Adam Gase officially switched sides Monday.
A few days after hiring him, the rival Jets introduced the ex-Dolphins boss as their newest head coach.
And Gase was on his best behavior.
He talked about building around quarterback Sam Darnold. He talked about winning close games, which he did in Miami. He talked about the Jets being run in a collaborative effort.
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He didn’t even wear a hat.
But don’t worry, Dolphins fans. The Gase you know was still in there.
He made news about the Dolphins in two important ways.
First, he said that control of Miami’s 53-man roster was not something he asked Stephen Ross for back in 2016.
Rather, it was something the Dolphins “offered up” during negotiations three years ago.
And secondly, he had an answer for the Dolphins’ ugly offensive stats.
The short answer? He played it safe with Ryan Tannehill and Brock Osweiler so they wouldn’t throw the Dolphins into trouble.
“A big focus of ours was our turnover margin,” Gase said. “We knew we had to play a certain way. … We sacrificed statistics to try to get wins.”
The Dolphins in 2018 ranked 31st in yards (289.9 per game), 30th in passing (181.3) and 26th in scoring (19.9).
But they were 11th in turnover margin (plus-5), which was the biggest reason they had a playoff pulse in the final month of the season.
To put it bluntly, Gase did not trust the Dolphins’ offense in general, and Tannehill in particular. He articulated the logic behind throwing the ball twice on third-and-10 in the Colts game, a gambit that backfired.
Gase added that he wished the Dolphins ranked “top 10, top 5” in offense, and hopes he can get that kind of production out of Sam Darnold and the Jets.
As for roster control, Gase will not have it with the Jets. But he insisted “that was something I wasn’t really interested in here.”
He did not ask Jets CEO Christopher Johnson for that power when he interviewed for his newest job.
That control over the 53-man roster was a point of much fascination while in Miami, but behind the scenes, it was not that big of a deal. Gase never once unilaterally cut or traded a player during his three seasons with the Dolphins, a source tells the Miami Herald. Rather, it was always a collaborative effort.
“Over three years, you’re going to have mistakes that you make,” Gase acknowledged, saying that he’s made of list of things he wants to do better this time around.
A couple other takeaways from Gase’s introductory news conference Monday:
▪ Johnson decided on Gase because he had a “road map to success. … My expectations for him are very high. In short, I expect him to win.” However, Gase will never have a mandate to make the playoffs, Johnson added.
“He is intelligent, forward thinking, aggressive. To paraphrase Wayne Gretzky, he’s coaching to where football is going.”
▪ The Jets were the right fit for Gase because of his familiarity coaching against them twice a year and because of Darnold, who was the third pick of the draft in 2018.