New Head Coach Adan Gase has already started to mold his staff and his on-field personnel, which is good and bad.
It’s good to get the staff settled in early so they can start working together. But it’s bad who he is choosing.
Vance Joseph is our new defensive coordinator, coming in from being the Bengals’ defensive backs coach. The same coach whose defensive back cost the Bengals a playoff win the other day. If Joseph can’t get Pacman Jones to just walk away, how will he control Kong Suh?
The main problem with signing coaches too early is that all the good ones are still playing! We went with a coach whose defense just lost to an injured Roethlisberger and his 3rd-string backup. Not impressive at all.
Meanwhile, the Patriots, Panthers, Broncos and other outstanding defensive coaches are still out there. Why not wait and pluck one of them instead? What is the rush?
Gase has already retained Darren Rizzi. I’m not a fan of Rizzi, but he’s not really a detriment either. I was very puzzled when Dan Campbell took over and put so much faith in Rizzi. The guy in charge of the kicker and punter was suddenly elevated to assistant head coach, guru of the challenges, etc. Too much power for a special teams guy. I hope Gase utilizes him better.
Gase needs to utilize the guys who make plays and bench/trade/cut the ones who don’t. For example, why is Damien Williams still on the team?
I can understand that you don’t want Jarvis Landry to return every single kickoff, but don’t just stick Damien in there for the hell of it. Find someone better, maybe like Rishard Matthews. Williams made some huge gaffes in the return game last year. (Remember when he returned the ball from the endzone, got to the one yardline, then went back into the endzone–realized it was about to be a safety–and then barely dove back out to the one? He should have been cut right then and there, but the old regime rewarded him with more playing time. Enough.
Jamar Taylor got benched for playing poorly, and we beat New England. It’s not rocket science. Bench your shitty players and give someone else a try.
Mr. Gase should also use the strengths of his players better. Ryan Tannehill can run. Unfortunately, we only get to see bits and pieces of that sporadically, because the old regime(s) preferred for him to get sacked instead.
Hopefully Gase knows that a QB sneak is a legal play, because our other coaches didn’t. They preferred the 5-wideout sets in the shotgun when we needed to gain an inch.
I think Olivier Vernon was playing like a man who wanted out. Let him walk. He’s been good, but those ignorant penalties he took showed no commitment. Shelby, on the other hand, wants to stay and deserves the job. Cameron Wake cannot be jettisoned. Don’t care how much cap space he eats up. It ain’t our money.
Suh had a so-so season. I think it’s up to the next coaching staff to find out why…was Suh barely trying? Was it the schemes we ran? Was he just exhausted? Find out why and correct it.
Adjustments need to be made quicker. There was a definitive pattern in almost every Dolphin loss this year. We came out slowly. We made a run right after halftime. Then the other team adjusted to our run and won the game. Other teams react quicker to whatever the Dolphins do. The Dolphins react much more slowly. Don’t wait until halftime to change things up.
The Rams just moved to L.A. That means THREE west coast trips next season, including the longest flight in the NFL…Miami to Seattle (no two teams are further apart). Those trips are hard on the players, and I hope Gase maintains a productive practice and travel schedule those weeks . In addition, our division games are way up in the Northeast. That is a LOT of travel. I remember Philbin going on and on about all the studying and travel-planning he did for the Europe trip last year, and we got blown out !
Gase’s personality seems very passive, but I’m okay with that. “Aw, shucks, thanks to Mr. Ross who is the greatest owner in the NFL. I study hard to be a coach.” We’ve yet to see him coaching on the field, which we hope will be 100% different demeanor than what he shows now.
All in all, I’m still optimistic about our chances with this new coach, and I will give him a fair shot. But after years of watching previous regimes blow it, and I have be cautious as well….