Kalen Ballage Bursts Into the NFL! And Then His Head Coach Promptly Benches Him

In yet another inexplicable play-calling failure, Adam Gase watched rookie RB Kalen Ballage become a man before our very eyes, only to suddenly stop using him.  Only Adam Gase pours water on his own red hot players.   It makes us angry when Gase does this, but it infuriates us when he does it weekly.

So starting late in the second quarter, Gase (rightfully) kept calling Ballage’s number.   He picked up first downs on normal rushes.   He picked up big chunks from the wildcat.  He made the right calls in his options, handing off to Kenyan Drake for big gains.  Down 7-21, we rode Ballage all the way down to first and goal.   Then Gase did what he always does.   He stopped using his hottest player.

First and goal, Tannehill missed a wide open Drake on his right.   Instead of tossing a screen pass to Drake and walking into the end zone, Tanny forced a ball into Nick O’Leary.  Second down, again no Ballage.  This time, Amendola dropped a pass.   Third down, Tanny threw a pig of a pass to DeVante Parker, which shoulda been picked.

So Gase let Ballage carry us into a first and goal situation, and then took him away and put his faith in Tannehill instead.  Wrong move.

So then came halftime.  On our very first play, Gase used Ballage again, and he rewarded Gase with a 75-yard gorgeous TD run.  It was as if Ballage said, “How dare you bench me at the end of the first half.   Let me show you I deserve to play.”  After he scored, surely now it was time to keep using him, right?   Surely Gase realized that the Vikings had no answers for him.

We held the Vikes to a 3 and out and got the ball back.   Ballage ran for ANOTHER first down, and we had a new 1st and 10.   AND we had all the momentum in the world, down 4 points and driving. With Kalen Ballage looking like Barry Sanders each time he touched the ball.

Unfortunately, Adam Gase did not want him to touch the ball any more.  A sack ensued.   Then another.   Then a third pass in a row failed to come close to a 1st down.

“Kalen Ballage has 120+ yards on his last 5 carries? Better bench him immediately.”

You all saw the game.   I am not exaggerating the massive effect Ballage had.   Just like when Frank Gore was running over Colts and Bengals and Lions, only to be ignored by his coach.   There is something inherently wrong with Adam Gase. He wants to pass pass pass the ball no matter what kind of monumental numbers the RBs are putting up.

Anyway, we punted there, and the Vikes rewrote the rest of the game.

By the way, Ballage got ONE more carry after that.   ONE.   Gase cooled off his hottest hand, as he has done all year long.  Will he face any repercussions from owner Stephen Ross?   That’s a joke of course.  A bad, unfunny, frustrating joke.

Gase will blame the offensive line.  He will blame his friend Matt Burke.  Both are culprits in this debacle.  But this loss was orchestrated by Adam Gase’s offenbsive play calls.   And we know Gase won’t blame himself.

 

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42 Comments

  1. Yep when they play with balance they have success but as soon as Gase gets pass happy the oline crumbles and QB sacks are a result. Now if Gase would only realize this the Fins would stand a better chance.

    On a good note patsies lost and are starting to slow down. Maybe the bills will take them out that would be hilarious…

  2. Author

    FFF is right again, as usual. The balance wasn’t there today, no matter how hard Ballage tried to prove to Gase that we can be balanced.

  3. Outside of his 75 yard TD,he averaged 4.4 yards per carry. 11 for 48. I agree with your assessment though. Gase has to go regardless if we finish at or above .500 . There is no future for this team if he remains HC. The failed HC experiment is over.

    1. Author

      See, but 4.4 is good. That means if they stuff him for zero yardds on first down, the law of averages says he will gain 8 the next carry. But we’ll never know, because Gase doesn’t believe in the next carry

      1. I agree. Gase,Burke and Tranny need to go. Has that happened before,HC,DC and starting QB all gone?

  4. Remember when we used to call the OL ” 5 turnstiles” a few years ago? 9 sacks today-team record. I hope Gase and Tranny are both gone so we can rebuild because 5-7 wins and drafting between 14-18 guarantees mediocrity or worse.

  5. Author

    As we pointed out the chat, Gase’s opposition today has been an Offensive Playcaller for a grand total of 4 days.
    It’s one thing to be outcoached by an experienced coordinator. But by some unknown guy who’s been on the job 4 days?

