AC In The AM: Adam Gase Anxious To Start Coaching

Posted Mar 23, 2016

It is clear that he covets the day he can get these players out on the practice field for the first time.

(Andy Cohen In the Morning – AC in the AM – will appear on Dolphins.com during the offseason as events warrant. You can also follow AC in the AM by Twitter at @acohenfins).

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The more I listen to Adam Gase talk, the more I get a taste of his enthusiasm and passion, the more impressed I become. He just gets “it.” His personality comes across as so genuine, so sincere, that it is easy to gravitate toward him.

You see some first-year head coaches come into the league and they seem so hesitant, so unsure. But Gase is different. He has a confidence about him, a real sense of purpose. Even at just 37 years old, he understands the business he is in and the challenges he is facing. He embraces that, which was evident from the first day he was hired up until Tuesday morning, when he met with the media at the annual owner’s meetings in Boca Raton.

It is no coincidence that Gase’s table at the AFC head coach’s breakfast was filled to the brim with inquiring minds. Everyone wants to know a little bit more about this interesting young man who so many former players swear is one of the most intelligent, likeable coaches they have come across.

Sure, it is early. In so many ways, Gase is still learning the roster. But you can tell by his answers that he has jumped into this job with his body and soul and it is clear that he covets the day he can get these players out on the practice field for the first time. He has worn many hats since arriving in South Florida, but let there be no doubt that the hat he savors most is the one he wears on the practice field, imparting knowledge, building trust and putting together a master game plan to get this franchise back where it belongs.

Some thoughts and insights on Gase’s press conference as well as some other impressions as OTA’s quickly approach.

• I’m beginning to see why Gase’s former players respect him so much. One of the first things Gase told quarterback Ryan Tannehill was that, no matter what, he has his back and that is something Tannehill clearly takes great comfort in. “That’s huge,” Tannehill says. It is Gase’s style, a true player’s coach.

• Gase openly endorsed the trade that brought Eagles linebacker Kiko Alonso and cornerback Byron Maxwell to the Dolphins. He gladly accepted giving up five spots in the first round for two defensive starters and remembers fondly some of the things Maxwell did when Gase was with him with the Seahawks.

• Gase has a clear vision for this defense. “We’re going to be a 4-3 penetrating attacking style defense,” he says. “Front going to get after it. Press on the outside.” Isn’t that what you wanted to hear?

• While significant roster moves are still in order, Gase clearly likes his skill players and sees such players as Kenny Stills, DeVante Parker and Jordan Cameron flourishing under his system.

• Something you can’t put a value on: How the current set of players will improve under a new coaching staff. There is a real belief among this staff that they can make a difference, especially with some of the younger players who have yet to take their games to another level. I’m especially interested to see the fruits of their work with returning guards Dallas Thomas, Billy Turner and Jamil Douglas.

• “We’re not going to force guys to do things they are not good at,” Gase said. How refreshing is that?

• The Dolphins clearly need more help at running back, but Gase also likes what he has seen in second-year player Jay Ajayi, another player who should benefit from his system.

• Count owner Steve Ross among those who believe that Tannenhill will make significant progress under Gase. “Ryan is a rare individual who is exceptionally bright,” Ross said Tuesday. “If you look at Adam and his track record working with quarterbacks, you won’t find anybody better.” In light of that, I really believe we will see Tannehill’s true upside this season.

• Really like the fact that the Dolphins brought back quarterback Matt Moore. He is a steadying influence and has shown he has the perfect temperament (and skill set) for his role.

• And finally, this from Ross: “Off the field, we’re as good as any team in the league. Now we’ve got to see the results on the field.” And, in every way possible, that’s what the 2016 season is really all about.

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