On Friday, Miami Dolphins head coach Adam Gase met with the media, and he clearly was not happy. Gase has often been fairly straight with the media, but often looks to deflect any issues back to himself rather than show any sort of frustration with the players or coaches. That changed on Saturday, when Gase opened up about the struggles for the Dolphins’ offense.
Gase, who calls plays for Miami’s offense and developed into a head coach for his work as a quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator, is at the head of the league’s lowest ranked offense, 30th ranked pass offense, 31st ranked rush defense, and last ranked scoring offense. The Dolphins are averaging just 13.1 points per game through their first seven games - and they have been shutout twice, with a third game in which they scored a meaningless touchdown on the game’s last play. They are tied for tenth in the league with ten giveaways this year (nine interceptions, one fumble) and have a negative 60-point differential this year, scoring just 92 points while allowing 152.
Somehow, a team that is struggling this much on offense is still 4-3 on the year and just a game behind the division leading New England Patriots.
“I’m pissed. I’m tired of this. I’m tired of the offense being awful,” Gase said during his Saturday press conference. “Guys need to get their heads right. The coaching staff needs to do a better job because obviously our players not knowing is a direct reflection on them.”
Gase, who has said over the past few weeks that he has simplified the offense, was asked if the issue is players not retaining information, despite the team having veterans who should be able to use the full playbook. “I don’t think it’s a retain information thing,” he replied. “It’s we’re not putting the work in. That’s what it comes down to. If you can’t remember it, you shouldn’t be in the NFL. At the end of the day, guys have got to actually take this stuff home and study it. They’re not going to just learn it all in meetings. We’ve got to find guys that will actually put forth effort to actually remember this stuff and really, it starts with our best players.”
In simplifying the offense, Gase admitted that it is too predictable, “Oh, it is. Definitely. One-hundred percent.” He then added, “We’re going to have to figure something out. We’ve got to kind of figure out really what’s best for us to do, how we really want to approach it; or I guess I’ve got to figure it out. I’ll look into it, but I’m done compromising with anybody. I’ll do what I think is best and those that want to come on board, great. Those that don’t, we’ll get rid of them.”
The offensive line has been under scrutiny lately, as they struggle to open running lanes or pass protect. Gase does not see them as the only issue, however, turning some of the attention to the running backs, telling the media, “To me it comes down to more than just the offensive line. The majority of the time, the offensive at least knows who to go to and knows what to do. You’ve got to get the other guys to know what to do too. (The offensive line) can’t block the running back’s guy. The running back, we never block the right guy. I don’t even know if we know who we’ve got. We’ve got to get that fixed. They can’t block their guy too. (The offensive line is) trying to do what they can and they’re fighting. There’s times where I wished they would do things better, but at least I’m getting effort.”
He continued, speaking about the offensive line’s run blocking, but again looking at more than just those five players. “We’ve got to stop trying to hit home runs all the time,” he said. “How about take the 4 or 5 yards that we’re going to get? It comes down to everybody doing their job. If we actually start doing that, it might help. It’s on the running back. Do your job. That’s what you’ve got to do. It’s not hard.”
None of these issues, including the players not studying enough for the coach’s liking, are new issues, though Gase has not been as forthcoming with the media previously. “Two years,” he answered when asked how long this has been an issue. “Yes, I’ve been addressing this for a while, so I’m kind of fed up with it.
“When we win, what happens is everybody brushes it under the rug and just tells everybody how great they are, and then I’m just an asshole. Well, that’s what happens when you lose 40-0. Now all of a sudden, all of those little things become an issue, that we’ve been talking about. When you win and you address them and guys just think, ‘Oh, he just wants to fix something.’ Okay, well we’ve been embarrassed three times in three losses, so maybe at some point, what we’re saying might make some sense.”
Gase took the opportunity to clarify that his frustration is only directed toward one aspect of the team, “It’s not on defense. The defense is fine. On special teams we seem to be alright; but maybe that’s because it’s just easy – just run straight and hit somebody. Offensively, it’s a joke. We’ve got too many guys that don’t want to take it home with them. Until our best players actually put forth some effort, it’ll be shit.”
As the press conference came to an end, Gase was asked if he is tempted to play players who are “maybe not as skilled or experienced” to be a signal to the best players and force upon them some consequences for not being ready. Gase continued to say exactly what he feels, explaining, “I wouldn’t say I’m tempted to do anything. I’m going to play the guys that know what to do. The fan base might not like it, but oh well. We’re the worst offense in football. It’s hard to go lower than that.”
The Dolphins have until Sunday, November 5, to try to figure out someway to right the offense, before they hit the field against the Oakland Raiders in a Sunday Night Football game.