By HCR Staff | Sept. 9, 2018
Between now and the start of the 2018 season, Head Coach Ranking will provide a scouting report on all 32 NFL head coaches. Today, we’ll take a look at Miami Dolphins head coach Adam Gase.
Adam Gase enters his third year as head coach of the Dolphins. After making the playoffs as a rookie head coach in 2016, Gase and the Dolphins suffered through a dismal 6-10 season last year.
There were, however, extenuating circumstances.
Gase lost QB Ryan Tannehill to an ACL injury prior to the season and had to settle on Jay Cutler as a last-minute replacement. Thus, the season was off to a difficult start, notwithstanding the fact that Gase had prior experience with Cutler.
Then, the home opener had to be rescheduled due to Hurricane Irma, and that resulted in the Dolphins having to use Week 1 as their bye week — in other words, the Dolphins had to play 16 consecutive games without a break.
Gase is considered to be an excellent offensive mind — he was the offensive coordinator for the 2013 Denver Broncos that set the regular-season record for points scored. He has an excellent pedigree, and players seem to enjoy playing for him.
His team generally is well prepared, but last year’s edition seemed to lack consistent focus and enthusiasm. At the first sign of adversity, the Dolphins never consistently rose to the challenge. Instead, there were too many dispirited performances where the team appeared to go into the tank too easily (last season’s game in London versus the Saints comes to mind).
But Gase is capable of much more, and the home victory over the Patriots last season demonstrates this. In that game, the Dolphins thoroughly outplayed and out-coached the Patriots; it was a dominating performance.
In 2016, NFL insiders were speaking about Gase like they now speak about Sean McVay — with a measure of awe and infinite potential. They don’t speak like that about Gase anymore — instead, his name is accompanied by the words “hot seat.”
Gase needs more help from his front office. It simply isn’t considered a strong group. And while he’s entering Year 3 as a head coach, Gase is only 40 years old, and he still is developing as a coach.
We still see much promise in Gase. But we agree that while he was a great coordinator, we still don’t know if he is a great head coach. While he did have to labor under some adversity last year, we still expected the Dolphins to perform better than they did. Since they ended up performing badly, perhaps we have overestimated Gase’s abilities as a head coach. But it’s still early in his tenure, and if Dolphins owner Stephen Ross shows a bit more patience, he may have a long-term winner in Adam Gase.
Previous HC Previews:
Pete Carroll, Seattle Seahawks
Sean McVay, Los Angeles Rams
Kyle Shanahan, San Francisco 49ers
Steve Wilks, Arizona Cardinals
Mike McCarthy, Green Bay Packers
Mike Zimmer, Minnesota Vikings
Matt Patricia, Detroit Lions
Matt Nagy, Chicago Bears
Dirk Koetter, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Sean Payton, New Orleans Saints
Dan Quinn, Atlanta Falcons
Ron Rivera, Carolina Panthers
Jay Gruden, Washington Redskins
Pat Shurmur, New York Giants
Jason Garrett, Dallas Cowboys
Doug Pederson, Philadelphia Eagles
Jon Gruden, Oakland Raiders
Vance Joseph, Denver Broncos
Anthony Lynn, Los Angeles Chargers
Andy Reid, Kansas City Chiefs
John Harbaugh, Baltimore Ravens
Hue Jackson, Cleveland Browns
Marvin Lewis, Cincinnati Bengals
Mike Tomlin, Pittsburgh Steelers
Doug Marrone, Jacksonville Jaguars
Bill O’Brien, Houston Texans
Frank Reich, Indianapolis Colts
Mike Vrabel, Tennessee Titans
Bill Belichick, New England Patriots
Todd Bowles, New York Jets
Sean McDermott, Buffalo Bills