I’m so high on Adam Gase I could kiss the Miami Dolphins’ new head coach.
I’m also beginning to realize why so many football analysts, like Jay Glazer and Heath Evans, were ready to cast the Dolphins as a sleeper before the season despite what many considered a tapped-out quarterback and a roster with spotty talent.
Unlike predecessors Joe Philbin, Tony Sparano, and even Dave Wannstedt, who all shared an archaic approach to football, Gase has made it clear his philosophy is going to be an aggressive one, and it’s encapsulated by how he views fourth and short.
“I’m gonna do it a lot,” Gase said of going for it on fourth down after the team’s loss in Seattle. “That’s how we’re gonna play.
“We’re going for it on fourth down,” Gase reaffirmed this week, via the Miami Herald. “What did [Seattle] do, go three-and-out in that next series? We got the ball back. [Dolphins players] know we’re playing to win. That’s what we’re going to do. They’ll just get used to it.”
I want to run away with this man. He’s the main reason I think Dolphins fans can finally have hope again.
More Gase goodness:
Gase told his team: “Hey, early in games especially, if we’re inside the 50 and it’s fourth-and-short, we’re probably going to go for it,” Tannehill relayed. “Just that mindset that we’re going to have another shot and four downs to make 10 yards is huge for a quarterback, knowing we can check it down and have another shot at it. Or if we run it on third-and-short and don’t get it, we’re going to have another shot, whether it’s a run or a pass.”
How refreshing. Gone is the mentality of playing defense while on offense and playing not to lose. Philbin and Sparano went for the body. Gase goes for the throat, like a lion. He’s like Dan Campbell but in a smaller frame with a bigger brain.
Football is a game of risk. Players put their well being and long-term health at stake every Sunday. They’re programmed to have an aggressive I’m-gonna-knock-your-teeth-out mentality. It’s only fitting that their leader is built the same way, not someone who puts them on a leash.
The hindsighters will say, “well, if Miami kicked a field goal on fourth and inches instead of going for it against Seattle, they would’ve won that game.” This is what I like to refer to as BSA — bullshit analysis. Don’t play the hindsight game.
And it’s not just about Week 1 in Seattle, it’s about setting the tone for a new era, one that hopefully will include not merely playoff appearances but victories. Sustainable winning.
Teams that go for it on 4th and 1 convert 64 percent of the time, dating back over the last seven seasons, per Barry Jackson. Considering most teams need to score well over 20 points to win consistently, those odds are good enough for me.
Now obviously an aggressive coach alone won’t lead to wins but it’s about time this team adopts an updated, more cutthroat mindset. One that will be celebrated by both players and fans. One that makes the game more fun.
It goes back to what Channing Crowder said this week on the Joe Rose Show: “I don’t care if they made it or not, he established something with his team on that call that we’re trying to win every game, we’re trying to win every down, we’re trying to win every series.”
To be a winner you have to start acting like one. Adam Gase gets it.