Bold Miami Dolphins coach Adam Gase bows to no opponent

Adam Gase of the Miami Dolphins looks over his play chart during first quarter action against the New England Patriots. (Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images)

PHOENIX — Adam Gase spent an hour with reporters at the NFL owner’s meetings on Tuesday, and his tone never changed.

Defiant. Confident. Determined.

The Miami Dolphins won 10 regular-season games in his first season. They unexpectedly made the playoffs.

And yet, Gase is not the type to start measuring his remarks.

He says what he means. He says what he feels. He says what he thinks.

Adam Gase bows to no team. He kisses no ring.

Not even the glorious New England Patriots.

“We can’t be an organization to run and hide,” Gase said, when asked about Tom Brady’s apparent proclamation to Patriots owner Robert Kraft that he may play another six or seven years.

Gase concedes there is a gap to close with the champions. And that Miami can’t expect to get into the type of early-game holes they did in two losses to the Patriots last season and expect to compete.

But here’s the thing. Gase expects it will happen.

Gase expects Miami will eventually, and seemingly sooner than later, turn an enormous corner and beat the Patriots.

Because all Gase expects to do is win. After all, he expected Miami to make the playoffs last season, when most everyone predicted six to eight wins.

Gase cracked that the league presentation about celebration penalties included five Miami Dolphins plays from 2016. Surely they featured wide receiver Jarvis Landry and running back Damien Williams.

But here’s the thing. Gase reminded us he never said a word about those 15-yard penalties.

Gase felt the Dolphins needed an identity. And he’ll gladly take those 15-yard penalties because as he said so perfectly seriously, emotion-driven attitude “is who we were.”

After all, the Dolphins actually had touchdowns to celebrate last season!

More importantly, the Dolphins actually seem to have a direction as an organization. They have a plan (as in, let’s-not-pay-a-free agent-guard-$8 million-a-season).

And more than anything, as anyone tuning in to Gase’s session on Facebook or Periscope on Tuesday would see, they have a confident young coach who is comfortable in his own skin.

Gase is confident enough to admit when he didn’t do a great job of helping a player maximize his strengths and potential as a rookie (wide receiver Leonte Carroo).

Gase is confident enough to explain that, yes, there will be necessary adjustments to the Wide-Nine defensive scheme which allowed too many rushing yards last season.

Gase is comfortable with who he is. And comfortable he knows that he’s doing.

This is a coach who is actually beneficial in free-agent recruiting and free agent retention.

This is a coach who has a positive connection with his players. Trust Adam Gase, Adam Gase said, Jarvis Landry will be at the April OTA’s (offseason training activities) even if a contract extension is not complete.

And there is no reason not to trust Gase.

Gase, and the organization, told safety Reshad Jones last off-season to report to training camp, despite being upset about a lack of an extension, and that it would get taken care of.

When Jones agreed to a $12-million-a-season extension recently, he noted that the Dolphins kept their word.

When I brought up to Gase that we all (Gase and the local media members to traveled across the country for these meetings) would get to go to Las Vegas for a road game at the Raiders in 2020, Gase made a joke regarding if we all would, in fact, be there.

He’s only coached the Dolphins for one season. But at this point, it would seem to be a monumental upset if Gase wasn’t Miami’s long-term coach.

As they say in Vegas, it’s a very, very good bet.

After some organizational missteps spanning a decade, Miami bet on a young coach with swag.

And they won.

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