    1. They talked about how anemic the Vikings running game was. That was before they played us. I think 220 yards. Our run defense is a joke.

  6. I was driving from a weekend with family so had to listen to the game in the car. Was listening to the Viking’s radio broadcast, and they couldn’t believe how stupid Gase was with the play calls in the second half. When we got the ball back in the 4th quarter down 27-17, they were talking about how we still had time to run the ball and how well the run had been working. They couldn’t even finish their point and we were punting the ball after terrible passes and a sack (if I remember correct). Either way, they were trying not to laugh at Gase’s ignorant offense and the blowout ensued.

    1. Author

      I find these stories humorous, becasue about a month ago, gase got really really defensive at a press conference, and he basically said to a reporter that “You are not qualified to analyze me” So ever since then, I started citing all the people who analyze him who ARE qualified. Hall of Famers like James Lofton, Troy Aikman, Dan Fouts, and Tony Dungy. Bruce Arians is another well-qualified coach. I remember when Bruce said, “I’d be shocked if Adam Gase doesn’t hand it off to Frank Gore right here and…” before he could finish his sentence, Tannehill was sacked. Nick’s Viking announcer is Pete Bercich, a former Vikes coach who is very well qualified to judge other coaches.
      For some reason, Gase thikns that only some meager local newspaper writer is the only one who criticizes him…but in reality, it is everyone!

      1. Author

        To be more specific, these men do not criticize Gase in general. Rather, they are baffled at why he passes it all the time when are running game is excelling.

        1. Agreed he does a lot of things well and the players do play for him but when your general leads you into an ambush multiple times anyone will eventually give up. It’s almost sabotage!

  7. T-hill and the team I don’t have a problem with. As I have said before it’s Gase and his pathetic coaching and scheming. The guy is a bum. This O-line is not suited for pass protection. Gase has the offensive weapons (when healthy) to run his Scheme, but the O-line can’t pass block to save their lives. A good coach would scheme to his teams strength, which is run the damn ball. Gase needs to be fired immediately. We were all wrong about this guy. Time to move on because he is too pig headed to change his philosophy. Run the damn ball. If Gase had committed to running the ball when we had it going against Cincy, GB and Indy we would have 3 more wins to boot and a building confidence and swagger by imposing our will on opponents. I’m just so frustrated with this team because the clear problem is coaching not T-hill. He had us in position to when games but Gase screws shit up everytime. Does he not now his line cannot pass block. Stevie Wonder can see that…….geez what the fuck!!!!

  8. Watching the Vikings game yesterday, I noticed one big obvious flaw with Tannehill. Along with the Dolphins porous O’line and Gase’s dumbfounded play calling, Tannehill seems to refuse to realize that he must get the ball out his hand faster. Vikings defensive penetration resulting in sack after sack should’ve made Tannehill realize he can’t wait for a receiver to absolutely complete his route before throwing the ball. It also looks like Tannehill still hasn’t shaken that rookie mentality of staring down a receiver and stubbornly locking in and throwing to that receiver no matter what. We saw that once when Tannehill tried to force the ball into Amendola who was very well covered by two defenders, and Gesicki who had to become a defender to avoid the ball from being intercepted. I know I can’t be the only person who noticed open receivers that Tannehill ignored. I too like ADMIN, noticed a wide open Drake who could have easily strode into the end zone if Tannehill would’ve simply looked to his right.

    I don’t think most of us believed the Dolphins could beat the Vikings, but, it’s frustrating when when this team gives us hope only to see it dashed once again by stupefying play calling and playing.

    1. I think Larry is dead on and I’m not saying that Tanny is the best by any means. Gase not only gets pass happy but on most replays his receivers are all running 25+ yards down field with their backs to Tanny. Not one quick slant option. How can Tanny get rid of the ball fast if he doesn’t have an outlet? It’s almost like Gase wants him to get hammered. Frustrating because when he let’s a back leak out of the pocket Drake scores TD’s but he only called it once which Tanny missed. He should have an outlet every pass play especially if they are blitzing… just a common sense thought.

