DAVIE — Being in two different cities, about all Adam Gase knew of Branden Albert in 2014 was that a standout player had suffered a bad knee injury.
“I didn’t really understand what he had to go through until I got here,” Gase said.
Albert had been injured in 2014 but came back to make the Pro Bowl in 2015 at his familiar left tackle spot. Even after Laremy Tunsil was drafted in the first round last year, Albert declared that he still was the left tackle of the Dolphins — and he was, until Miami traded him to Jacksonville this offseason.
As Albert was announcing his retirement Monday at age 32, he thanked the Dolphins, who made it clear the respect was mutual.
Gase said he learned from trainers that there was a question over whether Albert would ever recover from knee surgery to play again.
“I’ve been told that it was about as nasty as you can get,” Gase said. “It just shows the toughness he has.”
Gase said Albert’s attitude rubbed off on teammates.
“I think he was a big part of the reason why we had success last year,” Gase said.
In his announcement, Albert thanked Dolphins owner Stephen Ross, former coach Joe Philbin and ex-GM Dennis Hickey. He said he planned to return to Miami, “the place that I now call ‘home,’ and running my businesses, while giving back to the community.”
Defensive end Cameron Wake said playing with Albert was a privilege.
“A tremendous football player, even better man,” Wake said. “One of the guys who we always go back and forth. I think we looked up to one another as far as being in the game for as long as we have and going through the things we had to, to stay on top for as long as we could.”
Wake said he was happy to see Albert “bow out in his own terms — may hat’s off to him and obviously wish him the best.”
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