Coaches

Adam Gase was named the 12th head coach in Miami Dolphins history on Jan. 9, 2016.
Adam Gase was named the 12th head coach in Miami Dolphins history on Jan. 9, 2016.

In just his first season as an NFL head coach, Gase directed the Dolphins to a 10-6 record and playoff berth, the team’s best record and first playoff appearance since 2008.

Miami turned its season around with a six-game winning streak following a 1-4 start. The streak was the team’s longest since 2005 and marked just the second time a coach other than Don Shula led the team to six straight regular season wins. From Week 6 through the end of the season, the team was third in the NFL in rushing offense (132.9 yards per game), tied for third in sacks allowed (13), tied for fourth in takeaways (21) and 11th in scoring offense (25.0 points per game).

Halftime adjustments were also key to the team’s improvement. The Dolphins finished the 2016 season with a +46 point differential after halftime, which ranked No. 8 in the NFL. The team outscored its opponents by a total of 221-175 after the break, including two overtime wins vs. Cleveland (9/25) and at Buffalo (12/24).

With Gase directing the offense, quarterback Ryan Tannehill posted the most efficient season of his five-year NFL career, despite being lost to a season-ending injury in Week 14. Tannehill completed 261-of-389 passes (67.1 pct.) for 2,995 yards and 19 touchdowns. His 93.5 quarterback rating, 7.7 yards per attempt and 67.1 completion percentage were all career highs. Tannehill completed a 50-plus-yard pass in seven of his 13 games, which tied for the NFL lead. Both Tannehill and quarterback Matt Moore finished first and second in the NFL in highest red zone passer rating (min. six attempts), with Tannehill posting a 119.7 mark and Moore finishing second at 118.8.

Miami found a renewed rushing attack in Gase’s first season, led by running back Jay Ajayi. Despite not starting until Week 5, Ajayi totaled 261 carries for 1,272 yards (4.9 avg.) and eight touchdowns. His 1,272 rushing yards were third-best in Dolphins history and he rushed for more than 200 yards in three different games. In just the 2016 season alone, Ajayi now holds three of the team’s top six single-game rushing performances and became one of just four players in NFL history to rush for 200 yards in three-or-more games in the same season. Ajayi’s 1,085-yard improvement from the 2015 season was the largest of any NFL player in 2016 and he led the NFL with 1,155 rushing yards from Week 6 through the end of the season.

Wide receiver Jarvis Landry also had a great first year under Gase. Landry caught 94 passes for 1,136 yards (12.1 avg.). He and Ajayi marked the second time a Dolphins team had produced a 1,000-yard rusher and 1,000-yard receiver in the same season.

In 2015, Gase was the offensive coordinator for the Chicago Bears. Under Gase, the Bears implemented a balanced offensive attack that improved the team’s rushing totals from No. 27 in the season before Gase arrived in Chicago to No. 11 in 2015, as the unit averaged 25.6 more rushing yards per game. Bears quarterback Jay Cutler finished the 2015 season with the highest passer rating (92.3) of his career. Cutler also threw seven fewer interceptions than the previous season and his interception rate of 2.3 percent was the best showing of his career for a season where he played at least 12 games. In addition, Cutler’s yards per attempt increased by 0.8, the second-largest one-year increase in his career.

Prior to joining the Bears, Gase spent six seasons (2009-14) with the Denver Broncos, during which the team compiled a 58-38 (.604) regular-season record, won four AFC West titles, three playoff games and an AFC Championship, including a trip to Super Bowl XLVIII.

While Gase was the Denver Broncos’ offensive coordinator in 2013 and 2014, the Broncos led the NFL in scoring offense (34.0 points per game), total offense (430.1 yards per game) and passing offense (315.8 yards per game). During his two seasons as coordinator, seven players from the Broncos offense were named to the Pro Bowl: running back C.J. Anderson (2014), tackle Ryan Clady (2014), quarterback Peyton Manning (2013-14), wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders (2014), wide receiver Demaryius Thomas (2013-14), tight end Julius Thomas (2013-14) and guard Louis Vasquez (2013).

In 2014, the Broncos finished 12-4, winning the AFC West and earning a bye in the first round of the playoffs. Gase helped Denver finish second in scoring, averaging 30.1 points per contest. Manning continued his excellence, completing 66.2 percent of his passes and passing for 4,727 yards and 39 touchdowns. He set the NFL’s career passing touchdown record on Oct. 19, 2014 against San Francisco. Demaryius Thomas broke the franchise’s single-season receiving record with 1,619 receiving yards. He finished the year with 111 receptions, second in the league and a career high. Wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders also set career highs in both receptions (101) and receiving yards (1,404), ranking No. 5 in the NFL in both categories. Running back C.J. Anderson, who entered the 2014 season with just seven career carries, was instrumental in helping Denver finish the season strong. In the final seven games of the regular season, Anderson carried the ball 140 times for 648 yards (4.6 avg.) and eight touchdowns as the Broncos won five of their last seven contests. He became the first Denver running back since 2004 to rush for 150-plus yards in consecutive games.

