Without Change Adam Gase Risks It All
If the lineup, play calls, and discipline don’t change starting this week, 2017 is doomed
Truck stop toilets smell like roses compared to the stink of the Dolphins Offense over these last two games.
Even just sub-par production might have had them going 2-1, if not 3-0. But the otherworldly garbage that has been dumped on the field for 10 of the last 12 Quarters has them circling the drain at 1-2.
The issues with this team have been legion… but the most crucial concern is the lack of production from the offense.
After the lucky break against the Chargers, the Dolphins have all but been shut out two games in a row. Last week, the bottom of the barrel defense of the Saints looked all world. Really, it’s been more about the Fins incompetence than other teams dominance.
Coach Adam Gase has already said he’s not considering a QB change. Okay, but without serious change, the season is in jeopardy.
Jay Cutler is getting paid $10 million this year, and the complaint is he has played like he’s more concerned about getting through this season without getting killed, than actually winning football games. Despite a fair amount of bad play on his part, I don’t think his issues are about not being a vegetable when he re-retiring next year.
The reality is, the main culprit for this season’s failing rests in the lad of this Offense’s architect: Adam Gase.
Minor change isn’t enough… the problems are beyond simple tweaking
First, it’s true Cutler has not played well or thrown the football well, but this was going on in his last year with the Bears as well.
Cutler is a middle of the road QB and he was retired because no other teams were interested in making him a starting QB. Unfortunately, Ryan Tannehill went down with a season ending injury, and Miami was forced to make a QB singing. Whether it was going to be a starter or back up, they were signing someone. This acquisition made sense because Gase coached Cutler in Chicago and the QB was familiar with the system. Although, the price and the Dolphins tight cap made this a big move.
Matt Moore has been with this team for much longer. He has the team’s respect and a much better personality for leadership. Also, Moore performed admirably last season when he came in off the bench. In fact, in the three regular season games he played in last year the offense average 27.3 points per game and he was able to actually open up the passing game because he can throw a pretty good mid-range ball. But let be real, he does have warts and wasn’t a clear cut answer.
Foundational changes are needed, and if made, wins will come
Gase made the call, so Cutler’s the man. The only one to blame if it goes wrong is Gase.
Same can be said for Julius Thomas. Phinsnews did an article on the six million dollar bust the other day. This was another of Gase’s calls on a player no one wanted. Gase knew better. This might be a biggest disaster in my opinion, because unlike Cutler, his play isn’t hugely affected by the failings of others. He just plain sucks on his own.
Then there’s the Offensive Line. Gase designed this team because he has final say on the roster. He chose to focus on the skills instead of the big uglies inside. I think a fair caveat is that the poor play of Laremy Tunsil is creating a large negative ripple, and the loss of Larsen hurts as well. Few would have guessed Tunsil would be struggling this bad. But then there’s Jermon Bushrod who was brought back at 3 million and is rated 70 out 70 Guards. This was another of Gase’s picks that he must own.
Yet, despite all this player driven adversity, the most crucial issue has been the play calls themselves and their predictability, and the scheme and game plan design. Gase has called a smash-mouth, conservative game plan with a small playbook in a 3 wide set, despite stacked boxes, his players not suiting this type of play, defensive fronts and alignments dictating adjustments, and opposing player mismatches. All of this has limited his offense’s strength while highlighting their weaknesses.
No one can save this season but Gase
Gase himself admitted he ‘might’ be a bit predictable. How many Wide Receiver Screens, inside draws, and stretch runs are too much? Given the results , you don’t need pay per head software to know the Dolphins are there and beyond.
If Miami comes out with the same lineup–specifically Thomas in as the starter, the same game plan, the same calls right into the teeth of opposing defenses, then the season is done… and Gase needs to find a capable Offensive Coordinator to save this regime. Phinsnews has been a huge supporter of Adam Gase. But truth is truth. Adam Gase as the OC IS Miami’s biggest problem… and as the HC, Gase must hold himself accountable.
But, if Gase can make the hard choices and the changes needed. Then expect another Dolphins winning run to start this week. The next 2 weeks may very well determine not only this season, but this regime as well. Go Fins!!!