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The Process Continues For Coach Gase

Posted Feb 24, 2016

When the Dolphins head coach spoke to the national media for the first time at the Combine in Indianapolis, the idea of going through a process kept coming up.

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — Adam Gase spoke to the national media Wednesday for the first time as an NFL head coach, and the idea of going through a process kept coming up.

It applied as it pertained to evaluating the roster he inherited and trying to come up with an offseason game plan, but more importantly Gase mentioned it when he talked about working with quarterback Ryan Tannehill.

Gase, however, said he liked the attributes Tannehill brings to the quarterback position.

“He has the skill set that you’re looking for,” Gase said. “Really, it’s going to be about, how do things go starting in the spring? How does he feel? What do we have to do to adjust to help him? It’s not as easy to talk about right now. It’s gotta be more of seeing him. How does he do things? What’s his process? It’s going to take some time. It’s not going to be like all of a sudden in two weeks we’re going to be like, all right, I got it.

“It’s going to take the entire spring. It’s going to take training camp. It’s going to take regular season games. This is not going to be one of those things where I’m going to have a great feel for him right away. We’re going to have to go through a little bit of a process. There’s going to be bumps in the road, but that’s football.”

Gase came to the Dolphins after experiencing success working with quarterbacks the last several years, from Tim Tebow and Peyton Manning in Denver, to Jay Cutler last season in Chicago.

He said the key in all those situations was trying to fit the offense to what the quarterback does best, and the same will apply with Tannehill. Gase said the offense also will allow for some flexibility when it comes to changing plays on the fly.

“That's one good thing about this offense, it's really on the players how much they can handle,” Gase said. “It takes the entire group to understand what's going on because the quarterback can't do it if nobody else knows what to do as well. It's something we eventually got to in Chicago. I thought Jay did a good job of handling that. That was something different that he hadn't really done a whole bunch of. But the quarterback in this system does have the ability to move in and out of plays and it's going to be how much can our group handle. Earlier it's probably not going to be as much as it will be later.”

The offense Gase runs is an offshoot of the Indianapolis Colts offense that team ran when Peyton Manning was their quarterback.

It’s an offense that new Dolphins offensive coordinator Clyde Christensen is definitely familiar with. In fact, Gase said that was one big reason he hired Christensen, who was the Colts offensive coordinator from 2009-11.

“I think I had him hired before he accepted the job,” Gase said. “I told him, ‘You know we stole your offense, that's what we did. We just made a few tweaks.’ So really he's walking in a situation where he already knows everything. So just putting him in place and allowing him to kind of run those meetings and get everything organized, I think he has a really good feel of what I'm looking for.”

Gase had a more direct connection with new defensive coordinator Vance Joseph before he added him to the staff, having worked with him in 2008 when both were assistant coaches with the San Francisco 49ers.

“I worked with Vance before, practiced against him,” Gase said. “Competing against him over the last few years, he was a guy that always drove me nuts. I always felt like he knew way too much what was going on on our side of the ball and that was something that always intrigued me. And I always felt like if I ever had an opportunity and I had a chance to hire him, I was going to do it.”

Assembling a coaching staff was one of Gase’s first tasks after being hired as Dolphins head coach Jan. 9. Another was meeting with his players to get a feel for them and also to let them know his expectations.

Gase said he couldn’t say with 100 percent certainty, but he’s pretty sure he’s met with every player already.

“The only thing I can do right now is talk to them and I just let them know what I’m about and what I’m looking for and basically I give those guys a chance to tell me what they’re about,” Gase said. “Anytime that I talk to a guy, it’s usually not too long. You try to call everybody on the roster, try to get a hold of everybody, introduce yourself just so they know, when we start this thing, this is what I’m expecting as far as the attitude walking in the building and I feel like the guys have been receptive.”

Other topics Gase touched on Wednesday:

The importance of bringing Lamar Miller back:

“What I see on tape is an explosive player that can do all three phases — pass protection, he’s a good receiver and he can run the ball. A guy like that we want on our roster. I know we got to go through the steps of free agency with him. That’s the one thing about when a player does take it to their last year of the contract and nothing is done before that, they’ve earned the right. He’s so close to free agency right now. Now it’s going to be about, how does this whole thing work out with his agent? He knows how I feel about him as a player. I have not shied away from that as far as our recruiting process of him in free agency. He knows where I stand with him and to me that’s all that really matters.”

His first couple of months on the job:

“It's been an interesting start. Everything has been quick just from the start of it — getting hired, getting our coaching staff, moving right into our own roster, kind of the scheme things we’re working on. It's probably everything happens differently than it has when you've been at a place for a while.”

His feel for the roster:

“We're still going through the process, I know we're still two weeks out from free agency. We know we do have some holes, we have some needs we have to fill. Right now it's going to see where we're at with our guys the closer we get to free agency and then we'll move on from there.”

Wide receiver DeVante Parker, the Dolphins’ 2015 first-round pick:

“We looked at him hard in Chicago last year. We ended up taking Kevin, but those two guys were neck and neck. We liked them both and our decision was to go with Kevin. But DeVante was a guy who was high up on our board. I love his skill set. He has great hands, a big body. A guy that can go get the ball down the field. So I'm excited to see what he can do in this offense.”

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