Adam Gase was in no mood to settle scores Wednesday.
He took the high road when asked by Miami reporters about his time with the Dolphins, and why he was fired after three seasons.
But he did take issue with one thing Steve Ross said on the day he let Gase go:
That Gase “wants to win and win now,” and that ran counter to the team’s rebuild plan. In other words: Gase couldn’t stomach a tank job, and so it made sense for the two sides to part ways.
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But Gase, speaking at the NFL Scouting Combine Wednesday, said he did not know “all the details of that” before his termination, and that he and Ross “didn’t have that kind of conversation.”
“We talked for about 20 minutes,” Gase added. “A good conversation. Then I had to go to that team meeting and tell the [players] where it was going from there.”
Gase, hired by the Jets nine days after the Dolphins canned him, believes he was fired for a far simpler reason:
“We didn’t win enough games. I think there was a lot of good stuff. We had some opportunities at the end of the season these last two years and we didn’t win a game after beat New England in both of those years. That probably didn’t help us. We didn’t take advantage of the opportunities we had.”
The Dolphins went 23-25 in Gase’s three seasons as coach, but finished each of the last two on three-game losing streaks. Some of his players seemed to quit on him late last year, and a few made no secret that they were happy to see him go.
But in retrospect, Gase probably sealed his fate with how he handled the Dolphins’ quarterback situation in 2017 and 2018. When Ryan Tannehill re-injured his torn left knee in 2017 training camp, the Dolphins could have done what they’re doing now: Strip the roster, take their lumps and have gobs of salary cap space and premium picks the following year.
Instead, they signed Jay Cutler (which Gase associates say he knows was a mistake) and doubled down on Tannehill in 2018. Tannehill was ineffective when he wasn’t hurt, and soon all will be gone from the organization.
When asked if there’s one thing he wishes he could change about his time in Miami, Gase responded:
“I don’t know if there’s just one thing. I think there’s some situations that I look back on and maybe if we would have handled a little different and went a different direction something works out different. But it doesn’t matter now.”