DAVIE—A lot of coaches would be too prideful to admit a mistake this big, but Adam Gase’s willingness to take responsibility endears him to Dolphins players.
Especially the one most impacted by that error.
Gase said this week he messed up by holding defensive end Cameron Wake back during the first five games last season, when Wake was coming off a ruptured Achilles tendon. Miami played Wake as a reserve in those games, and he averaged just 24 snaps. Once the staff turned him loose, he put up 10.5 sacks in 11 games.
Wake isn’t holding that against Gase. In fact, it actually strengthens their relationship.
“Well, we’re all human, right?” Wake said. “We all make mistakes. Players make them on the field; coaches make them off the field. As a man in this game, you’ve got to be able to admit when that happens. There are probably other coaches who don’t do that. Him being a different kind of guy, I think that’s part of the reason why guys respect him, why guys relate to him and why guys love him.”
Wake isn’t second-guessing the decision, for the record. While he felt ready for a full workload at the time and voiced that to Gase, he can’t say for sure his season would’ve gone as well had he been full-go from the beginning.
Gase and Wake have one of the more interesting relationships on the team because they’re so close in age. Gase is one of the youngest coaches in the NFL at 39, and Wake turned 35 in January.
Wake highlighted that as one of the biggest reasons they’ve bonded and added that Gase is, “setting up the situation at this facility to let guys thrive, treating us like men but at the same time, when it’s time to have fun, we have fun. But when it’s time to work, we work. Our relationship has been tremendous and I’m looking forward to it getting stronger and stronger.”
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