Adam Gase will be missed on the Chicago Bears sidelines. As the new head coach (courtesy of CBS Sports) of the Miami Dolphins gave his emotional introductory speech, it was easy to tell that the journey of the 37-year-old new hire was well traveled. It took several interviews for head coaching positions for Adam Gase to get here.
Last season, according to NFL.com, Gase was reported to have the San Francisco 49ers job in his grasp. There was a hang up which prevented that from taking place. It was his insistence on having Vic Fangio retained as his defensive coordinator. The 49ers balked, wanting Gase to hire Jim Tomsula (courtesy of the Mercury News) as the head defensive boss. They would eventually hire Tomsula as their coach.
Adam Gase did land on his feet as the offensive coordinator of the Bears. Tomsula’s 49ers team would upset Chicago at Soldier Field during the season, but they struggled throughout the year finishing 5-11. Jim Tomsula was fired before the final game of Week 17 took place, while Adam Gase was on his way to getting one of the available coaching jobs. Some would call the Miami Dolphins vacancy the most attractive one.
Imagine how things would have been had San Francisco not have been defiant about their assistant coaching demands? The 49ers’ loss became a gain for the Bears, and will now help the Dolphins. Losing out on the 49ers’ job did not hurt Adam Gase one bit. He would tell ESPN’s Jeff Dickerson that he was ok with being passed over for the position.
“I’m excited that I was able to come to the Bears. This is where I wanted to be. I feel like this is where I was meant to be — working with this group on offense, being with coach John Fox. So this has been a great spot for me.”
Gase knew that the experience he received just from conducting the interviews would help him in the long run.
“I don’t even know how close I was to getting the job… It’s been such a… I haven’t even thought about it. It’s so in the past right now.
“But that whole experience was great for me. It was a crazy two days and unfortunately we lost the first round of the playoffs. Any time you get a chance to do something like that, it’s a great experience.”
After spending a few years helping future Hall of Famer Peyton Manning, Gase took this past season to place Jay Cutler under his tutelage. Adam Gase finally lands a job, and the job he gets has more talent than the Bears’ job he left and the 49ers’ gig that he was passed over for.
Adam Gase went from Peyton Manning to Jay Cutler, and now to Ryan Tannehill. Tannehill is just as talented as a quarterback as Cutler. He has the tools to become as precise as Manning. The problem is that he has not been coached up properly. Gase’s calling card is that of a quarterback guru. He should be able to unlock Tannehill’s potential, as long as the QB is willing to learn.
Former Dolphins’ head coaches Joe Philbin and interim boss Dan Campbell failed at getting the $96 million signal-caller on the right path. Helping Tannehill reach his ceiling should be an walk in the park for Adam Gase, who rebuilt the Bears’ Jay Cutler practically from scratch.
It was Jay Cutler, who had his most efficient season as a professional under Adam Gase’s watch. Cutler threw for over 3,659 yards, with 21 touchdowns versus 11 interceptions. The 11 intercepted passes were the second-lowest as a Bear. Adam Gase also helped Jay Cutler reach the highest quarterback rating of his career with 92.3. The embattled Bears’ QB used his feet to buy time behind a patched up offensive line, rarely forcing throws once he stepped out of the pocket. It is safe to say that Adam Gase helped make Jay Cutler a better player. Losing him as the offensive coordinator will be a huge loss for the Bears.
Cutler took some time to reflect on Adam Gase’s tenure with him during an interview with ESPN.
“I couldn’t be happier for Adam and his family. He has worked extremely hard his entire career and is very deserving of this opportunity. I wish he could stay with us in Chicago, but everyone has a journey and this is the next part of his. His work with quarterbacks is well-documented and I know firsthand how good he is. He will now continue to have success in this league as a head coach. I thank him for all his hard work and look forward to following this next step in his career.”
Awaiting Adam Gase at his next step is Ryan Tannehill and a talented group of offensive playmakers.
Adam Gase will have some skilled receivers in Jarvis Landry, DeVante Parker, Rishard Matthews, and Kenny Stills. He also inherits underutilized running back Lamar Miller and tight end Jordan Crawford. There is an abundance of talent on the defensive side of the football with Ndamukong Suh, Cameron Wake, and Brett Grimes.
There is a lot to like about this Miami Dolphins’ team, but everything will come down to how Adam Gase and Ryan Tannehill can connect with each other. Having guided the careers of Peyton Manning and Jay Cutler already gives Gase an advantage. That credibility will instantly hold serve in the Dolphins’ locker room. What would help Adam Gase tremendously is him retaining interim head coach Dan Campbell as the tight ends coach, or under another assistant title. Campbell’s knowledge of the Dolphins’ roster could prove to be invaluable. As of now, Campbell is uncertain about his future.
The Miami Dolphins’ hiring of Adam Gase is a great haul by them. His experience on the sidelines will offset his age. Again, Gase is 37. As long as the Dolphins’ players, namely Ryan Tannehill, believe in his game plans and execute them, the Dolphins have the talent to wrest the AFC East from the tight grip of the New England Patriots. The San Francisco 49ers missed out on Adam Gase. The Chicago Bears will have a huge hole to fill with him no longer being the offensive coordinator. Somewhere, there are several smiling Miami Dolphins’ fans. They know that Adam Gase has the smarts to turn their team around.
[Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images Sport]