Is New Miami Dolphins Head Coach Adam Gase Taking On Too Much?

Dolphins Hire Adam Gase

Miami Dolphins first-time head coach Gase will call offensive plays AND tutor QB Ryan Tannehill

Recently installed Miami Dolphins head coach Adam Gase stated his desire to call offensive plays while working with quarterback Ryan Tannehill.

In a league where first-time head coaches face a steep learning curve, is Gase already setting himself up to fail by taking responsibility for the offense? How and when will he have the time to work with Tannehill on mechanics?

Gase Needs Experienced Assistant Coach: The Dolphins apparently own a messed up locker room. If the tweets from Brent Grimes’ wife and a recent story from the Sun-Sentinel’s Omar Kelly represent more truth than hyperbole, Tannehill does not enjoy a great deal of support from his teammates. Gase enters this job in the same place as former head coach Joe Philbin: tasked with fixing internal player issues.

Gase will require the support of an experienced and older NFL coach — hopefully a former head coach — who can guide him in terms of discipline and overall team temperature. He’ll also need an offensive assistant who can help him study the offense and install the game plan so he can effectively manage the game on Sunday.

Did Dolphins Hire Gase Based on Tannehill? Gase is credited for working wonders with Jay Cutler, Tim Tebow and Peyton Manning. Again, we don’t find these facts particularly impressive on the surface. Tannehill doesn’t lack for skills or athleticism. He needs one thing he can’t control — an offensive line — and one thing he can control — leadership.

Can Gase teach Tannehill how to lead? The NFL’s past offers many examples of QBs blessed with talent and little to no interest in leadership. Former Colts QB Jeff George comes to mind first and foremost in this category.

The Dolphins put much emphasis on Tannehill by hiring a head coach and signing him to a five-year deal because they believe in him. We believe Tannehill is what he is. He will not approve or degrade by any huge measurements one way or the other.

What’s the difference between Tannehill and Jay Fiedler at this point? Tannehill is a slightly better athlete from a monster college program. But in the end, Fiedler won football games and achieved the playoffs with a similar roster.

If Tannehill doesn’t show marked improvement this year, his job moves to jeopardy stage. The Dolphins need to ensure they have a QB in place on the roster to push Tannehill. Is that person third-stringer Logan Thomas? Will they acquire a QB via draft or other means this off-season?

Defensive Coordinator Inexperienced: If the rumors reach fruition and the Dolphins hire Bengals secondary coach Vance Joseph, they will add yet another coach experiencing a career upgrade for the first time. Joseph has never served as a defensive coordinator.

So the question is this: How did the Dolphins upgrade on the coaching front via experience, pedigree and culture?

“I think in Adam Gase we have found that person that will lead us to many, many Super Bowls in the future. I am not predicting this year. It will take time and so there is no big prediction here because I know what you guys want [me] to say. But I’ve got to tell you, I’m excited to have him.” — Dolphins owner Stephen Ross

Searching for Shula: The Dolphins continue their Holy Grail quest to seek the “next Don Shula” but in order to do that, you need to establish Shula-like criteria in order to replace him. How does Gase fit Shula’s criteria matching his career path when he joined the Dolphins?

— Shula joined Miami after seven years as head coach of the Baltimore Colts.
— Shula led the Colts to Super Bowl III.
— He described himself as being “as subtle as a punch in the face.”
— Joined the Dolphins with a massive chip on his shoulder as everyone said: “He could never win the big game.”

Does Gase fit any of these four important Shula traits?

One coaching candidate would’ve fit the Shula template: Former New York Giants head coach Tom Coughlin.
Sure, he’s an older dude closer to retirement than the beginning of his career, but he could easily install and pass off a franchise culture in three or four years.