      1. If you watch the best quarterbacks in the NFL, they have this ability to do whats called “anticipate” In the game against the Vikings, I saw open receivers that Tannehill didn’t try to quickly throw their way and thereby avoid a sack. The quarterback relays the play to the offense so he knows where each receiver and the tightends is supposed to be. That is why quarterbacks work in practice with these receivers and tightends. Dan Marino was known to throw a pass even before his receivers completed running their routes because he knew when and where they should be. That’s called “anticipation.” That’s why you would see Marino screaming and berating one of his receivers if they messed up. We saw one pass by Tannehill that should’ve definitely been intercepted and there was no immediate defensive pressure when he threw the ball. Tannehill has been blitzed and sacked enough by now to know that he should try to throw the ball to his receivers more quickly, or at least throw the ball towards the sideline to avoid sacks and loss of yards. Say what you want about Oswieler but there’s one thing you do notice about him, most of the time he’ll get rid of the ball before he takes a sack.

        1. Author

          When I was a kid, we played a lot of 4 on 4 football in the neighborhood.
          Someone would hike the ball back to the QB, and then everyone ran out for a pass. So 3 kids would run patterns and be covered by 3 defenders. A 4th defender stayed in to rush to 5-Mississippi, and then charge the QB.
          As the QB, I learned to anticipate the rush. I knew i did NOT have all day. I was like 9 years old and learned it.
          Okay, now it gets better. In some neighborhood rules, you were allowed to blitz.
          All 4 kids could charge the QB the moment we snapped the ball.
          So as the QB, I had to be alert to this. I had to sprint away for dear life the instant I took the snap. Usually I was buried alive, because no kid on offense wants to block a blitzer; they all just want to run a long bomb.
          Are you seeing my point?
          The point is that I knew what was coming. If I told Timmy and Mikey and Johnny to block the blitzers, I knew they sucked and would not block anyone. So we created plays to combat this.
          We made up plays where I could just get rid of the ball immediately once I had it. I’d toss it a few yards to the right side, where all three of my pals were. Someone always caught it.
          I didn’t fade back and wait for someone to get open, because I’d be sacked while watching them run. I just chucked it immediately, and they’d catch it and run an easy TD because all 4 defenders were in my backfield.
          THAT is how you beat a blitz. When you KNOW the blitz is coming and your KNOW your blockers can’t/won’t block, then you creatively find a way to beat the blitz.
          You do NOT design plays that call for superhuman effort. Attention Mr Gase

          1. I don’t understand what you’re trying to say.

            “I didn’t fade back and wait for someone to get open, because I’d be sacked while watching them run. I just chucked it immediately, and they’d catch it and run an easy TD because all 4 defenders were in my backfield.
            THAT is how you beat a blitz. When you KNOW the blitz is coming and your KNOW your blockers can’t/won’t block, then you creatively find a way to beat the blitz,” and, “You do NOT design plays that call for superhuman effort. Attention Mr Gase.”

            Reading what you wrote, it seems like you’re saying you had that “superhuman” ability to beat a blitz even if you played quarterback for the Dolphins with Gase as your head coach?

            Correct me if I’m wrong.

            1. Author

              Phil, Gase expects his 5 linemen to play like superhumans and block 8 attackers. The math doesn’t work. 9-year-old me realized that my “linemen” were not superhuman, so we devised plays that took into account that no one was gonna block. Gase has ZERO plays that have any blown assignments factored in. Do you listen to his press conferences? All he ever says is that the linemen missed a block. He never says, “If Ryan sees a rush coming, he is supposed to _____.” In Gase’s arrogant, delusional world, the opposing defense will only do what he wants them to do. That ain’t the real world, and he doesn’t get it.

              1. That’s exactly it there is no plan. How many TE or HB screens do you see Gase call? That’s the perfect call as well for a blitz but I don’t even think it’s in his playbook. Not to mention he abandons the run when Ballage is running for first downs…or Gore before him or Drake….F me. Admin you were right long ago but I was just hoping that Gase would finally get it…

        2. Os sucks and Tanny isn’t Marino. Marino also had the benefit of a good coach who would give him hot routes in case of pressure or a blitz. Gase rarely does this so most QB’s would suffer as we saw with Os when he came in for a few games. I’m sure Rogers would do so so but that’s Rogers! Gase needs to go…

          1. I hope you do pay attention to what you write because there is a glaring contradiction in what you said.

            “Os sucks,” coupled with, “Gase rarely does this so most QB’s would suffer as we saw with Os.”

