INDIANAPOLIS — While most coaches and executives in the NFL try at all costs to avoid comparisons to New England, Miami Dolphins coach Adam Gase candidly admits a late-season, home blowout loss to the Patriots delivered a clear message.
(Photo credit: Miami Dolphins coach Adam Gase speaks at the NFL Scouting Combine. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
“New England showed us exactly how far away we were,” Gase said at the NFL Scouting Combine.
Gase declined multiple opportunities to assess the 2016 Dolphins season as an overall success, despite having had some time to process the way a 10-5 season ended at 10-6, following bad losses to New England and Pittsburgh.
“I’d love to be able to say that, 100 percent, but those last two are who we are,” Gase said. “We played like crap in those two games.”
Gase’s honesty is one of his best attributes. Among his goals are to shoot it straight with players, coaches and the media. And so yes, the way Miami’s season ended still bothers Gase.
As if extra motivation was needed.
“It still stings a little bit,” Gase said. “It’s hard to get over the last game. Every time you’re watching cut-ups and something comes up and you see the chances you had here and there, it still bothers you. I thought the guys fought … we had guys that battled.”
Gase knows the Dolphins must improve in run defense, must add more skill and depth at defensive end and linebacker and add a starting-caliber safety, all through free agency and the draft.
“We’ve got a long ways to go and we’ve got to make sure that we develop this offseason and put ourselves in position the next season if we are able to get to the playoffs and we get another opportunity like that that we’re ready to go,” Gase said.
Gase believes having veterans like safety Reshad Jones return from injury will have a positive impact.
But Gase isn’t fooled by the unexpected 10-win season and playoff berth. The Dolphins are not yet within striking distance of championship conversation.
And Gase, candidly, refused to conclude the 2016 season was a satisfying.
“No,” he said.
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