It was well-reported that Dolphins owner Stephen Ross was considering sweeping changes to the organization, with either EVP Mike Tannenbaum or head coach Adam Gase getting the axe. Ross chose Gase to take the hit for Miami's disappointing 7-9 season. Gase was 23-25 in 48 regular season games with the team over three seasons, and 0–1 in playoff games.
Gase got off to a hot start as a rookie head coach in 2016, leading the Dolphins to 10 wins and a wild-card playoff berth, which the team lost to Pittsburgh. But Miami missed the playoffs the next two seasons under Gase.
Miami got off to a hot 3–0 start this season, but faded after losses at New England and Cincinnati. Over the course of the season, six key players went down with season-ending injuries: guard Josh Sitton, receivers Albert Wilson and Jakeem Grant, center Daniel Kilgore, defensive end William Hayes and projected starter at tight end MarQueis Gray. Miami was also without quarterback Ryan Tannehill, cornerback Xavien Howard and defensive end Cameron Wake for several weeks.
Gase pointed to the injuries as a large reason for the disappointing year: “I mean, there’s a reason why we started 3–0, because all of those guys were there,” Gase told reporters after Miami’s Week 16 loss to Jacksonville. “Then when we started losing guys throughout the season, we’re trying to patchwork things. We had a little time there where we’re trying to get really used to the guys that are playing, so we were shuffling some lineups.”
The Dolphins’ highlight of the season came against New England at home in Week 14, when the team won on a wild multiple lateral pass touchdown play dubbed, “The Miami Miracle.”
Gase was hired as an offensive guru, but none of his three offenses have finished in the top half of the league in total offense or scoring offense. Miami’s offense was 26th in points this year, 25th in points last year and 24th in points in 2016. Gase had contractual control of the 53-man roster, and reported directly to Ross, and that structure may change with the Dolphins’ next hire. In an effort to change things that werent working, Ross may decide to rearrange the roles and give general manager Chris Grier more power than the head coach.
As Albert Breer reported last week, NFL teams are watching the Dolphins closely, and Gase may find his next job soon. The Browns liked him in the past and may bring him in again.
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