In 2013, Gase’s first as offensive coordinator, the Broncos set NFL records in both points (606) and touchdowns (76) and Denver’s scoring output increased by 7.8 points per game. The Broncos totaled 59.4 yards per game more than they did in 2012 and led the NFL with 5,444 passing yards and 55 passing touchdowns. The explosive offense helped Denver finish the regular season 13-3, winning the AFC West and earning the top seed in the AFC playoffs, where the Broncos won the conference title and played in Super Bowl XLVIII.

In addition to setting NFL team records, Gase also helped Manning have the most prolific season of any quarterback in NFL history. Manning’s 5,477 passing yards and 55 passing touchdowns were both NFL records that still stand today. Manning earned his fifth NFL MVP award and also was honored as the Maxwell Club Player of the Year and AP Offensive Player of the Year.

In total, the Broncos set or tied 12 NFL offense and scoring records in the 2013 season with Gase as offensive coordinator: points (606), touchdowns (76), players with 10 or more touchdowns (5), passing first downs (293), games with 50-plus points (3), points in the second half (318), individual passing yards (Manning, 5,477), individual passing touchdowns (Manning, 55), most four-touchdown passing games (Manning, 9), most two-touchdown passing games (Manning, 15), most 400-yard passing games (Peyton Manning, 4) and most 90-plus passer rating games (Manning, 15).

The 2013 Broncos were one of just four teams in the past five seasons (2011-15) to have two 1,000-yard receivers and a 1,000-yard rusher. Wide receiver Demaryius Thomas was fourth in the NFL with 1,430 receiving yards, while fellow receiver Eric Decker ranked No. 9 with 1,288. Running back Knowshon Moreno rushed for 1,038 yards and 10 touchdowns. Denver became the only team in NFL history to have four players catch 10 or more touchdown passes in the same season. Demaryius Thomas led the way with 14 touchdown grabs, tight end Julius Thomas was second with 12, Decker finished with 11 and wide receiver Wes Welker totaled 10 touchdown receptions.

Gase served as Denver’s quarterbacks coach from 2011-12. Manning joined the team in 2012 following 14 seasons with the Indianapolis Colts, including a 2011 campaign that he missed due to injury. With Gase as his position coach in 2012, Manning was wildly successful, finishing second in the league in passer rating (105.8), third in passing touchdowns (37) and sixth in passing yards (4,659). He earned the AP NFL Comeback Player of the Year award and was runner-up for NFL MVP. The Broncos won the AFC West with a 13-3 mark and finished the season on an 11-game winning streak. The team’s passing offense was fifth in the NFL (283.4 yards per game) and the club finished second in scoring (30.1 points per game) and fourth in total offense (397.9 yards per game).

In 2011, Gase worked with quarterbacks Kyle Orton and Tim Tebow, helping lead the Broncos to the AFC West crown and a Wild Card playoff victory. Tebow rushed for 660 yards, the most by a quarterback in franchise history and 12th-most by an NFL quarterback ever. He also rushed for six touchdowns.

Gase joined the Broncos in 2009 as the wide receivers coach, a position he held for two seasons.

In 2010, he helped wide receiver Brandon Lloyd earn a Pro Bowl invitation after he led the league in receiving with 1,448 yards and 11 touchdowns. It was the first time a Broncos player had ever led the league in receiving yards. The 1,448 yards were 482 more than Lloyd recorded in any other season throughout his 11-year NFL career. He joined Brett Perriman (Detroit, 1995) as the only two players in NFL history to record their first 1,400-yard campaign in their eighth season or later.

Gase coached another Pro Bowl wide receiver in 2009 when Brandon Marshall caught 101 passes for 1,120 yards (11.1 avg.) and 10 touchdowns. The 101 receptions were the fourth-highest mark in the league and the Pro Bowl selection was Marshall’s second of his young career. Marshall set a single-game NFL record with 21 receptions against Indianapolis on Dec. 13, 2009.

Gase spent the 2008 season as an offensive assistant for the San Francisco 49ers.

Prior to San Francisco, Gase held several roles for five seasons (2003-07) with the Detroit Lions. He coached the Lions’ quarterbacks in 2007, working with quarterback Jon Kitna in one of the finest seasons of his career. Kitna passed for 4,068 yards, the second-most in his 14-year NFL career, and 18 touchdowns. His 4,068 passing yards ranked No. 6 in the NFL and he finished fifth with 355 completions.

Gase was an offensive quality control coach for the Lions in 2006. He began his NFL career as a scouting/coaching assistant for the Lions, a role he held from 2003 to 2005.

Gase began his coaching career as a defensive graduate assistant at LSU in 2000. He spent the following two seasons on the recruiting staff for Head Coach Nick Saban, winning a Southeastern Conference championship in 2001 and helping recruit a group of players that won the BCS National Championship in 2003.

He and his wife, Jennifer, have a daughter, McKenzie, and two sons, A.J. and Wyatt.

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