington).

On a side note, Dan Campbell has joined the New Orleans Saints as assistant head coach and tight ends coach, and Joe Philbin has joined the Indianapolis Colts as assistant head coach and offensive line coach. The irony of Philbin as an offensive line coach is not lost on Dolphins fans.

For a team who has had its handful, make that four handfuls, of bad luck and unfortunate events, hiring Gase has the potential to turn this team around in a heartbeat. Who knows, by the end of Gase’s career, we may replace “Adam, Eve and the Garden of Eden” with “Adam, Tannehill and the Miami Dolphins.”

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