Adam Gase is gone, and the Dolphins are turning the page and starting over as 2019 is now upon us. The downfall of Adam Gase in Miami will be something that will be talked about for years to come and dissected in many ways.
Just three years ago Gase was one of the hottest names on the market and in line to be a head coach somewhere. Mike Tannenbaum and Stephen Ross made their pitch and won Gase over and Gase selected Miami to be his home and where he wanted to be a head coach.
In year one everything was all rosy as Miami won 10 games and made the playoffs for the first time in what seemed like forever. Even with a back-up quarterback starting they put up a spirited effort in their playoff loss to Pittsburgh and all Dolphins fans were confident they found “the guy” to lead the franchise moving forward and more success was on the way.
So, what went wrong? Over time we saw a young head coach who had an ego the size of Hard Rock Stadium, who was stubborn to a fault, from reports leaking out he was someone who played favorites in the locker-room, ran off talented players he couldn’t get along with, and was loyal to a marginal quarterback and unwilling to move on from him over time. All of those are ingredients are a recipe for disaster.
Stephen Ross had no choice but to let Adam go and look in a different direction as the Dolphins owner made the right call on December 31st, 2018.
Gase is gone; now what? Well that is the million-dollar question and the one everyone is asking. What will the Miami Dolphins do next with their head coaching vacancy?
The one name the Dolphins fan-base has fallen in love with early is Vic Fangio the defensive coordinator for the Chicago Bears. The 60-year-old football lifer who began his professional coaching career in the USFL (if you are too young to know what that is, google it) and who has done it all and seen it all. If Adam Gase was an “offensive guru” it would safe to say Fangio is a “defensive guru.” Turning defensive units around in this league for many years. He has coached under both Harbaugh brothers and has had success at virtually every spot he has been to. And just look at the guy, he looks like a football coach. A no-nonsense old school football coach and after the Adam Gase experiment that failed, I think many Dolphins fans would be OK with an old-school type of head coach leading the team.
Speaking to many Dolphins fans on social media and via e-mail I can tell he is the early “fan favorite” the Dolphins fan-base wants right now. To the point where if Miami doesn’t land Fangio the natives will be upset and probably reject or look for flaws in whoever Miami does end up hiring.
Now Fangio will have many suitors this offseason and numerous teams with openings like Denver, Cleveland, Tampa, and the Jets are knocking on his door already. It will be interesting to see if Fangio see’s Miami as a good fit for him or if he would rather go to a more stable franchise with a better quarterback situation and stable front office.
Oh, did I mention the Harbaugh brothers earlier? I believe I did and when speaking about them and one of them being the next head coach of the Miami Dolphins my answer is YES and YES. I would not be upset in any way if Miami landed Jim Harbaugh or John Harbaugh as their next head coach. I know landing John Harbaugh means Miami would have to part with some draft picks in some way which isn’t ideal. But getting the right head coach in place is what is needed at this time and it may be a situation w here taking two steps back (parting with draft capital) before taking one giant leap forward (improving the franchise) is needed.
Regarding Jim Harbaugh I would be more excited about landing him as our head coach. For one, Miami wouldn’t have to part with any draft picks. Second, he fits the profile of what I am looking for in a head coach these days. He was a first time NFL head coach in San Francisco, left that job and his second stint at being a head coach would be with the Dolphins. I like guys who have been an NFL head coach once before and came up a little short. I believe those guys learn from their mistakes, are humbled a bit, and have much more success at their next stop. Examples are guys like Bill Belichick, Pete Carroll (yes Carroll was a head coach in the NFL twice before coming to Seattle but fits the mold), and Tom Coughlin are a few that come to mind.
When Jim Harbaugh decides to come back to the NFL at some point, I think he will have huge success. I hope it is with the Dolphins.
There are other candidates out there and some already have interviews lined up like Kris Richard, Brian Flores, Eric Bieniemy, and Mike Munchak and I am sure we will hear of more names in the coming days. Honestly, I think when all is said and done if I had to place a $1 bet today someone like Richard or Flores might be the type of candidate that Miami ends up hiring.
The Dolphins aren’t the most attractive job on the market now and all of the “top candidates’ or “hot candidates” will be looking to land better jobs like Cleveland and New York. Which might leave Miami left having to take a flyer on a young rookie head coach like a Flores, Bieniemy, or Richard.
Which in my opinion isn’t ideal for the Dolphins at this point in time. With Gase Miami hired a 30-something assistant who everyone thought was “the next big thing” and it blew up in their face. Do the Dolphins want to go that route again with a 30-something “hot assistant” coach like Flores or Richard who are getting praise heaped on them in every article you read and every TV show you watch right now? Miami must be careful to not have history repeat itself.
With Bieniemy it’s less about age as he is 49 years old right now and will be 50 when the season starts. He is a bright offensive mind but one has to wonder how much of the Chiefs offensive success is becuase of Bieniemy and how much is because of Andy Ried? So maybe a little buyer beware here.
This is not going to be an easy hire for the Dolphins and this might last a few weeks here. Chris Grier and Stephen Ross must get this hire correct. Now usually when you fire one coach your next hire is the opposite of who you just fired. Miami fired a young offensive minded coach. Naturally you think they may be looking for an older defensive minded coach. In all professional sports that’s usually how it works. You go in the opposite direction of what you just fired.
In this case though I am not sure Miami will do that. The Dolphins are treating this like a total organizational reset from the sounds of the Dolphins press conference yesterday. I think Miami will look to find the best man for the job and not look at age or side of the ball the person has expertise in.
My only warning to Chris Grier and Stephen Ross is with the hire of Adam Gase it blew up in the organization’s face in grand fashion and it was an unmitigated disaster. Just make sure you don’t hire Adam Gase 2.0 with this next hire.