            So which one is it? Is Osweiler a crappy OB or is he a good QB that looks bad because of Gase? And who said Tannehill is Marino? Read my comment again. I said “If you watch the best quarterbacks in the NFL, they have this ability to do whats called “anticipate.” And “Dan Marino was known to throw a pass even before his receivers completed running their routes because he knew when and where they should be. That’s called “anticipation.”” You can beat blitzes in various ways to avoid sacks. Nine sacks?!!! After eight years in the league at quarterback you would think that Tannehill would have come up with his own plans by now to avoid that kind of scenario regardless of the plays Gase calls .

            1. A little bit of both Os started out ok but dramatically faded when he started those games. Gase sure didn’t help him with his up and down play calling but under the same circumstances Tannys numbers are better.

              My point is that you are comparing these guys to Marino. You do realize that Marino is a hall of famer right? Those guys don’t grow on trees not every QB has his skill set. Things that Marino did no one else can come close to doing. The other point is that Gase doesn’t give his QB’s quick outlets. You say throw it up anyway but if the receivers are running down field 20+ yards before their breaks their backs are to Tanny. Perfect example was the Gesicki pass if he doesn’t turn around in time it would have ended up a pick. Now if Gase has a back leaking out or at least one slant option then Tanny has an outlet but on most replays I’m seeing three guys running down field with their backs to the QB. Pressure is coming immediately no time to wait. Admins play calling as a kid was better haha!

              1. Again, you need to carefully read what I wrote. I didn’t compare anybody to Marino. I said “I saw open receivers that Tannehill didn’t try to quickly throw their way and thereby avoid a sack.” I also said “The quarterback relays the play to the offense so he knows where each receiver and the tightends is supposed to be. That is why quarterbacks work in practice with these receivers and tightends.” Timing is critical between the quarterback and his receivers and tightends. That is why they go through route running practices over and over so that the quarterback realizes and gets used to the speed of each of his receivers and tightends for each designed pass play. Too many times in the Vikings game I saw open receivers that Tannehill could’ve at least attempted a throw to but he seems to be like a stuck deer staring at a vehicle’s headlights when the blitzing defenders are coming. I said “Dan Marino was known to throw a pass even before his receivers completed running their routes because he knew when and where they should be, and that’s called anticipation.” Now, am I wrong when I said “Nine sacks?!!! After eight years in the league at quarterback you would think that Tannehill would have come up with his own plans by now to avoid that kind of scenario regardless of the plays Gase calls?” Haven’t people come on this site and over an over begrudged the offensive line for not blocking for Tannehill? Do you think that by now Tannehill would be accustomed to that deficiency and designed his own tactics to avoid it? Now are far as that pass to Gesicki goes, remember, Tannehill overthrew a wide open Stills which would’ve resulted in a sure touchdown. When Tannehill under threw to Gesicki, he was covered like a blanket so it made no sense to try that pass anyway. Good thing Gesicki did what he did to prevent a definite interception.

                Now, I’m going to say this again. “Say what you want about Oswieler but there’s one thing you do notice about him, most of the time he’ll get rid of the ball before he takes a sack.”

      2. Your point is right on. I agree that Tanny does not see the field well in these situations but every single good defensive team plays Miami the same way, Blitz, Blitz, and Blitz (by the way I have never seen an O-line straight miss so many blocks). NO OUTLET, ever. You would think that Gase would make practicing this situation as a point of emphasis. But as usual, Miami is unprepared under Gase.

  9. Author

    Today’s laughable piece comes from Armando at the Miami Herald. God bless his good-intentioned heart, even if he is incorrect 95% of the time.
    He wrote that changes are coming after the devastating Vikings loss.
    Why on earth does Armando say that Stephen Ross is about to make changes? We all know that Ross will not do so. I expect Ross to give a vote of confidence to Gase and Burke any minute now…even if Armando wants to live in fantasy land.

    1. Yep frustrating… the Gesicki pass was an example Tanny had to throw it up with a prayer hoping that Gesicki could alter his route and make a play but because he was told to run a fly route his only option was to bat it down or it would have been picked. Gesicki actually did well under the circumstances. Now if Gase had an outlet or quick slant Tannys hit two TDs of late on those because he can let it rip immediately if pressure is coming. Butler and Parker ran those easy routes and it worked but never saw it Sunday…

  10. When as a coach you have had three years to pick all your players, fire the ones you don’t want, build your playbook and sachem, bring in all the coaches you want and the result is a team that is in no way competitive it’s time to blow it up and start all over.

    I agree the team is no where as bad as the product we watched all year, a good coach could take these same guys and get somewhere but which coach?

    I did see Armondos post and I read it with eagerness to see what Ross had told him but alas, more bad news, Ross hasn’t said anything. Jerry Jones would have said something by now thats for sure!

    1. Author

      “When as a coach you have had three years to pick all your players, fire the ones you don’t want, build your playbook and scheme, bring in all the coaches you want and” …And you lose to a man who has been on the job 4 days.

        1. And not just lose……. he got humiliated!

  11. I can’t see why this moron owner is not taking action for his team, that I’ll agree with the posts that say the team product is not as bad as we see it but this coach is not bringing the best out of his players! He does not know how to do this! Period.
    He had Ballage on a roll; why would ANY coach stop playing the golden player that day?? Well, this coach thinks he’s on par with Belichick….so much that he can stop what’s working and throw in some stuff that may not work at all. OK, so then let’s not put in players that have given the team some success, i.e., Carroo-of whom I am a huge supporter but the guy doesn’t get out there all that much bec. Gase is such a good “talent evaluator”! Ross is one of our biggest problems, IF NOT the biggest! You have some good coaches out there available and this horse’s ass owner needs to do us all a huge favor, sell this team and then you can go buy up the entire island of Manhattan like he wants! This team cannot prosper, change and take on a new persona unless he cans Gase and gets a legit head coach! Then, Lord willing he sells the team to a legit football billionaire fan. I’m sick of years and years of the Dolphins just eeking through the season….Tannybum is not for this team or any team…the dude looks like he’s not sure what to do when he looks at the opposing defense, that’s bec. he does not read the D fast enough! Can’t do it! You might not like Jerry Jones, but that owner loves his football team and as a fan you know that’s the most important thing on his life’s agenda.

    1. Author

      I saw 5 more articles today that say changes are coming….but I do not believe it. These are just hopeful writers who think Stephen Ross has common sense. One of the reasons I started this blog is to limit the information to only truthful facts, not idle speculation.
      It’s easy to ASSUME that Ross is angry today and will fire someone. But as a lifelong analyst of the Dolphins, I can tell you nothing is happening.

      1. I think their saying that because Ross was at the game on Sunday with his entourage and they all left looking really disappointed. I would be surprised if Gase is fired but I wouldn’t be surprised to see Tannenbaum and Burke gone

        1. Author

          Yes, because Tannenbaum decided to bench Kalen Ballage in the middle of a career day when the Vikes could not stop him.
          Tannenbaum’s 2018 draft has been our best in some time, so I don’t want him to go…yet.
          Ballage, Minkah, and Jerome Baker ALL have touchdowns this season.
          Burke and Gase have to go.

  12. Author

    Shithead Gase continues the blame game. He said that the Dolphins DID have enough blockers in to pick up the blitzes. He said out guys just blew it. Seriously?
    All NINE sacks were due to someone else? Nine separate times you watched your men make mistakes, but then by some miracle you thought they would suddenly get better…so you kept running the same scheme?

    1. Admin not only that but in the fourth quarter they were teeing off on Tannehill. Some of those sacks they Dline actually Pushed the OL into and then down on top of Tannehill!

      Gase is an absolute moron.

      As someone commented above, “even Stevie Wounder could see the OL sucked”

      Why didn’t our HC run a HB toss or quick screen to a RB or slant pass to Amendola or ANYTHING TO BEAT THE PASS RUSH

      If a real owner were at that game they would have fired Gase at the airport, given Gase a greyhound ticket and rode home with the team apologizing to them the whole way!

      1. Zimmer fired his OC due to bad playcalling (what a revelation) brought in a newbie who torched our HC and DC. You’d think Ross would have thought hmmmm…..

    2. Not only did they not have enough guys to pick uo the blitzes, the guys there missed all their blocks anyway.


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